MSC CRUISES AND CHANTIERS DE L’ATLANTIQUE CELEBRATE KEY CONSTRUCTION MILESTONE FOR LNG-PROPELLED MSC WORLD EUROPA
MSC World Europa to become one of the most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG ships in its class
Geneva, Switzerland and Saint-Nazaire, France, 29 June 2020 – A maritime coin ceremony tradition took place earlier today at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France when the keel was laid for MSC Cruises’ first liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, MSC World Europa.
The 200,000-plus GT ship is scheduled to enter service in 2022 and be one of most technologically- and environmentally-advanced LNG-powered cruise vessels in its class, and the first ever to be built in France.
Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of Alexa Aponte-Vago and her husband Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, and Aurore Bezard from the HR Department of Chantiers de I’Atlantique performed the traditional maritime ritual as godmothers representing the ship owner and the shipbuilder when they placed two coins under the keel as the historical sign of blessing and good fortune for the project, and the ship’s operational life at sea.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “MSC World Europa is further proof of our commitment to environmental stewardship as she is set to reduce carbon emissions even further than many other existing cruise ships powered by LNG, which is currently the most environmentally-friendly fuel for commercial maritime operations. With this vessel, we also reconfirm our belief in investing in advanced environmental technology to meet our long-term goal of zero emissions from operations.”
Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, added: “We are proud to start the building of a ship which will set the standards for the cruise of the future. This is a major milestone in the history of our 20-year cooperation with MSC Cruises, which has already resulted in some of the most innovative cruise ships ever built.”
MSC World Europa will feature a new 50-kilowatt demonstrator system that incorporates solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and use LNG to produce electricity and heat on board, the first time an LNG-powered fuel cell has been used on a cruise ship.
The (SOFC) system has been developed by French research centre CEA as part of MSC Cruises’ and Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s PACBOAT project. France-based contractor Entrepose Group will design and build the demonstrator, which will be approved by classification society Bureau Veritas.
This SOFC solution fuelled by LNG will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by about 30 per cent compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. It also offers the advantage of being compatible with LNG, as well as several low carbon fuels such as types of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.
MSC World Europa will also feature a new generation wastewater treatment system that exceeds some of the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, as well other cutting-edge environmental technology.
MSC Cruises’ next flagship MSC Virtuosa is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire and readying for delivery next year. The Company also has firm orders with Chantiers de l’Atlantique for two additional LNG-powered ships, once each for the MSC World and Meraviglia classes of ships.
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· The star-studded Christening events will feature big name presenters and artists presenter Michelle Hunziker, Jochen Schropp, Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale and Mousse T.
· The MSC Village on the banks of the Elbe will livestream the festivities to thousands of Hamburg residents
· 3 Michelin-star German chef Harald Wohlfahrt will design the menu for the Gala Dinner
With just one month until the Christening of the first Meraviglia-Plus generation ship, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Cruises has announced an exciting line-up for the star-studded four-night celebration. With international and German celebrities, the events have been designed for international guests from all around the world as well as special events for the city of Hamburg.
The celebrations will commence with the arrival of the ship in Hamburg on the November 6 and that evening will see the start of four nights of illuminations in the Blue Port by renowned international light artist Michael Batz. From 20 different locations, light installations will bathe the port in blue symbolising the colour of the sea and MSC Cruises’ commitment to the ocean. With respect for the environment and the climate, many small lights with low energy consumption will be used. In this way, a sympathetic ensemble image is created, crowned by the sparkling silhouette of the Elbphilharmonie and the illumination of the MSC Grandiosa.
Each night on board, MSC Grandiosa will also host German musical artists in the lead-up to the main event.
The traditional Christening ceremony will take place on board the ship, making MSC Grandiosa the true star of the show. With different celebrations taking place all over the ship, guests will have a chance to discover everything that the stunning ship has to offer. The proceedings will be hosted by Michelle Hunziker, who launched MSC Seaview in June 2018. Born in Switzerland and now a popular star in Italy, the talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer embodies the international spirit of MSC Cruises. She will be joined on board by co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of the most likeable entertainers in Germany.
On the banks of the River Elbe, the purpose-built MSC Village will welcome 5,000 people so that the city can join the celebrations from 5pm, enjoying food trucks and live music on the evening of the Christening. Presenters Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale, probably the most popular family on German TV, will be hosting the events ashore, linking live to the ceremony on board.
MSC Grandiosa takes her place centre stage in the middle of the River Elbe for the culmination of the evening’s events with a special light show at the Elbphilharmonie concert halls as the ship passes by. The official naming of the ship will then take place by MSC Cruises’ Godmother Sophia Loren and a stunning fireworks display will be launched. The Port of Hamburg is known as “the gateway to the world” and so MSC Grandiosa will then pass through a spectacular gateway of blue night as she returns to her dock, symbolising the new ship’s entry to the world.
