STX France cut the first piece of steel for the 2nd Meraviglia class ship of MSC Cruises at Saint-Nazaire yard in France on Monday, November 26.
Part of a €9 billion investment that will see line's capacity triple over the next 10 years, MSC Bellissima will be the 4th of 11 next-generation cruise ships to come into service over the period. She is scheduled to debut in 2019.
“MSC Cruises and STX France have walked a long path together since the construction of MSC Lirica in 2003,” said MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago.
“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 Bellissima has been specifically designed to operate in all seasons. She will accommodate over 5,700 passengers, making her the biggest in MSC 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.”