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MSC Armonia in 11-week drydock for refurbishment
posted September 10, 2014
MSC Cruises today began the process of physically enlarging the MSC Armonia, the first of four ships in the line’s fleet to undergo the Renaissance Program.
During an event at Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo, Sicily, the separated 14,000 ton bow of the MSC Armonia slowly advanced 30 meters away from her stern to allow a new pre-built 24-meter section to be inserted midship.
The procedure marked a key milestone in the $273 million Renaissance Program, which will enlarge and enhance the MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia and MSC Opera, giving them all an array of new improvements and amenities and adding up to nearly 200 new staterooms per ship.
After the Renaissance Program, MSC Armonia’s environmental impact will be significantly reduced. She will receive a new hull treatment to minimize drag and lower water resistance, considerably reducing fuel consumption. In addition, LED technology in all public spaces on the ship will mean less energy is consumed on board.
A Variable Speed Drive Inverter will also be installed – an energy-saving system that significantly reduces the ship’s electricity consumption by adjusting it in line with operational conditions. Finally, a new design of propeller blade is being studied by MSC Cruises’ blade manufacturer to maximize efficiency and lower fuel consumption even further.
Additional enhancements that will be available when the cruise begins sailing again on Nov. 17 include new areas for the Baby Club built in partnership with Chicco; a new Mini Club, Young Club, Junior Club and Teen Club; new exciting features in the buffet as well as extended hours; new lounge area and an extended restaurant; an additional library; upgrades to the MSC Aurea Spa, and a completely new spray park, with an exhilarating pathway of water features and water cannons.
The ship entered dry dock on Aug. 31 and will remain on site for 11 weeks, until resuming service on Nov. 17 with a one-off inaugural Mediterranean cruise from Genoa to the Canary Islands.
“MSC Cruises has wanted to implement such a highly demanding program for a long time, but we wanted to ensure that we would choose the best partner in the shipbuilding industry, to not only enhance the ships’ features but also to bring technical, safety and environmental upgrades to the ships. Fincantieri has the proven expertise and experience in this type of operation, which was essential to satisfy our high standards, and have been long-standing partners for various maintenance and refitting operations on our fleet, ” said Emilio La Scala, General Manager MSC Cruises Technical Department.
For more information, visit www.msccruisesusa.com.
MSC Cruises and Chicco Announce New Partnership
posted July 21, 2014
MSC Cruises and Chicco have teamed up to bring even more happiness on holiday with a cruise tailor-made for babies. The brands, two global flag-carriers of Italian excellence, have joined forces to make a range of Chicco’s outstanding products available to families in custom-built children areas on six ships of the expanding MSC Cruises fleet.
MSC Cruises and Chicco partnered to offer an ideal vacation for families with very small children free of any practical worries. Indeed, the well-being of babies is at the heart of the partnership and everything has been thought of in order to help parents handle the schedule of a baby’s day: feeding, napping, changing and all other necessities.
“We are enthusiastically starting this new journey with Chicco, a dynamic company that marries an innovative approach with experience and tradition,” declared Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “With this new collaboration MSC Cruises improves even more its family-oriented offers and services. We always have the safety of our guests in mind, especially children, and Chicco embodies exactly that, as well as the ‘made in Italy’ label that both our companies proudly represent across the world. We offer tailor-made holidays mixed with incomparable hospitality. The partnership with Chicco is set in the long term as they will play an essential role also in the design of specific and innovative kids’ areas in the ships that are being built in France and Italy.”
“It is with equal enthusiasm that we have embraced the collaboration with MSC Cruises, a partner and a project in which we have found the same values and the same attention that we give to families,” commented Claudio De Conto, CEO of Gruppo Artsana to which Chicco belongs. “We are delighted and proud to have contributed our experience to design with MSC Cruises an onboard holiday fit for toddlers. Our expertise is the result of constant research with experts and especially with parents, as they know the needs of their children better than anyone else. It is a valuable knowhow that we have shared with MSC Cruises because for more than 50 years our biggest reward has been the smile of children - especially when on holiday with their parents.”
MSC Cruises has made available on board a wide choice of Chicco childcare equipment, including strollers, bottle warmers and baby backpacks for shore excursions, to make cruising even simpler for families with babies and toddlers.
MSC Cruises will also give families a “Baby Globetrotter"– a printed guide packed with information on services and mini-club activities, game ideas, kids menus and handy tips for family excursions according to the ship’s itinerary.
Furthermore, the Chicco Observatory, a developmental research lab focusing on the under threes, will provide the special training of MSC staff who will manage onboard childcare and give advice to families, in order to enjoy a relaxed and entertaining family cruise.
