STX France has cut the first piece of steel for MSC Cruises’ second Meraviglia class ship at its Saint-Nazaire yard in France.
Part a €9 billion investment that will see MSC Cruises’ capacity treble over the next ten years, MSC Bellissima will be the fourth of 11 next-generation ships to come into service over this period. She is expected to debut in 2019.
“MSC Cruises and STX France have walked a long path together since the construction of MSC Lirica in 2003,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman. “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. I am delighted with this prototype, which will soon become a beautiful and balanced cruise ship capable of operating everywhere in the world.”
The 167,600gt MSC Bellissima has been designed to operate in all seasons and will accommodate more than 5,700 guests, making her the largest in MSC Cruises’ fleet, alongside MSC Meraviglia.
“We are proud to be MSC Cruises’ industrial partner from the beginning and we are very involved in their fleet development,” said Laurent Castaing, CEO of STX France. “It is very challenging and we have passed an important milestone with the Meravilgia generation. Meraviglia literally means wonder and the four new ships will astonish the public with their elegant and beautiful design.”