Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cruise News: MSC Cruises Will Welcome MSC Preziosa to the Fleet

What could go wrong when a start-up cruise line (GNMTC) based in Libya orders a ship? As it turns out, a lot. For one thing, the Libyans who placed the order with STX France failed to make a scheduled payment last June and the shipyard cancelled the order. However, in anticipation of finding a buyer for the partially completed vessel, the shipbuilder continued working on it. To make lemonade from a “lemon” for both parties, MSC Cruises has announced that they have finalized negotiations with STX France and signed a contract to take over the 139,400-ton cruise ship. The new ship’s name is now MSC Preziosa and she will be the 13th addition to the MSC Cruises fleet. As well as continuing the line’s expansion, she will also be the precious fourth vessel in the series of Fantasia-class ships, which include MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida, and the long-awaited MSC Divina. MSC Divina, coincidentally the sister ship of MSC Preziosa, is currently having her final touches applied in the STX ship yard in St. Nazaire, France before her christening in May 2012.

“The new ship represents an investment of €550 million and will be delivered at the end of March 2013. Negotiations with STX France have lasted over nine months; a significant but understandable period of time considering the importance of the investment and the unexpected nature of the takeover,” said Mr. Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO, MSC Cruises. “When MSC Preziosa is delivered we will have four ships of every class, giving us a total capacity of over 40,000 berths and the strength to sail in all seas. MSC Preziosa herself will sail the Mediterranean, exploring the beauty of Greek Islands, which represent the highlight of European cruising.”

Forty-five percent of MSC Preziosa’s total construction has been completed and her mechanical zones are 70% complete. The best, however, is that MSC Cruises will soon begin the fitting and furnishing of the 1,094-foot long, 124-foot wide ship and work its unique Mediterranean magic on turning MSC Preziosa into a stylish masterpiece and a perfect mix of advanced technology, elegance, and exclusive services.

MSC Preziosa will boast 1,751 staterooms, 17 guest elevators—including a private one for the exclusive use of MSC Yacht Club guests—and 14 guest decks. Guests will be able to enjoy four main restaurants, including two speciality restaurants; 21 bars; a casino; four swimming pools, including an infinity pool; 12 whirlpools; mini-bowling; a sports area with game courts; a Fitness Center; a children’s area; and the superb MSC Aurea Spa.

An exclusive feature of MSC Preziosa—and of all Fantasia-class ships—is the MSC Yacht Club. Guests staying in the 69 exclusive MSC Yacht Club suites will be able to take advantage of the private sun deck, which includes The One Pool and Bar as well as two whirlpools; and the spectacular glass-walled Top Sail observation lounge with amazing ocean views. Butlers provide assistance with luggage during embarkation and debarkation; unpack and pack guests’ belongings upon request; serve traditional English afternoon tea; arrange for fine cigars, wines and spirits; and make dining room reservations as well as reservations for MSC Aurea Spa services; coordinate ad hoc shore excursions; and even plan private parties.

Cruise guests concerned about reducing carbon emissions can relax in the knowledge that MSC Preziosa’s green features, including an advanced waste water treatment system (AWT) and advanced energy saving systems, with a focus on air-conditioning, will gain the same impressive industry-leading ecoship and cleanship credentials as her sister ship MSC Divina.

On a side note, you might wonder what MSC Preziosa’s name means. Our Italian-to-English translator returns this result: an adjective for “precious, valuable, costly, dear.” That sounds just preziosa to us.
Photo © Linda Coffman,

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