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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All of CO2 emissions from MSC Cruises’ fleet to be offset as of 1 January 2020 through high-grade that will increasingly rely on Blue carbon credits
Announcement comes as part of a broader vision to support UN Sustainable Development Goals and in tandem with continued investments in the accelerated development of advanced environmental technology that will allow for zero-emissions ship operations
The environment is something very close to my heart and as I work in the shipping industry any news of companies working to reduce the impact on the environment is of great interest to me, so I was very pleased to see the announcement by MSC Cruises yesterday that it is to become the first global cruise line to go carbon neutral.
How does a company become Carbon Neutral?
Becoming carbon neutral is achieved by calculating a carbon footprint and reducing it to zero through a combination of in-house efficiency measures and funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world through carbon offsetting projects.
What is carbon offsetting?
Each and everyone of us has a carbon footprint, from individuals to organisations, and quite simply our carbon footprint is defined as the total emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. If a cruise line was to reduce its carbon footprint then the easiest steps could be to stop using single use plastics, invest in ship-shore power technology while in port and use power saving technology onboard its ships. Once these steps have been taken carbon offsetting is the way for the company to take full responsibility for its residual carbon emissions, e.g. by paying or investing into projects that aim to reduce the amount of C02 in the atmosphere with schemes like planting trees, renewable energy etc.
MSC Cruises announced that it will will offset all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions. All costs for the offsets as well as any other associated items will be covered directly and in full by the Company.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman said:“Our focus on innovation since we built our first cruise ships only in 2003 ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing. And, thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29% reduction in carbon intensity (rate) by 2024 vs. 2008, well on our way to meet the 40% reduction target set for 2030.
“Additionally, last week we announced that the LNG-powered fuel cells PACBOAT project will be hosted on board MSC Europa – the first of 5 LNG-powered cruise ships that are due to join our fleet. This is not only a world-first for a technology that promises to be most efficient for high-power maritime operations but also yet another concrete example of our firm commitment to partner and support the accelerated development of the next-generation technologies that will lead us and this industry to zero-emissions ship operations.”
“As we recognize that today’s even most advanced maritime environmental technology alone is insufficient to immediately reach carbon neutrality, the further commitment we make today ensures that our fleet makes no negative contribution to climate change, starting 1 January 2020. We are a company with over 300 years of maritime heritage and an historical focus on the long-term that is especially typical of family-owned businesses like ours. For us, this is another step forward in our long-standing commitment to protecting the oceans, the destinations we visit and the port communities we touch.”
All new ships that have joined the fleet since 2017 MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa have been fitted with ship-to-shore power, also known as “cold ironing” this technology allows the ship to plug directly into the ports electrical supply rather than keep their generators running.
Mr Vago added: “We will work with leading providers in carbon credits able to offset CO2 emissions with the highest level of integrity. Our vision is to also invest in projects that provide quantifiable community benefits, protect the environment and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
In particular, MSC Cruises aims to develop a carbon offset portfolio that incorporates projects which protect and restore Ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs. As Blue Carbon projects focused mainly on coastal habitats are currently scarce, MSC Cruises will itself support the development of what aims to become the first carbon credits to be generated from the earth’s vast ocean, constituting an important new means for protecting and enhancing marine biodiversity and to support communities that rely on the highly pressurized resources of the sea.
Mr Vago concluded:“Blue carbon offsets will be a specific area of focus of our commitment to ensure carbon neutrality with immediate effect. We will put our people and our resources to work to also support the development of the specific type of projects, and the enabling certification processes, that can generate this innovative form of offsets which directly benefit the oceans and communities that live by the sea. As more of these become available, we will steadily increase our reliance on them as an additional area of focus within our overall long-term commitment to achieving zero-emissions operations.”
MSC Cruises’ commitment to delivering zero-emissions operations also includes a specific focus on energy efficiency and other aspects of its end-to-end operations beyond emissions. In particular, since 2017 all MSC Cruises new ships come equipped with ship-to-shore power facilities, a feature that would allow cruise ships to immediately go “zero-emissions” in any port that is ready for this technology. And this will provide even greater overall benefit when the ultimate source of shore power is renewable.
Currently, MSC Grandiosa and 10 other ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet of 17 ships are equipped for cleaner emissions with hybrid EGCS’ (Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems) which remove 98 percent of sulphur dioxide from a ship’s exhausts.
The line’s six other ships will be retrofitted with the technology by the end of 2021, the company said, and until then will rely on the use of low sulphur fuels to always fully comply with the strictest current and new maritime regulations.
Details of MSC Cruises’ carbon neutral initiative was revealed at a dedicated media briefing on board MSC Grandiosa, MSC Cruises’ newest flagship and one of the most environmentally-advanced ships at sea yet. MSC Grandiosa was delivered to the Company only last week. On the same day, MSC Cruises started construction on MSC Europa, its first of five liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ships that will come into service between 2022 and 2027.
MSC Europa first World Class ship Image: MSC Cruises
MSC Grandiosa and MSC Europa together represent significant additional progress in terms of delivering against MSC Cruises’ objective to minimize and continuously lowering its fleet environmental footprint.
I am excited to be joining MSC Grandiosa for an overnight stay on board in Southampton on Tuesday so be sure to follow my social media channels for updates.
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.
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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
For my very first post I have some exciting news, although if you already follow Cruise Ship Profiles on twitter or Instagram you will already be aware that on 2nd March I will be attending the christening of MSC Bellissima in Southampton.
In what will be one of the biggest events for the port it will also be the first christening in the UK for MSC Cruises and is set to be their biggest ever to date.
I am on board for two days and hoping to be posting updates on both twitter and Instagram over both days.
My invitation arrived inside a sugar glass champagne bottle, with the idea being that all guests could all have their own Sophia Loren moment when smashing it! however my plan to capture the moment didn’t quite work out!
I am so excited to see MSC Bellissima again and step on board to see how beautiful she looks now she is finished. In June last year I was among a number of journalists and other cruise, travel bloggers who were invited by MSC Cruises to visit the Chantiers De l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire. We were there to attend the steel cutting for MSC Virtuosa, coin ceremony for MSC Grandiosa and the float out ceremony for MSC Bellissima.
The visit gave us the opportunity to take a look around MSC Bellissima and see how construction was progressing. To say I was in my element was an understatement! as my interest also includes the technical side of the ships themselves, so to get the chance to three ships at different stages of construction was truly surreal experience.
I plan to write about my visit to the ship yard at a later date but in the meantime check out my two part video story of my visit.