Progress continues at a rapid pace at the Aker Yards in St. Nazaire, France, with the construction of four new ships commissioned by MSC Cruises. With these new additions, MSC Cruises will have one of the most modern fleets in the world and a total of 12 ships by 2010.
Following on the heels of the Feb. 8 technical float out of MSC Fantasia, the technical float outs for MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica have also taken place. This follows a complex transfer to new basins where their construction will continue.
At 9 p.m. Feb. 29, the process to fill the basins with water started and was completed by about 11:30 p.m. At 6 a.m. Saturday, March 1, MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica were transferred to the water-filled basins using a complex system of cables to guide the ships to their final positions.
MSC Splendida will be the twin to MSC Fantasia. As the largest ships to be built by a European ship owner, each ship will be 133,500 tons, offering a new concept for cruising based on the distribution of space, with a reserved VIP area with 24-hour personalized butler service. MSC Splendida will be delivered in June 2009.
MSC Magnifica will be the fourth ship in the “Musica” class and the twelfth star in the MSC Cruises fleet. In the same fashion as the other three ships in this class, she will have 1,275 cabins, 80% external cabins and 65% of these with a balcony, plus more than 236,000 square feet of public spaces. MSC Magnifica will join the fleet in 2010.
At Aker Yards in St. Nazaire, France, two more ships are under construction - MSC Poesia, the third ship in the “Musica” class, which will be delivered on April 5. MSC Fantasia, the first of the largest ships to be delivered and boasting a VIP area - the “MSC Yacht Club” -- she will be delivered and then christened at an impressive ceremony in Naples on Dec. 18.