The four smallest and oldest units in the fleet of MSC Cruises will be lengthened by 24m between August 2014 and November 2015 by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, adding 59 crew cabins and 193 passenger cabins and increasing the maximum passenger capacity by almost 600.

MSC Armonia, Lirica, Opera and Sinfonia each have a gross tonnage of around 59,000, but the additional accommodation will increase this to around 65,000. MSC Armonia and Sinfonia came to the fleet through the demise of Festival Cruises in 2004, while MSC Lirica and Opera were built for the company to a very similar design. All were built at the St Nazaire shipyard of what was then Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

The lengthening will also provide additional restaurant space and other leisure facilities, with MSC Armonia being the first ship to be extended, this taking place between August and November 2014. MSC Sinfonia, Lirica and Opera will follow during 2015. MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia date from 2001 and 2002 respectively, while MSC Lirica and MSC Opera were delivered in 2003 and 2004. The other eight ships in the fleet are newer and larger.

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