STX France has started construction on Italian-Swiss shipping company MSC Cruises’ Vista generation of megaships, following the steel-cutting ceremony of the first vessel in the series.
The new 167,600gt vessel named MSC Meraviglia will be capable of accommodating 4,500 guests. It is expected to be delivered in May 2017.
MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said: "This steel-cutting event marks a decisive milestone in the company’s development plan, one that will see MSC Cruises double its capacity by 2022 through up to seven new ships and a $5.4bn investment plan."
"MSC Meraviglia will be one of the greenest and safest ships in the industry, as well as one of the most technologically advanced."
The new vessel is the first of two identical ships ordered from STX France, with the second due to enter into service in 2019. The cruise operator has also options for two further Vista project ships to be delivered by 2022.
Features of the new vessel include the specially crafted ‘cluster cabins’ for families, and an extended MSC Yacht Club, the wholly self-contained luxury area on the foredecks.
This luxury area will offer amenities, including wide dining options and entertainment choices, panoramic spaces, a large theatre and an amusement park linked to an outdoor aqua park, as well as a three-deck interior promenade.
In addition, MSC Meraviglia will offer several technological advancements such as near-field communication technology. It allows guests to make onboard payments, access their staterooms or geo-locate children, simply by using their cruise card, bracelet or smartphone.
Image: MSC Cruises’ Vista generation of megaship, MSC Meraviglia, will capable of serving 4,500 guests. Photo: courtesy of MSC Cruises USA.