Aker Yards in St. Nazaire, France, was the site today of a special double event in the continued growth of the MSC Cruises fleet.
Pierfrancesco Vago, the CEO for MSC Cruises, and Jacques Hardelay, general manager for Aker Yards France, were on hand for the cutting of the first steel for MSC Magnifica and the technical float out of MSC Poesia. They also viewed the progress being made in the construction of MSC Fantasia. Each of these is a significant step toward the completion of MSC Cruises’ expansion plan, which began in 2003.
“MSC Cruises is a company with the greatest growth in a short time span,” declares Vago. “Circumstances have enabled us to grow at such a rapid pace. We are the only company in the world with a single brand which, in the space of a few years, has increased the size of its operation to this degree. We have opened another 10 offices and we are represented in 31 countries throughout the world. “
“MSC Poesia represents a further step in our expansion plan,” Vago continues. “She is a ship that perfectly reflects the equilibrium of her space-ratio in terms of the public and private areas. Her space is equally distributed and conceptualized to offer guests maximum comfort in the restaurant, by the pool deck, in the lounges as well as in the staterooms. The interiors, too, are in perfect harmony with the choice of the neutral color scheme for the widows and verandas that face the exterior and, in this way will not alter the beautiful colors of the interior spaces. MSC Poesia is the latest version of the projects that have been completed so far, another step toward perfection – toward perfect design and technical fit out as well as safety on board and safeguarding the environment.”
“The success of our ships,” says Emilio La Scala, general manager, MSC Cruises Technical Department, “is proof of the intense work effort that the Technical Department has invested in conjunction with the technical staff at Aker Yards and with our architectural studio. All possible innovations have been implemented to ensure that our guests are offered the best in terms of facilities and comfort.
“After four years of working closely together we can say that this has been a very satisfactory collaboration,” La Scala says. “In a short span of time, three different classes of ships have been constructed (Lirica, Musica and Fantasia). Four new ships have been launched from 2003 to 2007. At the same time, another four ships (representing two different classes) are under construction. This is an imposing progression that will see eight new ships in the fleet by 2010. The technical input has been ongoing, always seeking to improve on the last achievement. We have worked to tight schedules and delivered on time with one clear objective – the continual improvement of the fleet.”
"We have built six cruise ships for MSC and we still have four ships to deliver. This symbolizes not only the success of MSC Cruises but also the strong relationship between Aker Yards and MSC Cruises," says Hardelay.
MSC Poesia, sister ship to MSC Musica and MSC Orchestra, will be 92,400 grt, 964 feet long, 105 feet wide and 164 feet tall. It will have 1,275 cabins, of which 80’% are outside cabins with balconies, able to host 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members. A total of more than 236,000 square feet is dedicated to the public areas.
MSC Magnifica, fourth ship in the Musica class, features the same technical details, with some additional innovations, such as a more spacious pool deck with a retractable glass roof to ensure year-round use and a wider cafeteria area.
MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida are the largest ships to be commissioned by a European ship owner. Each ship will be 135,000 grt, 1,092 feet long, 124 feet wide and able to host 3,900 passengers and 1,300 crew members. There will be 290,000 square feet of public space and a VIP area (named MSC Yacht Club for MSC Fantasia) with a private entrance to the solarium, pool and beauty center, plus the assistance of butler service.
MSC Poesia and MSC Fantasia will be delivered to MSC Cruises in April and November 2008, respectively. MSC Splendida will follow sister ship MSC Fantasia in spring 2009, while MSC Magnifica will join the fleet in 2010. The company will have a total of 12 ships by 2010.
In each ship, elegance, comfort and wellbeing are confirmed as the hallmarks of the MSC Cruises style.
For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.msccruisesusa.com or a local travel professional.