The collaboration between MSC Cruises and Chicco will be enhanced with the building of special areas on two Lirica class ships within the Renaissance Program*. These areas will also be found on the new ships to be built by STX France** and FINCANTIERI***.
MSC Cruises Becomes the First Ever Cruise Line to Offer 24/7 Pediatric Telemedicine Service On Board
posted July 10, 2014 Source: http://www.msccruisesusa.com
MSC Cruises has become the first cruise line in the world to offer guests a 24/7 multilingual pediatric telemedicine service on board, through a partnership with the Giannina Gaslini Institute, in Genoa, Italy, a world-class center of excellence in pediatric medicine.
MSC Cruises will install new technology across its entire fleet to enable ship-to-shore care of children with onshore support from specialists at the Gaslini Institute. Operational September 1, 2014, fleet-wide, MSC Cruises’ onboard doctors will be able to consult specialist pediatricians at any time to seek a second opinion or carry out procedures such as remote diagnosis, radiology and monitoring.
No other cruise company in the world provides such a service, which will bring peace of mind to the thousands of families that take cruise vacations every year.
The project was announced in Genoa by the CEO of MSC Cruises, Gianni Onorato, the Director General of the Giannina Gaslini Institute, Paul Petralia, and the President of the Liguria Region, Claudio Burlando.
Mr. Onorato said: “MSC Cruises is a family-owned company and we strongly believe in caring for the health and safety of our guests on board, with particular attention to younger travelers, who can require help and treatment quite different from other age groups. We’re really excited about this collaboration, which is particularly adapted to our family cruises, no matter where in the world. Pediatric telemedicine is an addition to other existing services on our ships, such as teleradiology and teleconsultation, for a cruise vacation where we can respond to any need."
"The expertise of our specialists is being made available beyond the walls of the Gaslini,” said the Director General of the Gaslini, Paolo Petralia. “This enables onboard doctors to confirm their diagnoses and treatments using a cutting-edge system of remote image and data transmission. All this reaffirms the Gaslini Institute’s commitment to offer the best care everywhere while developing the most advanced and efficient means of care and information technology."
This innovation further improves onboard medical responses through diagnostic and therapeutic functions that were once only possible on land. The link-up, via satellite, will be available on all MSC Cruises itineraries anywhere on the planet.
The telemedicine technology is managed by Carestream, which has developed a platform to enable requests for distance consultation to be made easily from the remotest locations, allowing Gaslini doctors to move quickly with diagnoses and referrals. The process is fully computerized, from the consultation request to the response, and respects the highest of safety standards.
MSC Divina Returning to Europe in 2015
posted April 28, 2014 Source: http://www.msccruisesusa.com
MSC Cruises is sending the MSC Divina back to the Mediterranean for the summer of 2015.
According to the line this move is "a strengthening its commitment to serving the North American market with the deployment of the MSC Divina to the Mediterranean."
“After exposing MSC Divina to thousands of guests in the Caribbean, customer surveys are showing an increased desire for North Americans to sail onboard MSC Divina in the Mediterranean,” said Richard E. Sasso, president, MSC Cruises USA. “The enhancements made at the start of the Caribbean season to ready MSC Divina for the North American market have certainly paid off with positive ratings and increased repeat business. This has led to our decision to maintain the MSC Divina onboard product designed around the senses of American taste, palette, entertainment and comfort and expand her offerings into the Mediterranean, the hottest and most desired vacation destination by North Americans today,” continued Sasso.
MSC Divina will begin her Grand Voyage on April 26, 2015, from Miami making a stop in New York, King's Wharf, Bermuda and then continuing onto Ponta Delgada, Lisbon, Cadiz, Barcelona, Naples and Civitavecchia.
From May 16, 2015 through October 3, 2015, the ship will sail seven-night Mediterranean cruises departing from Civitavecchia and visiting the ports of La Spezia, Cannes, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Naples and returning to Civitavecchia. While in La Spezia, MSC Divina will offer late night stays allowing guests to visit nearby cities of Pisa, Florence, Portofino and Cinque Terre. In addition, the call in Naples will allow time to visit Pompei, Capri, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast.
Guests will have the opportunity to embark in two ports, Civitavecchia on Saturdays and Barcelona on Wednesdays, allowing for a customized vacation experience with outstanding pre- and post-cruise opportunities and ample airlift from the United States and Canada.
In October 2015, upon completion of her Mediterranean season with a unique 10-night cruise, MSC Divina will enter dry dock in Europe.
While in dry dock, the ship will receive some surprise enhancements specifically for the North American market before returning back home to South Florida for a third season of seven-night Caribbean cruises starting in November 2015.
