The first steel has been cut for the MSC Bellissima, the second new generation Meraviglia class cruise ship.
The first steel part was cut at the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire on Monday and this major milestone marks the beginning of official construction. The design and planning stage is now complete and the steel parts will come together to make many large blocks which will then form the vessel.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, while speaking at the Steel Cutting Ceremony in Saint Nazaire, said:
“MSC Cruises and STX France have walked a long path together since the construction of MSC Lirica in 2003.”
“Our current fleet was built at STX France and we are now shaping the future of the modern cruise ship with two new prototypes from STX France. With work nearing completion on MSC Meraviglia, we are delighted to begin construction of MSC Bellissima.”
“I am delighted with this prototype, which will soon become a beautiful and balanced cruise ship capable of operating everywhere in the world,” said Vago. “I am also extremely pleased that my wife, Alexa Aponte-Vago, has been able to join me here in Saint Nazaire to share this important milestone.”
MSC Bellissima will be completed and delivered to the cruise in 2019 and until then there are many major construction milestone to hit. The ship’s keel laying ceremony will be the next and then the ship floating out onto water for the very first time. The cruise line will also reveal further details on the ship as we get closer to its launch.
Laurent Castaing, CEO of STX France, said:
”We are proud to be MSC Cruises’ industrial partner from the beginning and we are very involved in their fleet development.”
“It is very challenging and we have passed an important milestone with the MERAVIGLIA generation. Meraviglia literally means wonder and the four new ships will astonish the public with their elegant and beautiful design. MSC Bellissima is as well named as her sistership.”
The ship will be identical to MSC Meraviglia which is arriving in May 2017. MSC Bellissima will be 167,600 gross tons and have a guest capacity of 5,700. the ships name was announced three months ago.