French shipbuilder STX France has cut steel for the first Vista class ship of MSC Cruises, thus opening a new chapter in the company’s fleet history.
The name of the new ship, MSC Meraviglia, was announced by the cruise liner at the steel-cutting ceremony held today in Saint-Nazaire.
MSC Cruises signed a letter of intent (LOI) with STX France for the construction of two new cruise ships in March 2014. Under the deal, there is an option for construction of two more cruise ships.
The two units are due for delivery respectively in 2017 and 2019. The ships will be 315 metres long and 43 metres 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,” Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises said at the LoI signing.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: MSC Cruises