MSC Meraviglia will launch this June, with 11 new ships to come into service by 2026. // © 2017 MSC Cruises
Feature image (above): A balcony stateroom on Meraviglia // © 2017 MSC Cruises
At the February shipyard Coin Ceremony for MSC Cruises’ new MSC Meraviglia, executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago confirmed that the line is picking up two options for Meraviglia-Plus ships, due for delivery in October 2019 and September 2020. These are in addition to Meravaglia, which launches this June, and MSC Bellissima, due in March 2019.
The newbuilds are part of MSC Cruises’ $10 billion investment plan for 11 new next-generation cruise ships that will come into service by 2026, tripling the company’s capacity with large vessels. The Meraviglia-Plus ships are an evolution of the Meraviglia class prototype; their gross registered tonnage (GRT) will increase to 177,000, with a 2,450-guest capacity, compared to the two Meraviglia-class vessels due in June, which will measure 167,000 GRT and feature 2,250 passenger cabins, with a total capacity for 5,714 guests onboard (including family accommodations).
The company’s investment in North America is impressive. On the heels of year-round deployment of MSC Divina, the 4,140-passenger MSC Seaside — the first of its class — will come straight to Miami from the shipyard in late December. Now, cruisers can expect a Meraviglia-class vessel, as well, although Vago did not specify which of the ships will come to Miami, or whether it will sail there year-round or seasonally.
With more capacity in the market, MSC is catering to a broad range of guests. Seaside will offer 111 modular staterooms that can accommodate families, as well as The Reserve, a casual eatery for families. Along with dining choices that include Classic, My Choice, Flexi and Yacht Club, MSC has opened up the entertainment schedule for a larger numbers of passengers; there are now shows for different tastes and age groups.
All four Meraviglia and Meraviglia-Plus ships will have next-generation environmental technologies, positioning MSC in line with 2020 air emission regulations.