No MSC Cruises Christening event would be complete without a glamourous Gala Dinner on board, with a gourmet menu created by German chef royalty, Harald Wohlfahrt. Chef Wohlfahrt was voted one of the Top 10 Chefs in the World and is the only German chef to hold a three Michelin Star rating for 25 years in a row.
Guests will round off the evening in the iconic 93-metre-long Mediterranean promenade, Galleria Grandiosa, dancing the night away to music from popular German DJ Mousse T. with live vocals from British singer Emma Lanford. The duo have toured together worldwide and will definitely get the party started!
About MSC Grandiosa
Not only will MSC Grandiosa become MSC Cruises newest flagship but she will also become the Company’s most environmentally advanced ship to-date. The new ship is setting the standard for the future as she is equipped with some of the latest cutting-edge environmental technology including a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system and has been designed to meet the world’s strictest environmental standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
MSC Grandiosa is the first Meraviglia-plus generation ship and will offer a richness of guest experiences, from world-class entertainment with two brand new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, a wide choice of international dining options, original activities for families to an enhanced MSC Yacht Club. MSC Grandiosa will become the second MSC Cruises ship to feature ZOE, the world’s first virtual cruise personal assistant and new updates to the innovative MSC for Me digital innovation program.
MSC Grandiosa will depart Hamburg on November 10th to commence her inaugural cruise to Genoa. From November 23rd MSC Grandiosa will commence 7-night itineraries in the Mediterranean calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.
I will be on board MSC Grandiosa for two days while she is in Southampton so be sure to follow my social channels for updates and the latest from MSC largest ship to date.
New ship to feature the latest and most advanced environmental technology, including a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system
– Further enhanced ship design and intelligently distributed deck space adds new dimensions for guest experience at sea, from accommodations to dining and entertainment including the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the company’s fleet
A traditional maritime coin ceremony today took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, when the keel was laid for MSC Seashore. At the milestone event, MSC Cruises revealed details of the significantly transformed overall design and new features of the ship.
MSC Seashore will be the Company’s longest ship – 339 metres – when she enters service in June 2021, the first of two enriched “Seaside Evo” Class ships with the latest available environmental technology, extended public spaces, more cabins and the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in the company’s fleet.
Long-standing employees Marianna Cicala, Ground Services Planning Manager, MSC Cruises and Silvia Bozzetto, Production Planning & Control Commissioning of the Monfalcone shipyard, performed today’s ritual as godmothers when they placed two coins under the new ship’s keel as the historical maritime sign of blessing and good fortune.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “Today’s ceremony marks another key milestone in the construction of one of our most innovative all-around ships yet. Most importantly, MSC Seashore – which will feature the latest and most advanced environmental technology currently available – represents another proof of our long-standing commitment to preserve the environment in our ongoing journey to minimise and continuously reduce the impact of our operations.”
MSC Seashore will be fitted, amongst other, with a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system. SCR’s helps reduce nitrogen oxide by 90 per cent through advanced active emissions control technology. Nitrogen oxide from the engine operations is conducted through a catalyst and converts them into nitrogen and water, both harmless compounds. With AWT’s, wastewater undergoes a comprehensive purification process through a very fine filtration process that transforms it to near tap-water quality. The system meets the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’ and treats the wastewater to a higher standard than most waste standards available in cities around the world. The new build will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power which connects cruise ships while at berth to a port’s local power grid to reduce further the ship’s emissions.
These new features add to other effective environmental technologies deployed on MSC Seashore and across the Company’s fleet to minimise and continuously reduce environmental impact, including: cutting-edge hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning systems (EGCS) that removes 98 per cent of sulphur oxide from ship emissions; advanced waste management systems; ballast water treatment systems approved by the United States Coast Guard; latest-technology systems for the prevention of oil discharges from machinery spaces and various effective energy-efficiency improvements – from heat recovery systems to LED lighting.
Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO, commented: “The beginning of drydock works of MSC Seashore, the largest ship so far built in Italy, is for us a source of great satisfaction: she is the symbol of “Evo”, a successful project for our Group, innovating the already futuristic “Seaside” concept, that created two units highly welcomed by the market. It is a real challenge in terms of structural and managerial aspects, which powers the impressive workload for the shipyard and the local area. We therefore are very pleased for such a celebration which seals the fruitful partnership with MSC Cruises and we are confident that there will be other similar moments in the future”.
MSC Seashore is based on the ground-breaking “Seaside Class” prototype with a range of breathtaking design features enabling guests to connect with the ocean such as the spectacular Bridge of Sighs, stunning panoramic aft lifts and stylish glass catwalks. More than 40 per cent of the ship has been redesigned and enhanced, making MSC Seashore a significant evolution and improvement of sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview.
