MSC Cruises confirms luxury ship order with Fincantieri

The four new vessels will be delivered by Fincantieri between 2023 and 2026
Geneva, Switzerland, and Trieste, Italy, 14 March 2019 – MSC and Fincantieri announced today the signing of the final contracts for the construction of four luxury cruise ships.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC’s Cruises Division, said: “With this now firm order, MSC is entering a new segment that bears significant potential globally. While we already serve the premium market with the MSC Yacht Club featured on MSC Cruises’ fleet, our new true luxury brand will deliver to this separate and fast-growing segment with super-yacht vessels and an experience to match that. Additionally, we are proud to partner again with Fincantieri for the development and construction of yet again another highly-innovative and exclusive class of ships.”

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Today’s announcement confirms our Group’s ability and strength to convert the soft backlog into backlog. We are proud to have achieved this important goal in less than five months from the preliminary agreement. Fincantieri’s reputation in a complex market such as the cruise one is at an all-time high. Our leadership in the luxury segment, among the most active ones, grows even stronger with these four ships, alongside our relationship with MSC and its growth plans”.

All four vessels will have gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 GT and will feature the latest maritime and environmental technologies available. Each equipped with 481 guest suites, they will also showcase a highly-innovative design and introduce ground-breaking options for guest comfort and relaxation.

This announcement follows the initial signing of a memorandum of agreement between the two parties in October 2018. The contracts, subject to shipowner financing, have a total value exceeding EUR 2 billion.

As per the terms of the agreement, the first of the four ships will be delivered by Spring 2023. The remaining three will come into service one per year over the following three years through 2026.

MSC is the cruises division of MSC Group, the world’s second largest transportation and logistics business. Under this umbrella will operate the new brand will operate under this umbrella as well as MSC’s contemporary brand MSC Cruises, the leading cruise brand across Europe, South America, the Gulf as well as southern Africa. Fincantieri is heir to the great tradition of Italian shipbuilding and one of the largest shipbuilding groups in the world.

Since starting to work with Fincantieri, in 2014, MSC has also ordered four ships for its contemporary MSC Cruises brand, for a value of EUR 3.2 billion. The first two of these vessels, MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, are already in service. The next two vessels will be delivered in 2021 and 2022, with MSC Seashore already under construction at Fincantieri’s yard in Monfalcone.

MSC current order book

Year          Ship Name                                Yard                                                          Delivery

2019    MSC Grandiosa       Chantiers de Chantiers l’Atlantique                         November

2020:   MSC Virtuosa           Chantiers de Chantiers l’Atlantique                        September

2021:   MSC Seashore          Fincantieri (monfalcone)                                             spring

2022:   World Class 1           Chantiers de Chantiers l’Atlantique                             TBA

2023:   Luxury 1                    Fincantieri                                                                      spring

2023:   Meraviglia 5             Chantiers de Chantiers l’Atlantique                             TBA

2023:   Seaside EVO 2           Fincantieri (monfalcone)                                              TBA

2024:   Luxury 2                    Fincantieri                                                                     spring

2025:   Luxury 3                    Fincantieri                                                                     spring

2026:   Luxury 4                    Fincantieri                                                                     spring

msc-yatch-club-logo1

 

MSC Luxury Class ships

Number of ships: 4

Tonnage: 64,000

Length: TBA

Passengers: 1,000 (TBA)

Guest Suites: 481

Shipbuilder : Fincantieri (yard TBA)

                                                                  Delivery: 2023-2026

 

 

 

First look at Carnival Mardi Gras Staterooms

Cruise lovers who sail on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, set to debut in late summer 2020, will enjoy an array of architectural features and designs that will enhance many aspects of its balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms.

The staterooms were developed in partnership with DCA Design International, a leading product design firm based in Warwick, England, that works across consumer goods, travel and transportation, commercial, and science and technology sectors.  The staterooms will reflect new and innovative design practices that are ergonomically-friendly and maximize visual space, clean lines, surfaces and storage.

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Cloud 9 Spa

“We took a unique approach to our stateroom design with Mardi Gras, utilising DCA’s design experts who are well known for innovative product design and partnered them with Miami-based interior architect Studio Dado,” said Ben Clement, Carnival’s senior vice president of new builds. “DCA employed a thoughtful guest-centric approach gleaned from observations of how our guests use their space in conjunction with their vast experience in product design to make the staterooms as comfortable and functional as possible.”

