MSC Cruises and the STX Europe ship yard in Saint-Nazaire, France, today began the 100 day countdown to MSC Divina’s long-awaited christening which will take place on May 26 2012 in Marseilles, France.

As the third and latest addition to the MSC Cruises’ flagship Fantasia class, MSC Divina will become the 12th and most magnificent ship of the MSC Cruises’ fleet. The final stretch of construction, her ‘dressing up,’ is therefore a mammoth feat requiring immense dedication, technical expertise, attention to detail and craftsmanship.

At the STX Europe ship yard, where workmen have taken immense pride in building beautiful ships for the last 150 years, over 1,400 skilled professionals representing over 100 companies are working hard to get MSC Divina ready for her big debut.

Locksmiths, electricians, coppersmiths, mechanics, carpenters, decorators, marble fitters, light technicians, insulation and air-conditioning technicans, kitchen designers and supervisors represent just some of the many trades involved in the fitting and furnishing of the 333 metre long, 38 metre wide, 140,000 ton, 4,363 passenger luxury cruise ship.

In one hundred days’ time, when MSC Divina emerges for her debut ‘Grand Ball’ on May 26 2012 in Marseille, over 2.2 million hours will have been spent on her construction and an extra one million hours of work will have been devoted to meticulously applying the finishing touches.

MSC Divina is made up of 30,000 tons of steel, 300 km of piping, 1,800 km of electric cables, and 66,000 light points. Construction started over a year and a half ago and a total complement of 80 mega-blocks, each consisting of a set of large pre-fabricated hull components, were used for assembling the ship.

MSC Divina will boast 1,751 cabins (one hundred more than her sister ships MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida), 25 lifts and 27,000 square metres of public spaces which include restaurants, bars, a casino, four swimming pools, including the new Garden Pool, a bowling alley, a gym and the superb MSC Aurea Spa. The ship’s 18 decks, 14 of them for passengers, are named after the Gods of Ancient Greece in honour of Sophia Loren, modern day Italian film goddess and patron of the MSC Cruises fleet.

The next big event in MSC Divina’s calendar is her first sea trial, which will take place in mid-April 2012. The trials will involve approximately 300 people and over 60 separate tests and will cover everything from speed and maneuverability to acoustics and vibrations.