MSC Armonia, the first of four MSC cruise ships to be enlarged and enhanced under the company’s Renaissance Programme, was relaunched in Genoa yesterday for a ten-day inaugural cruise to the Canary Islands.
Among the vessel’s many new features include more balcony cabins, more spacious common areas, flexible dining options, new clubs for younger guests, as well as an outdoor Spray Park – a fun-filled wet zone with interactive jets, slides and water features. MSC Armonia is also the first cruise ship in the world to feature tailormade areas for children that have been officially designed, equipped and endorsed by Chicco and Lego.
“I’m very proud of what we and our partners at Fincantieri have achieved with MSC Armonia,” said MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato at a press conference. “Not only is she smarter and more spacious, but we have given her a new lease of life that will appeal to experienced cruise travellers and first-timers in equal measure. This is why we call her ‘the ship that suits you’.”
The €200m Renaissance Programme is the first step in a €5bn fleet enlargement plan, which includes four brand new ships, comprising two different, state-of-the-art prototypes, to be delivered by STX France and Fincantieri, in Italy, between 2017 and 2019, with options for three more by 2022.
In 2004, MSC Cruises carried 80,000 guests a year; today the company has grown by 800% and the number of guests carried reaches 40,000 a day. The fleet’s capacity is on course to be doubled by 2022, resulting in 3.4 million people holidaying with MSC Cruises every year.
MSC Armonia set sail from Genoa, Italy on 19 November for a ten-day itinerary ending at Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands. After her inaugural cruise, the renewed MSC Armonia will be deployed for a winter season of seven-night cruises to destinations en route to the Canary Islands and Morocco.