At the steel-cutting ceremony for the first of the next generation of MSC cruise ships at STX St Nazaire on 20 April, the name of the new ship was announced as MSC Meraviglia. Due for delivery in May 2017, this 167,600-ton vessel will become MSC Cruises largest to date and be capable of accommodating 4,500 guests.

Meanwhile, the lengthening process for the four oldest and smallest ships in the fleet continues. The 2002-built MSC Sinfonia (ex-European Stars) completed her refit at Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard around 25 March, emerging with a new gross tonnage of 65,542 compared with the 58,625 when she went into the yard. The lengthening involved the insertion of a 24m mid-section complete with 193 new cabins and extra public room space.

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