“We are very excited to extend to our travel agent partners the ability to now offer the best of MSC Divina in both the Caribbean and the Mediterranean,” said Ken Muskat, executive vice president, sales, PR & guest services. “Continuing our Serving You commitment to the trade, we will be offering extensive training on how to best sell MSC Divina in the Mediterranean, provide online toolkits with ready-made marketing and selling materials, and launch a new e-learning online tool to ensure our partners are completely confident selling the MSC brand in Europe. Our recent sales force expansion was not only for MSC Divina in the Caribbean, but a strategic long term decision given the opportunities we have with Europe and expectations that future new-builds will be coming to our market,” Muskat continued.
MSC Cruises Orders Two Mega-Ships from STX France
posted March 20. 2014 Source: http://www.msccruisesusa.com
Today MSC Cruises signed a letter of intent (LOI) with STX France for the construction of two new cruise ships with an option for two more. The two ships will join MSC Cruises’ fleet, currently counting 12 ships, all built in the Saint-Nazaire yards.
The signature took place at the Hôtel de L’Industrie in Paris in the presence of Gianluigi Aponte, President of MSC group, Laurent Castaing, General Manager of STX France, and Pierre Moscovici, French Minister of Economy and Finance. Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, and Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises were also in attendance.
“Growth and development have always been the characteristics that have defined MSC since the very beginning of our journey into the world of cruising. The launch of this prototype and the building of these two new ships confirm our commitment to further growth and to further development. MSC Cruises will expand its capacity by 31%; we will incredibly enrich our offer on board and we will broaden our horizons to ensure we meet the growing global demand in every region,” said MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago. “Once again our longstanding partnership with the STX yard has proved key for these plans.”
“We are really proud of building this new generation of ships for MSC Cruises, a long-time appreciated partner. We invested a lot of R&D and design efforts to make sure that MSC Cruises’ new flagship would truly be unmatched. The latest commercial negotiation was particularly challenging in the light of today’s global competitive landscape in the shipbuilding industry. I would like to point out that the competitiveness agreement signed with our trade unions has been decisive to reach this LOI signature,” said Laurent Castaing, STX France General Manager.
The first two cruise ships are due for delivery respectively in 2017 and 2019. The ships will be 1033 feet long and 141 feet wide, with a gross tonnage of about 167,600 tons, boasting 2,250 cabins for guests, nearly 820 crew cabins, and accommodating 5,700 passengers and 1,536 crew members.
“The new prototype will be the biggest cruise ship ever built by a European ship owner and the most versatile and flexible of the world: not only will it be able to call in most of the ports and destinations on earth, without compromise, but it will have extraordinary features that will make it the perfect choice at sea, in summer and in winter. The two new ships will reaffirm MSC Cruises’ dedication to outstanding and genuine dining options and out-of-this-world entertainment with new panoramic spaces, a bigger theatre and a spectacular amusement park connected to an outdoor aqua park as well as a two-deck ’inside promenade’,” explained Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises.
Among the new features of the ships will be specially designed cabins for families and an extended MSC Yacht Club, the entirely self-contained private club on the prestigious foredecks that will now be completed with a vast solarium, a private lounge and restaurant and duplex suites.
The new prototype is the result of a long development process, conducted in the framework of STX’s ECORIZON ® program, leading to the creation of a new generation of ships that are cleaner, more efficient and more technological. They will be water emission free, while its hull and propulsion system will be optimized for better energy efficiency. The installation of scrubbers will allow for fumes to be neutralized and CO2 emissions to be in accordance with the latest evolutions of international maritime regulations.
The contract signed is worth 16 million working hours for STX France and its subcontractors, 9 million for the prototype and 7 million for the second unit. Building is due to start in spring 2015. The contract will be binding when the financial package is secured.
MSC Reports Record Number of Bookings
posted February 18, 2014 Source: http://www.msccruisesusa.com
MSC Cruises is pleased to announce that in the last 30 days the number of people who booked an MSC cruise, choosing to experience the joys of the Mediterranean way of life on board, reached a record high, totaling 208,262 travellers.
Among some of the favorites of MSC’s future on board guests are MSC Divina’s glamorous exploration of the Caribbean during the summer, MSC Lirica’s sophisticated sailing through the hidden jewels of the Mediterranean and Northern Europe sailings, offering a unique perspective on some of the world’s most stunning natural wonders or a visit to the beautiful capital cities of the Baltic.
This announcement coincides with the recent launch of the #MEDWAYOFLIFE campaign that provides a glimpse into the essence of an MSC travel: that special connection to the sea, that magic instant when land emerges from the horizon, the joyful meeting of tastes, the enjoyment of letting time casually drift by, the slow harmony that everyday life may have lost, the idea that if the world is a magical theatre, we should have a front-row seat.