Some of the new enhancements are visible to the naked eye and include the 16-metres extended length of the ship, 200 additional cabins, a larger MSC Yacht Club and an additional double-deck aft lounge. The internal architecture has been completely redesigned with two central meeting points positioned at the middle and forward part of the ship, as well as specific measures to further enhance passenger flows. Overall the ship has 10,000 square metres of additional deck space for an even greater and more spacious onboard experience.
MSC Seashore will offer more suites thanks to the addition of 28 more terraced suites, two suites with private whirlpools and the MSC Yacht Club – the all-inclusive ‘ship within a ship’ premium concept available on MSC Cruises ships – will see two new cabin categories: 41 Deluxe Grand Suites and two Owner’s Suites with whirlpools.
The ship will feature new cabin designs such as cluster cabins for families that link two or three adjoining cabins and can accommodate between six and 10 people, plus bigger and more spacious cabins for guests with a disability – 75 in total – will be available.
Two brand new restaurants will be introduced, including one exclusively for Aurea guests. There will be a new location for the five specialty restaurants to allow for waterfront seating on the ship’s breathtaking boardwalk to give guests a greater sea view as they dine al fresco.
Main restaurants (dining rooms) offer traditional Italian cuisine and wines. Dining rooms are open for Breakfast (7-9:30 am), Lunch (12-noon – 2 pm_ and Dinner with 2 fixed seatings (7 pm and 9:30 pm) with a 7-course dinner menu that also includes vegan and vegetarian meals.
Lido Buffet Restaurant
MSC Seashore will have a new double-decker show lounge at the aft part of the ship, a bigger casino and 20 distinct specialty bars. The ship will feature a new design of her aft pool design, an enlarged indoor pool and a new interactive waterpark will provide thrills and spills for guests of all ages. Clubs for young children and teenagers have been separated from a larger kids’ zone.
The ship will provide all her guests with latest customer-centric technology, including ZOE – the world’s first-virtual personal cruise assistant and an MSC Cruises exclusive in every cabin – and MSC for Me.
MSC for Me App
ZOE Cruise Assistant
MSC SEASHORE FACTFILE
IMO No.: 9843792
Shipyard: Fincantieri (Montalcone, Italy)
Building Cost: EUR 900 million
Hull No.: 6283
Class: Seaside-Evo Class
Length: 339 m
Width: 41 m
Gross tonnage: 169,380 GT
Staterooms & Cabins: 2270
Cabin Decks: 6
Cruising speed: 22 knots
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On 31st October MSC Cruises is set for a joint celebration at the Chantiers de l’Atlantic shipyard in Saint Nazaire.
Firstly, the worlds fastest growing cruise line is set to take delivery of MSC Grandiosa the first of three Meraviglia-Plus class ships.
On the same day the first piece of steel will be cut for the first of MSC’s four World Class ships.
The World Class ships belong to a new class of ship which are the 5th class developed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique for MSC Cruises and will bring to 20 the number of ships delivered by the French yard over the last 15 years.
When the first one is delivered in May 2022, it is set to be the worlds largest passenger ship by capacity. Currently the world’s largest cruise ship is Symphony of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean. Launched in 2017 and built at the same shipyard, she has a passenger capacity of 6,680 but is longer and wider than MSC new class. According to figures released so far the first world class ship who’s name is yet to be announced, will have a passenger capacity of 6,850.
The world class ships will feature what the shipyard calls a innovative ‘G’ bow which together with the streamlined hull form is designed to cut through the water.
Like many of the cruise ships now on order will feature LNG propulsion. According the the shipyard among the main features developed for these innovative ships, the new LNG propulsion and system of waste management are noticeable. The design implemented by Chantiers de l’Atlantique will allow the passengers first to enjoy an outstanding view over the ocean thanks to the aft Y-shaped structure and also to take advantage of an enhanced comfort thanks to the stem designed specially to increase both stability and aero dynamism. The ship’s other guest-centric innovations include family-friendly ‘villages’, a panoramic aft deck, and a glass pool lounge.
The newly restyled and extended MSC Magnifica will offer more public space, new features and more cabins
London, United Kingdom – 10 September 2019 – MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line revealed today brand-new itineraries for Summer 2021 sailing from Southampton. The newly refurbished MSC Magnifica will undergo a transformation adding 23 meters to the ship that will deliver an additional 7,000 m2 of added space to the ship.
This will result in 215 extra cabins, bringing the total number of balcony cabins to 63% of the overall ship, a new water park, a redesigned kids area, plus additional features such as two new restaurants and a new shopping area.
The 24 sailings from Southampton beginning in May and ending in October will see the introduction of cruises ranging from 2 to 14 nights with brand new varied itineraries encompassing Canary Islands & Madeira, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltic Capitals. Most of the 24 sailings will begin on a Saturday ensuring guests can make the most of their holiday experience.
