On Tuesday 11 November 2019 the port of Southampton welcomed MSC Cruises’ newest flagship the brand new MSC Grandiosa on her inaugural visit to the UK’s premier cruise port.

Just two days after she was christened in Hamburg, she visited Southampton as part of a series of inaugural celebrations before heading to the Mediterranean to start her maiden season.

MSC Grandiosa was built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire and is the first Meraviglia plus class ship, which is an extended versions of the two Meraviglia class delivered in 2017 and 2019. With a length of 331m and of 181,541gt, she has a maximum capacity of 6334 guests, making her the largest ship in MSC Cruises ever-growing fleet.

She is also one of the most environmentally friendly ships at sea and features a host of technological innovations, including closed loop Hybrid Exhaust cleaning system (EGCS) which reduces SOx exhaust emissions, ballast water treatment system, energy-saving LED lighting throughout, and shore-to-ship power technology all of which are designed to reduce the ships impact on the environment.

MSC Grandiosa was due to sail for Barcelona the day after her arrival. However, due the forecast of severe storms in the Bay of Biscay her stay is Southampton was extended, and she sailed for Barcelona 0700 the following Friday morning.

Andrew McAlpine

Photo by Andrew Cooke