MSC Cruises has celebrated the ‘float out’ of its first Meraviglia-plus class cruise ship MSC Grandiosa at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The float out ceremony marks the moment that the new ship under construction touches the water for the first time, it is the modern equivalent to a ship launch, when large ships were traditionally built on an inclined ramp and then slid into the water.
A float out is less dramatic, with the dry-dock simply filled with water. MSC Grandiosa has now been moved to a ‘wet dock’, where fitting out and final construction touches will be carried out.
The ship is due for delivery in October, 2019, one of eight mega ships due for delivery to seven cruise line’s this year. MSC Cruises has two ships due this year, the other is the Dubai-bound Meraviglia-class ship MSC Bellissima.
She will be delivered in February and will cruise roundtrip from Dubai between November, 2019 and March, 2020.
Grandiosa is the first Meraviglia-plus class ship to be built, with two more being built concurrently. She will have the same basic design and external styling as Meraviglia and sister ship Bellissima, but will be slightly larger.
MSC Grandiosa will have an even larger Mediterranean-style promenade (an indoor shopping, entertainment and dining hub similar to Royal Caribbean’s ‘Royal Promenade’) and several new bars and restaurants.
The promenade will host performances, including flash mobs and themed parties as well as projections on an even longer 98.5-metre LED Sky screen.
One of the ship’s new dining concepts is the L’Atelier Bistrot, offering lounge seating with a stage and a dance floor, impressionist art on display and terrace seating on the promenade with Parisian Bistrot tables and chairs.
MSC Grandiosa will also feature two brand new exclusive shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea and will be the second MSC ship to offer Zoe, the cruise industry’s first digital personal assistant (Bellissima will be the first).
Grandiosa will be the fifth cruise ship to be delivered to MSC Cruises in the last five years, part of a record US $11-billion fleet expansion project undertaken by the cruise line as it seeks to secure its place as one of the largest cruise line’s in the world.
Another 12 next-generation cruise ships will enter the MSC fleet by 2027, and several of them will be the second-largest in the world, second only to Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class mega ships.
MSC Grandiosa will be delivered on October 31st and will cruise roundtrip from Genoa, Italy in the Mediterranean from November 16th, 2019.