Posts Tagged ‘Mediterranean Shipping company’

MSC Adds Another Newbuild

June 14, 2018

MSC Cruises and STX France have signed an order for the construction of a fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship.

Due to be delivered in 2023, this vessel will be equipped with a new generation of dual-fuel engines designed to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

MSC is adding 13 ships to its fleet between 2017 and 2026, including five LNG-powered cruise ships.

(MSC)

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Bellissima For China

April 24, 2018

(Courtesy MSC)

MSC Cruises has just announced that the new MSC Bellissima will be based in China and Asia-Pacific starting in 2020.

The ship will reposition to Shanghai in spring of 2020, MSC announced, at an event coinciding the MSC Splendida’s arrival into the Chinese market this week.

The 4,500-guest Bellissima will be delivered from STX France in March 2019 and will spend its inaugural season in Europe before moving to Asia. In China, it will become the largest ship homeporting in the local market.

(MSC)

Bellissima Will Be Christened In Southampton

March 22, 2018

(Courtesy MSC)

MSC Bellissima will be named in Southampton on March 2, 2019.

Antonio Paradiso, managing director UK and Ireland, said he believed the move would see the 5,700-guest Bellissima become the largest ship ever to be christened in the UK.

The Meraviglia-class vessel will sail its maiden voyage from Southampton to Genoa two days later. The last MSC vessel to be named in the UK was MSC Poesia in Dover in 2008.

Bellissima will become MSC Cruises’ fourth mega-ship to come into service in less than three years since 2017 as part of a 12-ship, ten-year €10.5 billion investment programme.

MSC also revealed that Bellissima will debut an onboard “digital personal assistant” system for passengers, which Onorato said would take the line’s MSC For Me technology programme “to the next level”.

The “conversational, voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence innovation” will see a speaker beacon placed in each cabin, offering information such as weather updates and excursion timings and, with its next phase, provide guests with tailored suggestions including dinner reservations.

It has been developed by MSC and Samsung subsidiary Harman, responsible for a number of voice-enabled technology created for Amazon, Google and Microsoft, and will be available on all future new ships.

(MSC)

Rise Of The Clones

January 5, 2018

SS United states (Top) and SS America, United States Line (Source unknown)

Ships Of State

In the era of the great Ocean Liners, each country that had the resources and know-how designed and built themselves unique ships. These were ‘ships of state’, each representing their country.

For example the UK had the likes of the Titanic and later the Cunard Queen’s ‘Mary’ and ‘Elizabeth’. France had their wonderful ‘Normadie’ and ‘France’. American had their ‘America’ and ‘United states’. Each ship represented their respective countries engineering achievements, excellent design and the finest decor and artwork.

Today cruise ship are much more generic and the design can actually be shared across different cruise brands. In fact the only differences in some cases, may be the funnels, livery and internal decor.

We are going to see even more ‘clones’ over the next few years.

‘Made to measure’ or  ‘off the peg’?

Carnival have shared ship designs between their brands for many years now: P&O have several Princess designs. Cunard have two generic Carnival ‘Vista’ class ships and P&O has one. P&O’s next mega ship (184,000 gt) is a design shared with Costa, AIDA and Carnival cruises. Cunard will be getting a new ship in 2022, a design shared with ‘Holland America’.

Surprisingly the Norwegian Cruise lines next class of cruise ship, called ‘Project Leonardo’, is not a new a class of ship designed by themselves either. It has been designed by the Italian shipyard Fincantieri.

I guess the advantage of this approach is that it must save development costs and time as the shipyard has already done the hard work.   However the disadvantage is that the shipyard can share this design with other buyers and it appears that they already have!

On closer inspection NCL’s ‘Project Leonardo’ looks remarkably similar to MSC’s ‘Seasisde’ also designed by Fincantieri.

However I believe Leonardo is shorter than Seaside, so will have a smaller gross tonnage and carry less passengers. Seaside is 154,000 gross tonnes and carry  4,140 (lower berth) passengers. Leonardo will be 140, 00 gross tonnes and carry around 3,300 passengers.

Seaside has a glass covered pool in front of her funnel, Leonardo appears to have a non-covered one in this location (for the Haven?) This may leaves just one sun-deck pool aft?

The big attraction of this ship design is the very large promenade deck, which is probably more expansive than NCL’s excellent ‘Waterfront’ feature found on-board their Breakaway and Breakaway+ classes.

I do find it a little sad when different cruise brands share a ship design. It just lacks originality.

I was going to say that Leanardo will be quite different internally to Seaside, as she will be designed to accommodate NCL’s ‘Freestyle’ dining system with multiple dining rooms.  However looking at Seaside’s deck plans (HERE) there are three full decks and two half decks of restaurants and other public rooms. I guess little will need changing apart from the décor and branding. I guess that was part of the appeal of using Fincantieri’s existing design.

Malcolm

*(Why is the project called ‘Leonardo’, anybody?)