Swiss-based cruise line MSC Cruises has held a traditional steel-cutting ceremony in France to mark the start of the construction of their new ship, MSC Bellissima. Built in conjunction with STX France, a world-leading ship construction company, MSC Bellissima will be a sister ship to MSC Meraviglia, which launched in September 2016.The new cruise ship is expected to come into service in 2019.
The new cruise ship is expected to come into service in 2019. Its construction is part of a €9 billion investment which will see the passenger capacity on-board MSC cruise ships treble over the next ten years, Eleven new ships are scheduled to be launched between 2017 and 2026.
MSC Cruises Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, said: “MSC Cruises and STX France have walked a long path together since the construction of MSC Lirica in 2003. 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.”
Mr Vago continued, “I am delighted with this prototype, which will soon become a beautiful and balanced cruise ship capable of operating everywhere in the world. 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.”
Laurent Castaing, CEO of STX France, commented: ”We are proud to be MSC Cruises’ industrial partner from the beginning and we are very involved in their fleet development. 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 sister ship.”
MSC Beliissima with have capacity for over 5,700 passengers – making her the largest in MSC Cruises’ fleet, along with MSC Meraviglia. She will be designed to sail in all seasons, calling in all the key international cruise ports of the world.
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