On Tuesday morning (11th November) the port of Southampton welcomed MSC Cruises newest flagship the brand new MSC Grandiosa on her inaugural visit to the UK’s no.1 cruise port.
Just two days after she was christened in Hamburg her visit to Southampton is part of a series of inaugural celebrations as she heads to the Mediterranean to start her maiden season.
MSC’s new flagship
With a length of 331 metres, 181,541GRT and with a maximum capacity of 6334 guests, MSC Grandiosa is the first of the new Meraviglia-plus class and is now the largest ship in MSC Cruises ever growing fleet.
According to the line she is also one of the most environmentally friendly ships at sea and features a host of technology including closed loop Hybrid Exhaust cleaning system (EGCS) which reduces SOx exhaust emissions, Ballast water treatment system, energy-saving LED lighting throughout, and shore-to-ship power technology all of which are designed to reduce the ships impact on the environment.
Along with 500 travel agents, travel media and a host of other UK cruise bloggers I was invited by MSC Cruises for an overnight stay on board to take a look around and to sample what MSC Grandiosa has to offer.
As usual MSC now how to put on a party an following on from the success of local musician Craig David at the MSC Bellissima event earlier in the year MSC invited another famous Southampton local to play none other than Radio One DJ Scott Mills who went to Crestwood School in Eastleigh rocked the galleria grandiosa with an hour long set of music.
MSC Grandiosa was originally due to sail for Barcelona the following day however due the forecast of severe storms in the Bay of Biscay her stay has been extended, and she sailed for Barcelona 0700hrs this morning.
I will be posting a full ship review, and video coming soon.
As always thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.
In a dazzling event in the port of Hamburg last night MSC Cruises christened MSC Grandiosa, its newest, most environmentally-advanced flagship, on the fourth and final night of celebrations in the Blue Port. Part of the cruise line’s largest and longest christening event ever, this part of MSC Grandiosa’s series of celebrations which span 27 days, 8 countries and 11 ports and will engage over 14,000 travel agents from around the world. Following on from the Christening, MSC Grandiosa will embark on a grand tour, visiting Southampton, UK, Lisbon, Portugal, Barcelona, Spain, Marseille France and Genoa, Italy, before commencing her usual 7-night cruises on 23 November.
It’s an extraordinary welcome for an extraordinary ship. Designed to ensure even cleaner air emissions and improved overall environmental performance both at sea and ashore, MSC Grandiosa is equipped with advanced cutting-edge technologies and sets a new standard for sustainability at sea.
On board, guests of all ages and interests will find something exciting waiting, including:
Two original new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea exclusive to MSC Cruises guests
A 93-metre-long Mediterranean Promenade lined with international shops and restaurants
An immersive art experience featuring etchings from Edgar Degas’ Danse Dessin series
Dedicated children’s areas designed in partnership with Chicco and LEGO
The world’s first virtual digital cruise assistant – ZOE – in every cabin
Since arriving in Hamburg on 6th November, MSC Grandiosa has been the subject and star of an immersive lightshow at the German city’s Blue Port. Spectacular light installations by renowned artist Michael Batz have bathed the port in shades of blue reminiscent of the sea to symbolise MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to the ocean, and MSC Grandiosa’s striking silhouette can be seen shimmering alongside the famous Elbphilharmonie on Hamburg’s Elbe river.
The traditional Christening ceremony took place in different locations across the ship, and the proceedings will be hosted by talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer, Michelle Hunziker alongside co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of Germany’s favorite entertainers.
HAMBURG, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 09: Michelle Hunziker attends the launch of the MSC Grandiosa Naming Ceremony on November 09, 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images for MSC)
HAMBURG, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 09: Ramon Freixa attends the MSC Grandiosa Naming Ceremony on November 09, 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images for MSC)
The festivities didn’t stop there – a purpose-built “MSC Village” on the banks of the River Elbe will brought the festivities to shore, welcoming 5,000 locals to experience the christening from land with live music and food trucks. Guests were joined by the popular German TV couple and even hosts Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale.
The evening’s main spectacle occurred as MSC Grandiosa passed the Elbphilharmonie just as a special light show illuminates the building and ship. She’ll then take centre stage on the River Elbe as Godmother Sophia Loren officially names her 15th MSC Cruises ship, followed by a celebratory firework display. MSC Grandiosa will then pass through a spectacular gateway of blue night returning to her dock, symbolising the new ship’s entry to the world.