Antonio Paradiso MD MSC Cruises UK & Ireland commented, “We are delighted to be further enhancing our guest experience and offering brand new itineraries sailing from the UK. We are committed to providing UK guests with the holidays they want, and travel agents with cruises they want to sell. This announcement is the result of the on-going feedback we have received from agents and guests who want to sail with MSC Cruises from Southampton to new destinations. Our goal is always to provide more opportunities for the trade and more choice for the guest. ”
He added “The UK market is a priority for MSC Cruises and we have shown our commitment consistently over the last few years. Firstly, with our first ever full EX-UK season in 2018, then with the naming of MSC Bellissima in Southampton in March this year and now with another full EX-UK season on a newly refurbished and enhanced ship with brand new itineraries created specifically with the British holidaymakers in mind.”
Highlights include a 12-night cruise that calls at three of the Canary Islands – Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote with their fantastic climate, distinctive landscapes and bustling ports the cruise departing early May is perfectly timed to catch the sun. A 14-night Western Mediterranean cruise in August, including popular destinations for UK guests such as Palma de Mallorca and Monte Carlo will be the perfect choice for the family summer holiday. MSC Magnifica will offer four different stunning Norwegian Fjord itineraries and will call at two brand new destinations; Skagen in Denmark renowned for hours of sun and unique light plus Rosendal, Norway, which is the world’s fourth largest fjord.
In addition to new itineraries MSC Magnifica will be back with all the ‘Best of British’ enhancements that were initially showcased on MSC Magnifica in 2018, including favourite’s such as pie & mash, back bacon and sausages available in the buffet and Kettles in cabins with of course Yorkshire Tea, which is back by popular demand.
This is not the first time MSC Cruises have refurbished and stretched existing ships in the fleet, in 2015 the four much loved Lirica class of ships underwent a significant renovation as part of the €130 million ‘Renaissance programme’, to improve facilities and enhance the onboard experience.
When works are completed, MSC Magnifica will feature two new major and important onboard environmental advances to complement a wide range of existing leading-edge environmental technologies across the company’s entire fleet: a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system.
SCR technology helps reduce nitrogen oxide into pure nitrogen and water through advanced active emissions control technology. MSC Cruises also took the opportunity to install a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment system on board that meets the highest standards and that purifies used wastewater to near tap-water quality. The system meets the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’ and treats the wastewater to a higher standard than most waste standards available in cities around the world.
To help reduce and continuously minimize emissions also while in port, the ship will be able to ‘plug in’ to the local power grid wherever such systems are available at berth, this is also known as “cold ironing”.
Cruises will go on sale on the 12th September with prices starting from £149pp on a mini cruise and £549 for a Norwegian fjords cruise. To celebrate the launch of sales MSC Cruises will be offering up to £100 on board credit per cabin depending on the category of cabin booked on all MSC Magnifica EX-UK 2021 sailings. All prices include service charge and taxes. T’s & C’s apply and can be found at www.msccruises.co.uk.
Itinerary highlights include:
May Bank Holiday Mini Cruise
This 3-night sailing runs across the late May Bank Holiday and is perfect for a first-time cruiser who wants a taster of a holiday at sea or an experienced cruiser looking to make the most of the bank holiday weekend. Set sail from Southampton late on Friday evening and spend the day in Zeebrugge before returning to Southampton. Prices starting from £219pp based on two passengers sharing an inside cabin with £25pp OBC.
There are two opportunities to discover the much-loved Baltic Capitals, on a 12-night cruise departing 31st May or on a 14-night cruise departing 11th September. Offering slightly different itineraries with added highlights on the 14-night itinerary including an overnight stay in the Swedish Capital Stockholm, and a visit to Denmark’s Skagen. Both sailings include an overnight onboard stay in St Petersburg and a visit to Norway’s capital, Oslo. Prices starting from £1,569pp based on two people sharing a Balcony cabin with £50pp OBC.
Norway Your Way
With so many beautiful ports to explore in Norway choose from one of four different Norwegian Fjord itineraries setting sail across the summer season. Explore much loved ports including Flamm and Stavanger and new destinations for MSC Cruises Rosendal and Nordfjordeid. Cruises depart throughout the summer, prices starting from £819pp based on two people sharing an Ocean View cabin with £25pp OBC.
14 nights perfect for families
Following guest and agent feedback this 14-night cruise to some of the Mediterranean’s most loved destinations has been developed with families in mind. Departing on the 7th August this no-fly cruise begins with two sea days to give guests a chance to settle in. Then it’s action packed itinerary allows you to explore seven different ports in nine days including a late sail from the fabulous Palma de Mallorca and a visit to the exclusive Monte Carlo. Prices starting from £3,296 for a family of 4, all food and service charges included in the price, plus £50 OBC per cabin.
