Latest MSC Cruises ship floated out at the shipyard

Latest MSC Cruises ship floated out at shipyard

The latest in a series of new MSC Cruises ships have been floated out at its shipyard in France.

MSC Virtuosa is the second Meraviglia-Plus vessel following MSC Grandiosa and will now move docks at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire for further construction and fitting until delivery in October 2020.

The float out follows the delivery in October of MSC Grandiosa as well as the steel cutting ceremony on the same day of MSC Europa.

MSC Virtuosa will be the second ship in the company’s fleet to have a selective catalytic reduction system and next-generation advanced wastewater treatment system to minimise the environmental footprint and ensure cleaner air emissions.

The catalytic reduction technology aims to help reduce nitrogen oxide by 80% by converting it into harmless nitrogen and water.

MSC Virtuosa will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power which connects it to a port’s local power grid to further reduce air emissions.

The line will soon reveal exact details of the features onboard MSC Virtuosa.

But like MSC Grandiosa, the ship will have a promenade lined with restaurants and shops underneath a 93 metre-long LED Sky Screen, two new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea and the Zoe personal cruise assistant in every cabin.

The ship’s maiden voyage will be a seven-night six-port western Mediterranean cruise in November 2020 from Genoa, Italy.

After a winter season in the Mediterranean, MSC Virtuosa will be deployed in summer 2021 to Northern Europe with itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.

The third of three Meraviglia-Plus ships, yet to be named, will enter service in 2023 and be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

MSC Cruises is spending €5 billion to build five LNG-powered ships with the first ‘world class’ type named MSC Europa entering service in May 2022.

The line plans to expand its fleet to 25 ships by 2027 at a cost of €11.6 billion.

MSC Grandiosa Makes First Call to Valletta

MSC Grandiosa in Valletta

The Port of Valletta today welcomed the first call of MSC Grandiosa as a ceremony was held on MSC’s newest ship to commemorate her maiden call.

Stephen Xuereb, Valletta Cruise Port’s CEO and Global Ports Holding COO, said: “We are proud to welcome MSC Grandiosa on her maiden call to Valletta Cruise Port and to be hosting her on another five calls during this year as part of her inaugural season. Next year she will call Malta on another 43 occasions. On behalf of both Valletta Cruise Port and Global Ports Holding, we congratulate MSC Cruises on their achievements and look forward to many more years of fruitful joint cooperation and partnerships.”

Angelo Capurro, MSC Cruises’ Sales Executive Director, said: “Our cruise ships have served Malta for over 20 years, bringing hundreds of thousands of tourists to its shores. Today, we are proud to bring our latest and most innovative cruise ship to Valletta, to her port of registry, which she will regularly visit for the next 12 months. We look forward to bringing many more of our guests to this beautiful island in years to come, in partnership with Malta and its people.

The MSC Grandiosa will be deployed in the Western Mediterranean for the next 12 months before she is deployed to South America for the winter 2020 season.

MSC Grandiosa Is Christened

From the Grandiosa christening

MSC Cruises has christened the MSC Grandiosa in the city of Hamburg on the fourth and final night of celebrations in the Blue Port as Sophia Loren named her 15th MSC Cruises ship.

Since arriving in Hamburg on Nov. 6, MSC Grandiosa has been the subject and star of an immersive light show. The traditional christening ceremony took place in different locations across the ship, and the proceedings were hosted by talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer, Michelle Hunziker alongside co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of Germany’s favourite entertainers.

From the Grandiosa christening

The festivities included a purpose-built “MSC Village” on the banks of the River Elbe will bring the festivities to shore, welcoming 5,000 locals to experience the christening from land with live music and food trucks. Guests be joined by the popular German TV couple Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale who will act as presenters and hosts.

The evening’s main spectacle occurred as MSC Grandiosa passed the Elbphilharmonie just as a special light show illuminated the building and ship. She then took centre stage on the River Elbe as Godmother Sophia Loren officially named the vessel.

From the Grandiosa christening

The MSC Grandiosa starts her seven-night program in the Western Mediterranean on Nov. 26 with six embarkation ports calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

Photos: Vallbracht for MSC Cruises