The technical float out of MSC Fantasia has taken place in St Nazaire, France. This is the largest ship to be commissioned by a European ship owner. MSC Fantasia will join the MSC Cruises fleet on Dec. 18, 2008.

The floating out operation took an hour to complete, utilizing 20 people plus 8 carriers, 4 which were constantly in use.

In the days prior to the Feb. 8 float out a half-mile channel was dredged to create the depth needed (a draft of 26 feet, allowing for 21.6 feet of the hull to be submerged).

In addition, special fenders were placed on the starboard side of the ship. These not only protected the ship but also assisted in keeping the vessel on course as she exited the basin against the direction of the current.

The technical float out of MSC Fantasia represents another important stage for MSC Cruises, whose fleet will increase to nine ships with the arrival of MSC Poesia, due to  be christened on April 5, 2008 in Dover, United Kingdom.

MSC Fantasia, the tenth star in the MSC Cruises fleet, is scheduled to be christened in Naples, Italy on Dec. 18, 2008.