MSC Cruises and STX France have signed an order for the construction of a fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship.
Due to be delivered in 2023, this vessel will be equipped with a new generation of dual-fuel engines designed to run on liquefied natural gas.
She will also feature other innovative environmental technologies, notably including an advanced wastewater treatment system compliant with the world’s most stringent regulatory standards, including the provisions enshrined in Resolution MEPC.227 for the Baltic Sea.
This announcement was made at a ceremony held at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard in the presence of Bruno Le Maire, the French minister of the economy and finance.
STX France and MSC Cruises celebrated three major ship building milestones: the steel cutting ceremony of the fourth Meraviglia class vessel where MSC Cruises announced that the ship will be named MSC Virtuosa; the coin ceremony of MSC Grandiosa; and the float-out of MSC Bellissima.
For the first time in Saint-Nazaire’s history, three cruise ships belonging to a single cruise brand are under simultaneous construction at the shipyard.
Speaking before opening the valves to flood the dry dock where MSC Bellissima has been assembled, Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises executive chairman, said: “With the announcement of yet another new vessel, the 13th under our ten-year investment plan, we are affirming our commitment to sustainable growth for our company.
“I say this while three more next-generation MSC Cruises ships are now simultaneously under construction.”
Vago added, “Our fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship will bring a new generation of cutting-edge environmental technology to the market, benefiting from a new generation of LNG-powered engines.
“This will help us further reduce our environmental footprint and advance in our journey of constant improvement.
“She will be joined at sea by up to four world-class LNG-powered ships, as part of our overall commitment to environmental stewardship through this and other next-generation technologies and solutions deployed fleet-wide.”
The agreement for the additional Meraviglia-Plus ship represents an additional investment of €900 million.
MSC Bellissima will be Christened at a glamorous ceremony in Southampton on March 2nd next year.
The event will be attended by more than 2,000 guests, including VIPs and important British stakeholders.
The ship will remain in the city for three days, giving the opportunity for over 3,000 UK & Irish travel partners and guests to experience the beautiful addition to the MSC Cruises fleet.