Le Havre Planning More Cruise Terminals

MSC named its new Meraviglia last year in Le Havre

Le Havre is expecting 140 cruise calls this year and 420,000 cruise passengers, said Jean-Baptiste Gastinne, president of Le Havre Cruise Club.

Those numbers are up from last year and include 40 turnarounds, made up of 22 calls by the MSC Magnifica, 12 from the Royal Princess, as well as turns from Costa Cruises and Rivages du Monde.

The 2017 season was closed out by the Artania, which was on a Christmas cruise, becoming the 129th vessel to visit and rounding the passenger number for 2017 off to 397,522

The port facilities can easily handle three large cruise ships at once, said Gastinne, with virtually no size limits and a generous water depth of 10.5 meters.

There is no shortage of shore excursions for passengers, with both Normandy and Paris nearby.

Terminal 12 will get an upgrade in time for the 2019 season, enhancing its footprint for turnaround operations for big cruise ships.

“Thanks to the strong relationships with other cruise destinations in Northern Europe, we have driven visibility to the region and we now benefit from regular calls from cruise lines, which used to stop only for seasonal repositioning in the past,” noted Gastinne.

As the industry grows, Le Havre hopes to add three additional cruise terminals with the aim of welcoming up to four mega-ships at once and hosting two simultaneous turnarounds. 800,000 passengers annually by 2023 is not unrealistic, Gastinne noted.

STX France reveals newly-christened MSC Meraviglia’s ‘advanced’ propulsion

Exclusive: STX France reveals newly-christened <i>MSC Meraviglia</i>’s ‘advanced’ propulsion
MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia, built by STX France, has been christened

MSC Cruises’ 171,598gt MSC Meraviglia has been christened at Le Havre, France. As well as being the largest ship belonging to a European shipowner, it has an advanced, “very ambitious” propulsion plant and is the first of MSC Cruises’ fleet to debut digital innovation programme ‘MSC For Me’.

STX France vice president of projects Stéphane Cordier told PST: “From a building efficiency standpoint, the construction of this prototype was extremely smooth; the overall design and architecture of ship developed very efficiently and according to schedule.”

One of the main standout features is MSC For Me, which will be rolled out across the fleet and debuts on MSC Meraviglia.

MSC Meraviglia will be powered by an all-electrical plant consisting of four 12-cylinder diesel engines. Mr Cordier said this arrangement was “very ambitious”. Usually ships of this size have five or six engines.

Singling out the benefits of MSC Meraviglia’s engine arrangement, he said: “The limited number of machines allows them to run at higher power, contributes to the general efficiency and is a more compact arrangement.”

“We have an ambitious vision for the future and MSC Meraviglia marks the start of the second phase of growth for our company,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman in a statement. “For this reason, this evening is an extremely proud moment for all of us at MSC Cruises as we see the first of our next-generation ships being named.”

“The new ships that we are building — between 2017 and 2020 alone, we will receive six new ships — are purpose-built, featuring innovation in both product and design, as well as the very latest-cutting edge marine and consumer-facing technology to create unforgettable holiday experiences at sea for guests of all ages. MSC Meraviglia is the first to make this vision come to life, as it sets a new standard for cruise ships as a destination in itself.”