MSC Cruises has christened its newest ship, the 5331-passenger MSC Seaview in a glittering, star-studded ceremony in Genoa.
And within hours, the aggressive European line announced a new Euro900 million investment on a new Meraviglia-class ship, bringing its fleet total to five of the new-style vessels.
The Seaview will now spend the northern summer sailing the Mediterranean from ports like Barcelona, Marseille, Naples and Valletta, before crossing the Atlantic to spend the winter months in Brazil sailing from Santos, near Sao Paulo.
Watched by MSC Group founder and chairman Gianluigi Aponte, Godmother and Italian film icon Sophia Loren cut the ribbon to launch a bottle of champagne on Seaview’s hull. Italian television star Michelle Hunziker hosted the event which included a performance by Italian blues singer Zucchero Fornaciari. Matteo Bocelli, son of world-renowned singer Andre Bocelli also sang at the ceremony.
At 1059 feet long, Seaview is smaller than the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas. The 18-deck Seaview has 10 restaurants, 19 bars, an Aqua Park with four water slides, swimming pools, kids club, bowling alleys and two of the longest zip likes at sea on its top deck.
Like her sister ship MSC Seaside launched in December, Seaview has been purpose built for the warm destinations of the Mediterranean and Caribbean. It has extra-wide promenade designed to offer passengers more interaction with the sea.
The ship has two much talked about specialty restaurants including the Asian Market Kitchen by Asian fusion pioneer Roy Yamaguchi, the brains behind Roy’s Restaurant chain and the first-ever cruise ship restaurant, Ocean Cay by Spanish chef Ramon Freixa who holds two Michelin stars for his restaurant at the Hotel Unico Madrid.
Seaview is the 15th addition to MSC Cruises global fleet and the third ship to come into service in 12 months under the company’s Euro10.5 billion investment plan.
The Switzerland-based line has promised to up the ante with the development of world class ships slated to arrive in 2022 and 2023, to be among the world’s biggest with room for more than 6500 passengers each.
The new announcement yesterday said MSC Cruises and STX France signed an order for the construction of a fifth Meraviglia class vessel due to be delivered in 2023.
It will be equipped with a new generation of dual-fuel engines designed to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). She will also feature other innovative environmental technologies, notably including an advanced wastewater treatment system compliant with the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, including the provisions enshrined in Resolution MEPC.227 for the Baltic Sea.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “With the announcement of yet another new vessel, the 13th under our 10-year investment plan, we are affirming our commitment to sustainable growth for our Company. I say this while three more next-generation MSC Cruises are now simultaneously under construction.
Mr Vago added, “Our fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship will bring a new generation of cutting-edge environmental technology to the market, benefiting from a new generation of LNG-powered engines. This will help us further reduce our environmental footprint and advance in our journey of constant improvement. She will be joined at sea by up to four World Class LNG-powered ships, as part of our overall commitment to environmental stewardship through this and other next-generation technologies and solutions deployed fleet-wide.”