Bellissima will be the name of MSC’s next mega-ship, the company announced today as it floated out its sister vessel, Meraviglia, in St Nazaire, France.
CEO Gianni Onorato said: ‘MSC Bellissima is a name that embodies the beauty and the magnificence of this entire next generation of MSC Cruises ultramodern mega-ships, so rich with new features and amenities for guests of all ages and interests.
‘We are so pleased to be able to make this announcement on the very day that her sister ship MSC Meraviglia is touched for the first time by water, a moment that symbolises the real “birth” of a ship.’
Meraviglia, with a tonnage of 167,600, will carry 5,714 guests – a similar number to the world’s largest ship, Harmony of the Seas – when it comes into service next June.
Here is a time-lapse video of it being built at the STX France shipyard:
The ship will have a 315ft (96m) indoor promenade with bars, restaurants and shops, topped with a 262ft (80m) LED ‘sky’ with daily shows and animations.
On top will be the Aqua Park with three waterslides including a ‘champagne bowl’ high-speed ride. MSC boasts it will have the ‘most generous poolside space on any ship at sea’ with three pools, including the 82ft (25m) main pool and a 32ft (10m) indoor one with retractable roof.
Meraviglia will have 12 dining venues, including a buffet open 20 hours a day. Entertainment will feature two Cirque du Soleil shows every night, six nights a week, in a Carousel Lounge with a 180-degree glass wall.
In total, 75 per cent of the cabins will have balconies.
The MSC Yacht Club, which offers 24-hour butler service, will have 78 suites and 15 inside cabins.
The company aims to attract British fly-cruise passengers to its itineraries, sailing from Genoa, Barcelona and Marseille.
Mr Onorato said: ‘Since we opened sales last year for MSC Meraviglia’s inaugural season in the western Mediterranean, from the very beginning demand has been extremely encouraging. This makes us believe that this is a generation of ships with a bright future ahead, that has already caught the attention of holidaymakers from all markets.’
Sister ship Bellissima will come into service in the spring of 2019, adding to the 11 new vessels that MSC plans to launch before 2026.