Guests onboard will then enjoy a gourmet four course menu created by renowned 3 Michelin starred German chef Harald Wohlfahrt at the Gala Dinner. The menu for guests will start with Chilled king crab salad with crustacean coulis and imperial caviar or Guinea fowl napoleon with apple-ginger quenelle, Riesling gelée and brioche. Next up will be the traditional German dish, “Maultasche” – pasta filled with winter truffles and pistou sauce. The main dish will Oven-roasted turbot in a saffron-mussel fumet and vegetable mélange or Duo of veal tenderloin and braised cheek, tender savoy cabbage, glazed carrot and roasted herb jus. Finishing off the gourmet feast, guests can choose a Pistachio parfait with orange granité and exotic fruit cocktail or Chocolate tart with caramelised pears and vanilla-mascarpone ice cream.
Guests then danced into the night in the Galleria Grandiosa, the ship’s iconic 93-metre-long Mediterranean promenade where popular German DJ Mousse T. and from British singer Emma Lanford will perform.
MSC Grandiosa will commence her regular 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean from 23rd November with six embarkation ports calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.
I am lucky enough to be joining MSC Grandiosa during her visit to Southampton on Tuesday, so be sure to follow my social media channels for updates and images.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest post.
· 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.
· MSC Grandiosa will feature three brand new activities: MSC Dance Crew, The Drone Academy and Spy Mission
· Cruise line introduces new web series developed specifically for teens: Cabin 12006
· MasterChef at Sea Juniors rolling out fleetwide in 2019
Debuting onboard MSC Grandiosa, the Company’s new flagship launching in November this year.
Each year, MSC Cruises welcomes over 350,000 children onboard its ships, with a comprehensive entertainment schedule offering hundreds of hours of activities each week, up to 700 m2 of dedicated kids space with rooms for different age groups as well as exhilarating aqua parks, high-tech virtual games arcade and much much more. The Company is now introducing three brand new activities to MSC Grandiosa, MSC Dance Crew, The Drone Academy and Spy Mission, as well as introducing a new web series targeted at teenagers.
Matteo Mancini, MSC Cruises’ Children’s Entertainment Manager commented: “The growing number of teens sailing with us, 13-17 year olds now make up 40% of our young guests – this has driven our development of exciting new teen-focused entertainment activities and a new web series dedicated to teens. We are delighted to launch MSC Dance Crew, Spy Mission and The Drone Academy onboard MSC Grandiosa later this year, and announce that filming is underway for ‘Cabin 12006’ – our new teens web series coming online early next year.”
NEW KIDS ENTERTAINMENT ACTIVITIES LAUNCHING ON MSC GRANDIOSA
MSC DANCE CREW – developed in partnership with Fremantle, the production company behind the globally successful TV talent shows including Idols, The X Factor and Got Talent series, this brand-new competition experience sees teams of 12-17 years battling it out to win the title of dance crew of the year.
MSC Cruises is working in collaboration with London-based immersive agency, The Department, who specialise in creating theatrical and technology-driven productions for a host of global brands and companies to introduce:
o THE DRONE ACADEMY – taking place in MSC Grandiosa’s Sportsplex venue, this high-tech and high-energy drone relay race comes to life at night thanks to fluo effects and glowing drones. Teens are trained on drone piloting skills before competing in teams to race through the 390m2 arena navigating 15 obstacles in the quickest time possible.
o SPY MISSION – young audiences play a central role in a new, immersive, roaming spy experience, a first for MSC Cruises. Blending the lines between reality and fiction; guests are led through a number of different scenes, taking place throughout the ship to unravel unique storylines, follow clues and solve the mystery to win a host of MSC Cruises prizes.
NEW TEENS WEB SERIES ‘CABIN 12006’ LAUCNHING EARLY 2020
Following the success of ‘Kelly & Kloe Onboard’, MSC Cruises’ kids web seasons, running for three series and attracting over five million views, the Company is now introducing a brand-new web series targeted at teens.
The seven-episode series follows teenager Markus as he embarks on his first ever cruise – however, his holiday doesn’t quite go to plan and turns into an unexpected adventure…
MSC Bellissima’s Cabin 12006 is full of unanswered questions and many surprises, and it’s down to Markus and his friend Lucas to solve the mystery with the help of virtual personal cruise assistant ZOE. Meanwhile, two young guys dreaming of a career onboard a cruise ship come aboard for a unique internship and unintentionally get tangled in the story thanks to an unexpected whirlwind love story.
