– The future MSC Magnifica has been floated out of dry dock B and transferred to the Penhoet dock at the STX Europe shipyard, previously known as the Aker Yards, in Saint Nazaire, France.

MSC Magnifica is the latest MSC cruise ship to be built at STX Europe and sister ship to the acclaimed MSC Poesia, in MSC Cruises’ “Musica” class.

Approximately 40 STX Europe personnel and 6 tugs were involved in the operation, which took a total of 24 hours. Beginning late Wednesday night, Jan. 14, and using the rising tide together with pumps to flood the dry dock, it took just over 5 hours to float the new luxury cruise liner.

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday the pumps were switched off, and a quarter of an hour later the tugs arrived to help the magnificent MSC Magnifica through the famous Joubert dry dock and out to the Penhoet dock, where it moored.

When completed, the ship will weigh around 93,300 tons and be 964 feet long, 164 feet high and 105 feet wide.

Scheduled for launch in March 2010, MSC Magnifica will offer outstanding energy efficiency and environmental performance, together with the highest standards of luxury, innovation and variety of facilities. Built to a magnificently creative design, more than 65 percent of all guest staterooms will have their own private balcony, while the public areas will extend more than 236,000 square feet and include 7 themed areas, 2 swimming pools, 4 hot tubs and a sumptuously-appointed 12,486-square-foot MSC Aurea SPA wellness and spa treatment center.