Left to right: Henry Doyer, Responsable d’Affaires at STX; Laurent Castaing, STX CEO; Alexa Aponte, MSC Group CFO; Emilio La Scala, General Manager of MSC Cruises technical department; Rocco Gargiulo, Project Manager of MSC Cruises new builds; Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Chairman

MSC Cruises and STX France held the steel cutting ceremony on Monday to mark the official commencement of construction of MSC Bellissima, the second of the Meraviglia generation of ships that will come into service in 2019.

“MSC Cruises and STX France have walked a long path together since the construction of MSC Lirica in 2003,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, while speaking at the Steel Cutting Ceremony in Saint Nazaire. “Our current fleet was built at STX France and we are now shaping the future of the modern cruise ship with two new prototypes from STX France. With work nearing completion on MSC Meraviglia, we are delighted to begin construction of MSC Bellissima.”

“I am delighted with this prototype, which will soon become a beautiful and balanced cruise ship capable of operating everywhere in the world,” said Vago. “I am also extremely pleased that my wife, Alexa Aponte-Vago, has been able to join me here in Saint Nazaire to share this important milestone.”

”We are proud to be MSC Cruises’ industrial partner from the beginning and we are very involved in their fleet development,” said Laurent Castaing, CEO of STX France. “It is very challenging and we have passed an important milestone with the MERAVIGLIA generation. Meraviglia literally means wonder and the four new ships will astonish the public with their elegant and beautiful design. MSC Bellissima is as well named as her sistership.”