The series has been written and shot in collaboration with Viacom, the media group behind kids’ channel Nickelodeon, to develop an original, authentic and high-quality web series for kids.
Those who have followed the Kelly & Kloe series will be glad to hear that the two main characters also make appearances throughout ‘Cabin 12006’.
Filming is currently underway onboard MSC Bellissima, with the episodes expected to launch early in 2020. For those who haven’t seen ‘Kelly & Kloe Onboard’, head over to kellyandkloe.com now to watch all three seasons.
MASTERCHEF AT SEA JUNIORS
Throughout 2019, MasterChef at Sea Juniors that launched last October on MSC Seaview is rolling out across the entire MSC Cruises fleet, meaning that kids on board any ship will be able to take part in the interactive two-stage cooking competition.
This activity is developed to help inspire a new generation of children to take an interest in cooking and encourage healthy eating. The activity helps children to practice useful techniques and cultivate creativity in the kitchen through recipes devised by Rukmini Iyer, a MasterChef contestant from 2013 and author of two best-selling cookbooks.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MSC CRUISES KIDS’ OFFERING
These elements are just the latest enhancement to MSC Cruises’ award winning* family offering that already includes:
The LEGO Experience on-board – a whole day on every cruise itinerary that is dedicated to fun LEGO® activities, which culminates in the children receiving a Jr. LEGO® Master Builder diploma
DOREBRO – a dedicated sports programme for kids of all ages
A range of services for babies and toddlers: including the Baby-Club for children under 3 as well as a dedicated childcare service. Many of these services are offered in collaboration with Chicco® – the leading global baby brand and yet another exclusive MSC Cruises partnership.
Family Explorer Club – tailor-made shore excursion programme to meet the needs of the whole family
With the first half of 2019, being busy with 12 new cruise ships delivered to various owners the second half of 2019 looks to be just as busy. According to the latest cruise ship order book there are a another 12 new ships set for delivery in the second half of the year, with an average of two ships being delivered each month..
The remaining order book is valued at around $5.5 billion with an estimated 24,190 new berths entering service. Of the ships yet to be delivered, five are expedition vessels and one is LNG-fuelled ship.
2019 New cruise ships
Take a look at what new ships are due for delivery:
Spirit of Discovery
Capacity: 1,000 Guests
Constructed by Meyer Werft in Papenburg Saga’s first-ever new build, the Spirit of Discovery was delivered in mid-June ahead of her inaugural cruise from Dover in July. Departing from Dover on July 10th, the new ship’s first voyage is aptly named British First, circumnavigating the UK and adding calls to Ireland.
All Saga Discovery ship’s 540 staterooms have private balconies, which also means that the ship has no Inside cabins. Cabin categories include Standard Balcony, Deluxe Balcony, Mid-ship Suites and larger Panorama Suites. 100 single cabins are specifically designed for solo travellers (can be booked with single-occupancy rates and without single supplement), which is approx. 20% of ship’s total capacity.
Le Dumont d’Urville will be the fourth in Ponant’s six-ship Explorer-class of expedition vessels. Named after the French explorer and naval officer who explored the south and western Pacific, Australia. The Dumont d’Urville scientific station in Antarctica is named after him.
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. the ship will have reinforced hulls for when sailing in polar regions and an aft marina for when it’s in tropical destinations.
Standout features on Le Dumont d’Urville will be an aft marina and the underwater Blue Eye Lounge. The marina, located at the back of Deck 3, gives cruisers easy access to the ship’s fleet of Zodiacs, as well as for entering the water (conditions permitting) for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding.
Named after the Australian mountaineer, the “Greg Mortimer” is a modern, purpose-built vessel designed specifically for expedition cruising, and is the first polar expedition vessel in SunStone Ships’ INFINITY series. Being constructed the CMHI yard in Shenzhen China. Four firm contracts have so far been signed, and six options. The INFINITY Class vessels are 104.4 m long and 18.4 m wide. They have a passenger capacity of 130-200, and a crew capacity of 85-115, and are built to the ice standard PC5, Cat B. The most striking feature is the X-BOW®, an inverted bow which results in smoother sailing and increased efficiency. Rather than rising over and then dropping onto waves like a traditional ship, the X-BOW® pierces through them, splitting the wave’s energy.