MSC Cruises’ first Meraviglia-Plus class ship MSC Grandiosa has successfully completed her first intensive systems tests at sea during a three-day trial in the Atlantic Ocean between 28-31 August.
MSC Cruises’ latest flagship will next receive her finishing touches at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France before being officially delivered to MSC Cruises on 31 October.
With a gross tonnage of 177,000, the ship has a total guest capacity of 6,334 and will feature some of the latest innovative marine technology and systems to become MSC Cruises’ most efficient and environmentally clean ship in its fleet.
MSC Grandiosa is equipped with two new and important technological innovations including a selective catalytic reduction system to decrease nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 per cent and transform it into pure water and nitrogen. The flagship is also fitted with a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment system that will lead to nearly zero impact on discharges and allow her to operate in delicate environments such as the Baltic Sea and Alaska.
MSC Grandiosa will feature extended 111-meter-long indoor promenade featuring an extended screen of 95 meters by 6 meters supplied by Samsung. The extended promenade area which will house two extra restaurants, giving passengers a wider dining choice.
The new environmental features add to other effective technologies deployed on MSC Grandiosa to further reduce her environmental impact including a cutting-edge exhaust gas cleaning system, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, a ballast water treatment system and various energy-saving improvements such as heat recovery systems and LED lighting.
The christening ceremony for MSC Grandiosa is due to take place on 9th November in Hamburg and will be hosted by German TV star Michelle Hunziker. The ship will then head to Southampton arriving 12th November for two days of celebrations after which she will then head for an inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean with maiden calls from her Genoa homeport to Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseilles.
MSC Grandiosa Factfile
IMO No.: 9803613
Shipyard: Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire
Length: 331 m
Width: 51 m
Draft: 8,75 m
Gross tonnage: 177,000
Staterooms & suits: 2,444
Cruising speed: 21.8 knots
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In-depth ecological assessment completed to build the conservation plans for the island
New details of guest experience revealed including new spa concept
With just under four months to go until Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve welcomes its first guests, MSC Cruises the Swiss-based, world’s largest privately-owned cruise line revealed today more details of the unique experience that lies in wait for guests. The vision for the island is to immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings in the Bahamas. Ocean Cay is founded on a deep commitment to ecological principles – beliefs that shape everything from how venues are built, to how the island is run, to the kinds of activities featured on the island. Work is underway to design opportunities for guests to learn about the protection of the oceans and the importance of preserving coral reefs through dedicated edutainment programs.
The Bahamas is renowned for its beautiful blue waters and white sandy beaches whilst the oceans in this part of the world are home to a special and diverse ecosystem that needs to be safeguarded for the future. As part of the development of Ocean Cay, MSC Cruises is working to establish the roadmap for the restoration of marine resources, including habitats and species present in the area. This will include the restoration of endangered corals, and the implementation of other conservation and educational programmes.
The island is situated within protected waters spanning 64 square miles but the ambition is to further extend this to ensure an even greater impact. MSC Cruises guests will have an incredible opportunity to discover the wonders of the ocean in this special part of the world.
Image credit: Conrad Schutt
ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION FOR THE FUTURE
To better understand the conservation needs and map out the key environmental initiatives, MSC Cruises commissioned a Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) that provided a short-term overview of the waters around Ocean Cay.
One of the priorities for MSC Cruises on Ocean Cay is the restoration of the coral. An integral part of the marine ecosystem, coral needs to be protected as they ensure biodiversity, provide a habitat for marine life and protect coastlines. Now that the waters around the island are protected and it is no longer an industrial site once used for sand excavation, the seabed is returning to normal and the hope is that the coral will again begin to thrive. Plans are under way to establish a coral nursery on the East side of the island with the hope of propagating even more coral, particularly the more endangered varieties.
The recent survey established that there are three types of coral that can be found in abundance – primarily Agaricia agaricites known aslettuce coral,Porites astreoides commonly known as mustard hill coral or yellow porites, Siderastrea also known asmassive starlet coral.
These species are some of the heartier species, more capable of withstanding harsh temperature conditions and siltation than other species. Also found around the island during the assessment is the critically endangered Acropora palmata known as Elkhorn Coral was found. Four distinct colonies of this species were observed along the rocky shoreline of these cays. Over time these corals will become candidates for restoration in the coral nursery.
The Ocean Cay team are already seeing an increase in marine life in the area and the REA identified 88 different species of fish around the island as well as lobster, sea turtles and rays. An important feature of the ecosystem in this region that was assessed is the queen conch, Lobatus gigas. The conch is a large sea snail and lives in the seagrass beds around Ocean Cay and helps to keep the water clean from algal produced by seagrass. The conch is one of the most important fishery species in these waters and a symbol of The Bahamas. However, conch populations have seen dramatic declines in recent years some of the few remaining breeding populations are those within marine protected areas in The Bahamas. Ocean Cay is a productive conch habitat and as such steps will be taken to ensure the protection of the conch to thrive.
