GENEVA — MSC Cruises has taken delivery of its newest vessel, MSC Virtuosa.
At 331 metres long, the ship is 16 metres longer than MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellissima with more public space and more cabins.
It has 21 bars, four main restaurants and five specialty restaurants with two brand new restaurants and one new specialty bar. A 945-seat theatre will offer a rotation of large-scale productions, and a Himalayan Bridge on deck 19 offers a fun rope course 80 metres above the water.
Meanwhile MSC Virtuosa’s 12 different cabin types include 190 family cabins that can be connected to create Super Family cabins, accommodating up to six people, or Super Family Plus accommodating up to 12 people.
Five pools include a magrodome pool on deck 15. There’s also 1,168 square metres of retail space with 11 different boutiques.
The ship’s delivery was marked by a small and private flag ceremony at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint Nazaire, France between the shipyard and MSC Cruises where MSC Virtuosa received its official flag and blessings for good fortune.
The ceremony was attended in person by the Company’s executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, his wife Alexa Aponte-Vago and their children as well as representatives from MSC Cruises new builds team along with executives and workers from the shipyard.
“My family and I could not miss this opportunity to welcome in person the newest member to our fleet. The delivery of MSC Virtuosa at such a challenging time for our industry symbolizes how as a family company we continue to look at the longer term and build our future,” said Vago.
He said MSC remains committed “to building each time some of the most innovative ships in the world when it comes to their environmental performance featuring nothing but the most advanced available technology at sea.”
On MSC Virtuosa this includes the world’s first humanoid bartender at sea that will be the star of a futuristic, immersive experience using cutting-edge technologies, he says. And when it comes to the environment, MSC Virtuosa features some of the most advanced technology currently available.
MSC Virtuosa is also the first cruise ship in the world to receive a BIORISK notation from Bureau Veritas in recognition of its ability to mitigate and manage infectious disease risk for passengers.
Vago added: “Our long-term goal is to achieve a zero-impact cruise operation and this is the journey we are on today. MSC Virtuosa represents another important step in this direction together with our other investments in the accelerated development of next-generation environmental technology. It also confirms our long-term firm commitment to achieving this ambitious goal.”
As the cruise line’s new flagship, MSC Virtuosa will come into service for the summer season starting April 16, with four cruises in the Mediterranean of 3-,-4- and 10-nights before moving to its new homeport of Kiel, where the ship will commence Northern Europe itineraries starting May 8.
The Meraviglia generation ships, including MSC Virtuosa, are characterized by the iconic 101-metre-long promenade with an LED sky dome as the social heart of the ship. The two-deck space is lined with boutiques, restaurants and bars. In the evening, it comes alive with music, entertainment and more.
MSC Virtuosa is the sister ship of MSC Grandiosa, the first vessel of any major cruise line to return to the seas this summer successfully hosting to date nearly 40,000 guests under the protection of MSC Cruises’ industry-leading health & safety protocol currently performing 7-night itineraries in the Western Mediterranean.
This year will see two the launch of two more new MSC Cruises next-generation ships – the second one being MSC Seashore, in August 2021 – bringing the fleet total to 19, with a further four to be launched by 2025.