Constructed by the Uljanik Group in Croatia “Scenic Eclipse” is a six-star, ultra-luxury mega yacht developed by Australian river cruise operator Scenic. It is the first ocean cruise ship for the company, which specialises in luxury river cruises. The yacht will carry 228 guests (restricted to 200 in Polar Regions) in 114 all-veranda suites. It will carry a crew of 172 for normal regions and 182 for Polar Regions.
The Magellan Explorer was constructed in Chile and will be primarily used for fly-in voyages, with a maximum of 100 passengers it will be sail with 73 passengers for the season, which is the exact number of seats the company has on its plane that flies to King George Island. The ship features comfortable and spacious cabins, with twin, queen or king-size beds. The ship also features dedicated single cabins. All cabins except the Porthole category feature a private balcony and separate sitting area.
The 230-passenger cruise ship Hanseatic Inspiration is the second of three identical ships under construction by Norwegian company VARD Holdings Ltd (a subsidiary of Fincantieri) at Tulcea shipyard (Romania). The vessel has ice-class PC6 (highest for passenger ships) and offers 5-star premium hotel service and amenities, gourmet cuisine, large staterooms, and public spaces. The HANSEATIC inspiration will be an international ship, with all cruises conducted in both English and German.
The second of carnivals groups Excellence-Helios class ships is currently under construction at Meyer Werft, Turku shipyard in Finland. Costa Cruises will take delivery its new LNG powered flagship in October. Costa Smeralda’s itinerary program is based on 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises sailing round trip from the Italian homeports Rome-Civitavecchia, Savona, Barcelona, and Marseille. To be able to handle the large cruise liner, Port Savona’s terminal had to be modified. In 2020, two other Carnival brands will take delivery of the same class of ships as Carnival Mardi Gras & Iona enter service.
Sky Princess is the fourth Royal-class vessel all of which have been constructed by the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri at its Monfalcone Shipyard. The class offers a unique glass-enclosed walkway over the ocean known as the SeaWalk. There are 1539 staterooms in 38 categories. 36 are the wheelchair-accessible rooms. The ship will also debut the new and innovative Princess Sky Suites. After a three-day preview cruise from Port Everglades, the new ship launches alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 7, 2019 – April 4, 2020.
Norwegian Encore is the fourth and final ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway plus Class. Currently under construction at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Papenburg, and is the 13th ship built for NCL at Meyer Werft. Norwegian Encore will feature a two-level race track that is larger than the go-“karts at sea” tracks featured on Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy. After her debut in Miami, the Encore will head to Seattle in 2021, sailing seven-day cruises to Alaska.
The first of MSC’s MSC Meraviglia-plus class MSC Grandiosa is under currently construction at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint Nazaire. She is able to accommodate 6334 passengers with 75% of all staterooms featuring private balconies. MSC Grandiosa deck plans feature “cluster cabins” (up to 3 connecting staterooms for families) allowing up to three rooms to be interlinked for max capacity 10 guests. The vessel will spend her inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean. The ship will offer a seven-night sailing calling in Genoa, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille, with its first cruise sailing from Genoa on November 16, 2019.
Capacity: 4,000 Guests
The third Vista class ship for Carnival Cruises was originally ordered for P&O Cruises Australia, but in December 2016 was changed to Carnival. She is being constructed by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard in Italy. As with the previous sister ships Carnival Panorama features 1965 cabins, of which 48 percent of the staterooms on board have balconies. For the first time in its history, the cruise line announced that the ship would feature a female cruise director with British-born Emma Nixon taking the role. The ship will sail from Long Beach, California, offering seven-day Mexican Riviera itineraries. She will be Carnival’s first new ship homeport on the West Coast in more than 20 years.
Currently under construction at the Brodosplit Shipyard in Croatia, the ‘Flying Clipper’, is 162 meters long and 18.5 meters wide with a deadweight of 2000 tons. The ship will have five masts and sails with an overall surface of 6.347 square meters, making it the largest sailing ship in the world. Flying Clipper has five decks, with accommodation for 450 persons, of which 300 are passengers in 150 luxury cabins, and 74 crew cabins for 150 crewmembers.