In addition to paving the way for the future of the island’s ecosystem, work is well underway to finalise the guest experience and welcome the new guests in November. Every aspect of the island is being developed with the vision of creating a truly memorable experience founded in the core philosophy of the island – the discovery of nature.
The environmental philosophy of the Ocean Cay guest experience has influenced the choice of water sports and guests will not find the typical motorised water sports found elsewhere but instead the Company is developing a range of natural ways to enjoy the water. This includes the popular stand up paddle (SUP) and kayaking. What better way to take in the uninterrupted horizon than by getting out on the water.
For those who wish to discover the marine life close-up there will be the opportunity to book a snorkeling & secluded island getaway. This 1.5 hour trip to the nearby cay will allow guests to either snorkel on their own or for an enhanced experience, follow a snorkel guide while they point out all of the colourful and exotic marine life in the area. After snorkelling, guests are then taken to a private beach on the remote cay for swimming and relaxing in the water. Places are limited so ensure to book in advance.
For those who are a little more adventurous, scuba diving will also be available with PADI qualified instructors and for those who wish to get a taster for diving, there will a Discover Scuba Diving class that can be booked where guests can get an idea but in shallow waters, again with a PADI instructor.
Located at the Northern tip of the island in a stunning location with incredible ocean views, is The Spa at Ocean Cay. This unique new luxurious spa concept has been created exclusively for Ocean Cay and is designed to immerse guests in the elements, that become an integral part of the experience providing a contrasting experience to the authentic Balinese MSC Aurea Spa on board the ships.
The spa offering will stay true to the environmental principles of the island and the products used will be from AVEDA, a beauty brand known for its natural products and environmental commitments. Guests looking for head to toe pampering can choose from different massage options and then simply relax in the stylish treatment room listening to the sound of the waves and feeling the ocean breeze. A range of very special on-trend fitness sessions will also be available for those looking to connect with their inner zen! Choose from morning beach yoga, SUP yoga on paddle boards and to round of the day, sunset yoga.
FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
As a family company, MSC Cruises offers an award-winning family offering on board the fleet and this will also be available on Ocean Cay. The island has been designed to offer a family friendly experience with the Seakers Family Cove. A paradise for kids with a shallow lagoon to play in and a beautiful sandy beach for games. All of the beaches on the island will be monitored by lifeguards to ensure safety for all and this will give parents peace of mind.
The MSC Cruises Kids Club staff will organize games and activities throughout the day at the Seakers Family Cove. The activities featuring the new DOREMI Explorer mascot are designed to facilitate natural discovery and will see a return to the simple childhood games such as sand castle contests, kite building, treasure hunts and a family sporting challenge. There are dedicated teens activities to enable the older kids discover all that the island has to offer including an activity with the teen web creator who will help them to create content to inspire others with the beauty of the island.
The Seakers Food Court is located conveniently close by for the families. Serving American classic dishes and kids’ favourites, the buffet will be complimentary as it is on board. There are other options available on the island from the food trucks and guests can also easily return to the ship throughout the day to take advantage of the full range of dining options on board.
After a day spent unwinding and relaxing, one of the highlights of the visit to the island will be the evening entertainment and activities. After a stunning sunset when the night falls, the area around the iconic 30 metre red and white lighthouse will come to life. Guests will be able to enjoy a breath-taking light show that can be enjoyed from the bar of for those wishing for a more chilled atmosphere they can watch the show from the beach around one of the firepits. A traditional junkanoo parade will get people in the party mood. This is inspired by the historic Bahamian festival and is a feast of colourful costumes music and dancing.
For those guests still wishing to immerse themselves in the natural world, the remote nature of the island means that the heavens will offer their own entertainment and guests can book an astronomy-themed adventure. Guests will enjoy a welcome drink as the astronomer guide, using state of the art computerized tracking telescopes, finds the most striking star clusters, planets, nebulas and galaxies on display that evening. An evening of unbelievable stargazing under the Bahamian sky awaits.
From November 2019, all MSC Cruises ships from Miami will call at Ocean Cay as part of the Caribbean itineraries.
SHIPS TO OCEAN CAY
To ensure that guests can fully understand what lies in wait for them on Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve a dedicated website is available to visit here: www.mscoceancay.com/en-gb/
First of the enriched Meraviglia-Plus ships to come into service
Inaugural season to be spent in the stunning Western Mediterranean
New flagship to feature two brand new Cirque du Soleil at Sea Shows
With exactly six months before the christening of MSC Grandiosa on 9th November in the Port of Hamburg, MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America, South Africa and the Gulf, today revealed they would be welcoming back international TV star Michelle Hunziker to host the glamorous official naming ceremony of the Company’s newest and largest ship to date. Hunziker, internationally known as a TV presenter, actress and singer, also hosted the christening of MSC Seaview in Genoa in 2018. Growing up in Italy and of Swiss descent, Hunziker speaks five languages and embodies the international spirit and Mediterranean soul of MSC Cruises.