Distinguished by muted turquoise hues, the staterooms’ are enhanced by design touches that include:

  • Floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors on nearly all verandahs for easier balcony access;
  • New sofas that “flip” into a bed and foot stools that open up for storage;
  • Clear glass doors on the in-room mini-refrigerators to see what’s inside;
  • More 110V power outlets and USB connections both on the vanity and by the bed as well as more shelf space to accommodate electronic devices;
  • Flexible bedside reading lamps that allow guests to read without disturbing others;
  • A larger, customizable wardrobe with two pull-out bins, a sliding shoe rack, folding shelves and storage under the bed for luggage.
  • Spacious bathrooms with glass shower doors, a first for the line, along with an in-shower shaving bar.

take a look at the a above video showing the stateroom features.

“We’ve taken the best practices in new interior design and hotel concepts and applied them to Mardi Gras to create guest-friendly staterooms designed to make guests feel at home,” said Dom Hargreaves, sector manager for DCA Design International. “It’s been an incredible opportunity to work with Carnival to enrich the stateroom experience by focusing on both design principles and small details, creating moments of delight for Mardi Gras guests.”

Mardi Gras will offer the widest variety of accommodations of any Carnival ship with more than 70 percent of staterooms featuring an ocean view or balcony, along with 300 pairs of connecting staterooms, for large families or groups.

In addition to the newly redesigned staterooms with more balcony, ocean view and interior choices than ever before, Mardi Gras will offer favorites introduced on Carnival’s Vista-class including:

  • The tropics-inspired Havana staterooms feature vibrant interiors and an outdoor patio space.  These staterooms have access to an exclusive open deck with sun loungers, Cuban-themed bar and relaxation pool.
  • Extra-roomy Family Harbor accommodations with their nautical décor are located near Camp Ocean, the children’s facility, and have access to the Family Harbor Lounge, an exclusive spot with breakfast and snacks throughout the day, plus board games, family movies, video games and more.
  • Cloud 9 Spa staterooms feature exclusive, soothing décor, spa bathrobes and slippers as well as Elemis toiletries. These accommodations offer privileges to the ship’s spa.
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Havana Cabana

Mardi Gras will also offer the most suites of any Carnival ship, a total of more than 180 of varying size and locations. Exciting details on the ship’s suites and amenities will be announced in mid-April, including the premium level Carnival Excel Suites, which will include a set of exclusive features and offerings.

The new accommodations are the perfect complement to Mardi Gras’ exciting activities and attractions, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea, and six distinct themed zones with popular dining, libation, entertainment and activity offerings.

When will Carnival Mardi Gras launch?

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020. her inaugural voyage will be nine-day maiden voyage from Copenhagen to Southampton, sailing from 31st August to 9th September 2020, calling at ports in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium, among others. She will then sail to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

MSC BELLISSIMA named in Southampton

After arriving in Southampton the previous day MSC Bellissima became the largest cruise ship to be christened in the UK. The lavish event was held on the quayside in Southampton under a giant marquee which was the largest in the country at the time. Hosted by This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby the star studded event featured a performance by the tenors Andrea and Matteo Bocelli and a preview show by Cirque du Soleil at sea and later that evening soul singer Leee John.

However due to heavy winds caused by storm Freya guests had to be hastily evacuated back on board Bellissima in order for the event to continue.

Once everyone was back on board and gathered in the galleria Bellissima the ships godmother Sophia Loren started the count down with guests watching the bottle smash against the bow on the huge 80-metre LED screen, after which the party continued in true MSC style. Bellissima is the 14th ship to be named by Italian singer and actress Loren, 84, for MSC Cruises, for who she fulfils the role of “godmother”.

Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren with Captain Raffaele Pontecorvo
Bottle smashing (naming)
The bottle smashes against the bow of MSC Bellissima

Antonio Paradiso, managing director for MSC Cruises UK and Ireland, said: “We are excited to be launching MSC Bellissima, the largest ship coming to the UK and the sixth largest cruise ship in the world.

“We celebrate her launch in Southampton, an important destination for us as we are the fastest growing cruise line in the UK and a top cruise line in Ireland.

I will have a full report on my time on MSC Bellissima soon.

In the meantime enjoy this short video of the actual beauty of the sea was named.

