On 2 September 2016 MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, revealed the name of its second STX France-built Meraviglia-generation ultramodern mega cruise ship. She will be called MSC Bellissima and will come into service in the Spring 2019.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer, commented: “MSC Bellissima is a name that embodies the beauty and the magnificence of this entire next generation of MSC Cruises ultramodern mega-ships, so rich with new features and amenities for guests of all ages and interests. We are so pleased to be able to make this announcement on the very day that her sister ship MSC Meraviglia is touched for the first time by water.”
The announcement was made at STX France’s shipyard in Saint Nazaire, as the Company celebrated the float out of MSC Cruises’ first next-generation ultramodern mega-ship, MSC Meraviglia, due to come into service in June 2017.
The ceremony was attended by, amongst others, MSC Cruises and STX France guests, Senator of Pays de la Loire Region, Bruno Retailleau, General Council President of Loire Atlantique, Philippe Grosvalet and the Mayor of Saint-Nazaire, David Samzun.
Mr Onorato concluded: “Since we opened sales last year for MSC Meraviglia’s inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean, from the very beginning demand has been extremely encouraging. This make us believe that this is a generation of ships with a bright future ahead, that has already caught the attention of holidaymakers from all markets.”
Laurent Castaing, President of STX France, commented: “We are extremely proud to design and build MSC CRUISES’ next generations of cruiseships. We are aware and thankful for the trust this amazing company has in our innovation ability. It’s been more than 12 years that our industrial partnership has started, and we are always excited by the challenges of fulfilling MSC ambitions.”
The float out was a key milestone in the construction of a ship: the dry dock was flooded, the ship moved to a wet dock, where she then enters the final phase of her construction.
The event presented an opportunity to showcase guests and global media alike the cutting edge design that makes the Meraviglia generation of MSC Cruises ultramodern mega-ships uniquely innovative, and a true destination in itself.
This includes, amongst her many on-board features, the specially designed Carousel Lounge where Cirque du Soleil artists will perform shows created exclusively for MSC Cruises guests, and a 96m-long Mediterranean-style promenade.