MSC to Renovate Lirica-Class Ships
posted Dec 22, 2014 Source: http://www.msccruisesusa.com
MSC Cruises today announced a multi-million euro program that will
involve stretching all four of its Lirica class ships over the next two
The almost €200 million, or $330 million USD, "renaissance program” has been commissioned from Fincantieri in Italy, one of the world’s leading shipbuilding companies, and will be complete by 2015.
The “renaissance” of MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia and MSC Opera will add exciting new entertainment options, technological advancements, extended shops and up to nearly 200 new cabins per ship.
The ships will boast a completely new water park, with a pathway of water features and water cannons.
The impressive onboard boutiques will be enhanced with new interiors, more
space and an all-new perfumery with display corners dedicated to leading
brands, such as Dior, Lancôme and Dolce & Gabbana.
During a press conference organized in Rome, MSC Cruises’ Chief Executive Officer, Gianni Onorato, commented: “When our four Lirica class ships return to the seas after a total of 38 weeks in dry dock, they will be entirely new ships with additional amenities and comfort for our travellers, allowing them to reach sophisticated and refined destinations around the world. The extensive “renaissance program” represents a huge investment, and reaffirms, once again, our company’s dedication to high standards, cutting-edge technology and continuous product innovation. MSC Cruises’ ships are works of art in their own right and the "renaissance program" is going to make our fleet - already renowned for its unrivalled style and elegance - even more competitive."
MSC Magnifica Strikes Pier in Greece
posted Nov. 19, 2013 Source: http://www.msccruisesusa.com
Greek news outlets are reporting the MSC Magnifica impacted a pier in Pireaus during docking procedures.
The accident occurred during high wind conditions. The incident is being investigated, but reports indicate at the ship was navigated into the harbor, strong winds swept the 294 meter-long vessel into a port mooring light at the harbor's entrance. The vessel continued on to dock at the pier without further incident.
No one on board was injured during the incident. The hull of the ship was damaged above the water line with no danger of inflow. However, all precautions are reportedly being undertaken as the ship is inspected. Repairs are underway to the ship's hull and the vessel is not expected to be delayed.
MSC Divina Arrives in Miami
posted Nov. 18, 2013 Source: http://www.msccruisesusa.com
The dazzling MSC Divina made cruise history this morning, when it was escorted into Port Miami by a fleet of high-powered FIAT personal watercraft. With today’s arrival, MSC Divina becomes the first MSC Cruises ship to sail year-round from North America.
With today’s show-stopping entrance, MSC Divina concludes her 18-night Atlantic Ocean crossing to Miami from Venice, Italy. During the voyage, a fabulous Rosso Brillante (metallic red) Fiat 500, or Cinquecento as it is known in Italy, was loaded onto the ship to accompany MSC Divina across the Atlantic.
“With MSC Divina’s debut, we are thrilled to welcome one of our finest and most innovative vessels to North America,” said Richard Sasso, President and CEO of MSC Cruises USA. “Today marks an important milestone for MSC Cruises as we continue to grow in this region, offering more destinations and appealing to wider audiences. We look forward to offering North American cruisers something new and fresh.”
MSC Divina guests will experience several new, exciting features. Two
entirely unique dining venues created in partnership with Italian restaurant
emporium Eataly in Manhattan, New York will include the upscale Ristorante
Italia and spectacular regional steakhouse, Eataly Steakhouse, fashioned
after the famed restaurant in Eataly’s Manhattan location. Eataly was
founded by Oscar Farinetti in 2007 and launched in the U.S. in partnership
with celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Lidia and Joe Bastianich.
MSC Divina will also be the first ship to offer Aqua Cycling at sea. Reported as this summer's latest fitness craze by Extra TV and highlighted on Good Morning America, New York Times and Time Magazine, among other media, Aqua Cycling will allow MSC Divina guests to take spinning to new heights while cruising the Caribbean.
Unlike any other luxury onboard experience, MSC Divina will also feature the MSC Yacht Club for the first time in North America. Our unique “ship-within-a-ship” will now be available in the Caribbean for guests looking for unparalleled indulgence, luxury and comfort. From personal butler, 24-hour concierge service and complimentary select wines and spirits available any time of the day, guests booked in the MSC Yacht Club Suites are pampered throughout the MSC Yacht Club’s exclusive lounges and pool area. This oasis of premium tranquility provides several private venues, including Le Muse panoramic restaurant, Top Sail Lounge, pool and relaxation area as well as private access to the MSC Aurea Spa.