MSC CRUISES AND CHANTIERS DE L’ATLANTIQUE LAUNCH MSC BELLISSIMA

 MSC Bellissima brings to the sea the latest advances in maritime design, state-of-the-art environmental features and cutting-edge customer-centric technology

Second key construction milestone marked with MSC Virtuosa’s Coin Ceremony

Saint-Nazaire, France, 27 February 2019 – MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company, has today taken delivery of MSC Bellissima from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a world leader in cruise ship construction. With three Meraviglia generation ships under simultaneous construction at the shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, the two parties marked a double celebration today, with MSC Virtuosa’s Coin Ceremony.

MSC Bellissima’s Delivery Ceremony took place in the presence of Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s Founder and Executive Chairman. Also present were Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, as well as other regional and local authorities and dignitaries.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “Today’s delivery marks another chapter in the story of our partnership with Chantiers de l’Atlantique. Together we have already brought to life 14 highly-innovative cruise ships, paving the way for our Company’s initial growth. Many more will be built together over the coming years to further deepen the reach of our fleet. Furthermore, MSC Bellissima’s elegance and beauty, as well as focus on the best and latest maritime and environmental technology at sea, bear testament to our restless pursuit for innovation.”

Laurent Castaing, Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s General Manager, said: “This new outstanding ship is another evidence of the quality of the long-term partnership we have established between MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique during these last twenty years. We bring each time all our expertise and innovation capability to deserve the confidence of our customers: this is a real success story for our two companies.”

As other ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet, MSC Bellissima pushes the boundaries of ship building and design. Bearing testament to the Company’s commitment to protect the environment, she has been equipped with some of the latest environmental technologies available. These include, amongst others, a cutting-edge exhaust gas cleaning system, an advanced wastewater treatment plant, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, a ballast water treatment system, and various energy-saving improvements – from heat recovery systems to LED lighting.

MSC Bellissima is also equipped with cutting-edge guest technology. She is the first MSC Cruises ship to feature ZOE, the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant, which has been added to MSC for Me. The voice-enabled virtual personal assistant will be found in every cabin and can answer hundreds of questions about the cruise.

With today’s delivery, MSC Bellissima has become the fourth ship to join MSC Cruises’ fleet in less than two years. As part of MSC Cruises’ unprecedented new builds programme, another 13 next-generation cruise ships are due to join its fleet by 2027. These include four World Class mega cruise ships capable of welcoming nearly 7,000 guests as well as four smaller ships that will serve the ultra-luxury segment.

MSC Bellissima is the second Meraviglia Class ship to join MSC Cruises’ fleet. As MSC Meraviglia, she is the ship for all seasons, with plenty of outdoor and indoor public spaces. With a length of just 315 metres, she has been designed to be able to access most of the world’s cruise ports.

This evening MSC Bellissima will set sail towards Southampton, UK, where her Naming Ceremony is due to be held on 2 March. On 4 March she will depart on her maiden voyage, which will take her to Genoa, Italy, where she will spend her inaugural season, offering Western Mediterranean cruises. In November 2019, she will reposition to the Gulf, providing weekly sailings out of Dubai. In spring 2020 she will be deployed to Asia.

Earlier in the day, MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique held MSC Virtuosa’s Coin Ceremony, which takes place at the early stages of construction of a newbuild, when the keel is laid. Due to be delivered in November 2020, she will become the fourth Meraviglia Class ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet and the second of three Meraviglia-Plus ships, a larger and enriched version of the Meraviglia prototype with an increased number of cabins, more public space and additional features. Tradition dictates that two long-standing employees from the shipyard and the ship owner act as godmothers, placing two coins under the new ship’s keel block as a sign of blessing and good fortune. Today Elise Guérin, Project Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Helen Huang, President, Greater China, MSC Cruises had the honour of performing this traditional task.

MSC Bellissima’s specs: 

Ship name           MSC Bellissima
Ship class            Meraviglia Class
Delivery date            27 February 2019
Gross tonnage            171,598 GT
Lower berth capacity        4,434
Max. passenger capacity     5,686
Crew members            1,536
Number of cabins        2,217
Length / Beam / Height        315.3 m / 43 m / 65 m
Maximum speed        22.7 knots

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Keel laid for second Virgin Voyages ship

On 26th February at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa, the keel was laid for Virgin Voyages second ship. Sister to Scarlet Lady this second ship is part of the original order of three ships made in 2015. The second ladyship is set to debut in 2021 and will feature 1,430 guest cabins and accommodate more than 2,800 guests and 1,150 crew members.

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