MSC Cruises has held a dual celebration at STX France’s Saint-Nazaire yard with a keel-laying and coin ceremony for MSC Bellissima, and a steel-cutting ceremony for its first Meraviglia-Plus-class ship.
STX France laid the first block of keel for MSC Bellissima and welded two commemorative coins to the steel to bring good fortune to the ship.
The line’s second Meraviglia-class ship, which is set to debut in March 2019, is a 167,600GT vessel that will be a sister to MSC Meraviglia and will accommodate more than 5,700 guests.
The shipyard also cut the steel for the first Meraviglia-Plus class ship, which MSC said would be named MSC Grandiosa when launched in November 2019.
The 331-metre-long vessel will have capacity for 6,334 guests and will feature the first fine art museum at sea. Another highlight onboard both ships will be Cirque du Soleil at Sea.
MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa are part of a €9.0 billion (US$10.6 billion) investment that will triple MSC Cruises’ capacity with the introduction of 11 new ships in three classes (Meraviglia class, Seaside class and World class) over the next decade.
The Meraviglia-Plus ships will feature hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, SCR-catalysts, waste management and recycling capabilities, emission-reducing energy and heat recovery systems, and wastewater treatment systems.
“The Meraviglia generation of ships is already setting a new standard for the cruise industry and is just one of the three brand new prototypes that we have designed to bring the cruise guest experience to the next level,” said Vago.
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