MSC Grandiosa will become the largest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet and the first of the Meraviglia-Plus class of ships. Enriched with more cabins, more public space and innovative new features, the highlights include:
· The iconic Mediterranean Promenade will be the heart of the ship. Under the 98.5-metre-long LED sky, guests can enjoy a varied entertainment programme as well as being able to indulge in shopping and world class food and drink.
· MSC Grandiosa takes the onboard shopping experience to a new level with the indoor promenade offering mall-style boutiques, where guests will find their favourite brands of clothing, jewellery, technology and more, all at unbeatable prices.
· The speciality restaurants located in the promenade include the new restaurant concept L’Atelier Bistrot, a French-inspired bar with lounge area, which also offers a stage and dance floor as well as a seated terrace.
· The entertainment highlight will be two brand new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea. The shows are created by world-leader in live entertainment, Cirque du Soleil as part of a unique long-term partnership with MSC Cruises.
· MSC Grandiosa will feature the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant, ZOE. This artificial intelligence guest service will answer guest questions in the comfort of their cabin alongside a ground-breaking feature of connected cruise experience, MSC for Me.
· Designed as a ship for all seasons, MSC Grandiosa will spend winter in the Mediterannean. With less visitors and the perfect winter sun weather, this is the ideal time of year to discover some of the top destinations throughout Italy, France and Spain without the crowds.
Michelle Hunziker commented, “I am delighted to be part of the christening ceremony of MSC Grandiosa in Hamburg. Since the christening of MSC Seaview last year, I feel a part of the MSC family. I am particularly pleased that the christening is taking place in Germany. I have met great people here and celebrated many professional successes. For me, Germany means a piece of home and Hamburg has such a wonderful maritime heritage, it will be an honour to become a part of it. I am also looking forward to discovering everything that this new and stunning ship has to offer.”
MSC Grandiosa is the third ship of the innovative Meraviglia generation and the first of the Meraviglia-Plus class. She will become the fifth new next-generation ship MSC Cruises has launched in just two and a half years as part of MSC Cruises’ investment plan of €13.6 billion spanning more than 10 years. MSC Grandiosa will be followed by a further 12 ships through to 2027 with her sister ship, MSC Virtuosa launching next October 2020.
Meraviglia generation ships have been designed to meet every need of today’s cruise guest. The extraordinary design, wide array of facilities and entertainment make these ships ideal for the whole family. Designed for all seasons, they are able to call at most of the world’s international cruise ports.
Last year I was fortunate to get a glimpse of MSC Grandiosa under construction at in Saint Nazaire when I visited the shipyard to see MSC Bellissima float out.
MSC Cruises have also announced that following her christening in Hamburg MSC Grandiosa will visit Southampton on 13th November, afterwhich she will sail on her maiden cruise to the Mediterranean with calls at Lisbon, Barcelona, Marseille and finally Genoa.
As always thank you for taking the time to read my blog
New terminal will provide enhanced end-to-end customer experience for the benefit of both embarking and disembarking MSC Cruises guests
MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company, announced today details of a new highly-innovative cruise terminal at PortMiami that will support its expanding presence in North America and in the Caribbean in particular.
As per the terms of the agreement, which has today received approval from the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, MSC Cruises will design, construct, operate and maintain a large building that hosts two cruise terminals (AA and AAA) as well as two berths. Designed by the award-winning global architecture firm Arquitectonica, MSC Cruises’ exclusive new PortMiami terminals will be capable of hosting two mega cruise ships at the same time, allowing the Company to conduct two turnaround operations simultaneously, handling up to 28,000 passenger movements per day.
The company revealed the details during the Seatrade Cruise Global cruise conference in Miami, the world’s leading cruise conference. Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, said: “With another 13 cruise vessels due to join our fleet in the next eight years, our ambition is to have our most innovative ship classes represented at PortMiami, bringing a wealth of choice to our North American as well as international guests.
“In particular, the new terminal – which will be one of the most innovative the industry has seen – will ensure that we can provide our guests an enhanced end-to-end high-quality experience while both embarking and disembarking, thus adding to their ability to fully enjoy every moment of their vacation.”
MSC Cruises currently operates four vessels out of PortMiami: MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia year-round; MSC Divina seasonally; and MSC Meraviglia, which will join the ships sailing from Miami this fall, seasonally. With the new cruise facilities, MSC Cruises will bring a total 1 million guests through PortMiami each year.
