A rendering of MSC Seaside.

MSC Cruises’ new offering

MSC Cruises has cut the first steel of its new generation of ships – the first of which being MSC Seaside – in Italy.

MSC Seaside – at an estimated cost of £700 million (AUD$1,423,183,791) – will take two years to build, with a planned debut of November 2017. Once sea ready, it will feature cluster cabins for families and groups, luxury suites with private jacuzzis and hanging gardens, a 360-degree seafront promenade, a water park boasting five water slides, panoramic exterior lifts, a two-deck glass-walled atrium and an upgraded Yacht Club with a private solarium, lounge and pool.

“It is a ship that revolutionises industry standards with an audacious and innovative design that brings guests and the sea closer,” says MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago.

If the mere mention of the vessel’s moniker takes you to a place where the days are always sunny and bright, it’s meant to.

“We chose a name that speaks to our vision for cruising in warm weather, the proximity with the sea, the joy of travelling, and discovering the wonders of sunny climates in a unique setting,” reveals MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato.

The ship will be based in Miami year-round, embarking on Caribbean sailings. The company is planning to release an identical ship in 2018.

In other MSC news, the brand has announced bookings are now open for MSC Meraviglia‘s inaugural cruises from May 2017. The ship will feature a 480-square-metre LED screen that forms the entire ceiling of the ship’s interior promenade, to be used as a digital sky – an industry first. She will spend her first few months sailing the western Mediterranean, with three major embarkation ports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.