Work on the new terminals is due to commence in early 2020. MSC Cruises currently estimates that the work will be completed by late 2022, at which time the Company will transfer all its PortMiami operations to the new Terminal.
MSC currently operates three vessels out of PortMiami, MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia year-round and MSC Divina seasonally. This will increase to four when MSC Meraviglia begins sailing seasonally from Miami in the autumn.
The announcement from MSC is one of a wave of new terminals in the pipeline at PortMiami, earlier this year Virgin Voyages announced they would build a new terminal while both NCL and Royal Caribbean have launched new terminals.
Have you cruised from Miami? its another one on my ever growing bucket list!!
· Two original, unique shows available only on board MSC Bellissima
· Cirque du Soleil continues to push creative boundaries with the introduction of breathtaking new stagecraft and performances
Geneva, Switzerland, 10th April 2019 – Cirque du Soleil at Sea is a unique entertainment concept created by MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately owned cruise line, and Cirque du Soleil, the world leader in live entertainment. In March 2019, two brand new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, SYMA and VARÉLIA, launched on board MSC Cruises’ new flagship, MSC Bellissima. The leading cruise line has revealed today details of the inspiration and creative process behind these two original new shows along with the exclusive first images of the spectacular performances.
Every element of each new Cirque du Soleil at Sea show is unique from the concept and storyline, the characters, the costumes and makeup through to the music, staging and sound effects. The concepts are first developed by the experienced and talented creative team based at Cirque du Soleil’s international headquarters in Montreal, Canada. Following a rigorous casting process and intensive ideation workshops, the shows are then refined and brought to life on board the ship in the custom-built entertainment venue, the Carousel Lounge, designed to meet the specific needs of Cirque du Soleil.
The long-term partnership will result in eight original shows that can only be seen on board the Meraviglia class ships. Each ship will offer two brand new contrasting shows to deliver a truly unique and intimate experience for MSC Cruises guests.
SYMA is a fantastical odyssey into the heart of an imaginary world, and the search for a mysterious island inhabited by phantasmagorical creatures. The guests on board MSC Bellissima are embarking on a journey of discovery, just like the main character of the show. Immersive video images, an original set design, bioluminescent lighting and acrobatic feats make SYMA an unforgettable show.
VARÉLIA is a tale of modern chivalry where love and courage triumph over the greatest divides. A medieval tale with a futuristic twist, VARÉLIA follows a classic story arc in a cartoonesque world which adds a humoristic touch. Audiences will delight in the acrobatic feats, the laser show and the unique set design.
With these two new shows, Cirque du Soleil continues to push creative boundaries with the introduction of innovations in staging, makeup, costumes and performances. Some of the highlights include:
The Underwater Creatures characters in SYMA have ultraviolet iridescent makeup, which, along with parts of their costume, glow under special lights built into the custom-made Carousel Lounge
The creative team have used video projection mapping for the first time in SYMA to project content onto tangible set elements and props on stage to add yet another visual element to the show. This technology enhances the guest experience by animating static objects and surfaces.
The finale of VARÉLIA includes a breathtaking roller skating duo spinning at incredibly high speeds while completing complex tricks. This, coupled with an aerial hoop duo, creates a spectacular floor-to-ceiling climax.
Laser lights are used in VARÉLIA to create a futuristic and changing set design. They convey the theme and atmosphere of the show. With a strong focus on aesthetic principles the lasers create graphic figures and illusions where Cirque du Soleil at Sea artists can thrive.
Cirque du Soleil at Sea can be booked in advance at a reduced rate or whilst on board during the cruise for any remaining seats. Guests can either book to enjoy a three-course menu of palate-pleasing dishes served before the show (€35), or sip on a specialty cocktail (€15) and enjoy the pre-show that begins 30 minutes before the start of the Cirque du Soleil at Sea performance.
MSC Meraviglia was the first ship to debut the new Cirque du Soleil at Sea concept with the launch of the two shows VIAGGIO and SONOR in June 2017 and recently celebrated the 1,000th performance on board., Work is already underway for the next shows for MSC Grandiosa, that will launch in November 2019.
About Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is a world leader in live entertainment. On top of producing world-renowned circus arts shows, the Canadian organization brings its creative approach to a large variety of entertainment forms such as multimedia productions, immersive experiences, theme parks and special events. It currently has 4,500 employees from nearly 70 countries. Going beyond its various creations, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group aims to make a positive impact on people, communities and the planet with its most important tools: creativity and art.
Cirque du Soleil at sea was originally launched onboard MSC Meraviglia with two shows VIAGGIO and SONARin June 2017, at the end of March this year they celebrated the 1000th performance.
At the beginning of March I was very lucky to see a brief example shows onboard MSC Bellissima during her christening in Southampton, what I saw looked incredible and I hope to see a full show sometime.