MSC Cruises revealed another industry first with the introduction of a digital cruise personal assistant as a new feature of MSC for Me, the Company’s digital innovation program. This new and ground-breaking guest service, developed in partnership with HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and leader in connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, will debut on MSC Bellissima, which is currently under construction at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.
The Company also announced that MSC Bellissima, which will be MSC Cruises’ next flagship, will be christened in the port of Southampton, UK on March 2, 2019. The two announcements were made today in London at the launch of MSC Cruises’ new 2019-2020 brochure to travel agent partners and media.
Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, said:
“This is another example of how we are continuously innovating to better serve the needs of not only the cruise guests of today but also those of the future, as we continue to shape the future of the cruise vacation.”
“We employ state-of-the-art technology in a uniquely comprehensive way, building it into every step of the development of our new ships, starting from their conception and design to the final guest experience. It is through our cruise expertise, the skill of our shipyard partners and our unique collaborations with world-leading digital and technology experts such as Samsung and, now, HARMAN that we are able to introduce ground-breaking technology to provide our guests with a connected experience that enhances their cruise from beginning to end.”
About MSC Cruises Virtual Personal Assistant
The virtual personal assistant for MSC Cruises guests is a conversational, voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation that can communicate, learn and intelligently predict guests’ needs to make relevant suggestions. This new and unique offering will provide guests with tailored information to help simplify and enhance their MSC Cruises experience by providing quick and easy answers to questions from the comfort of their own stateroom.
Industry-Leading Digital Innovation
MSC Cruises’ digital innovation program has been developed in collaboration with more than eleven of the world’s leading digital, tech and behavioral science experts, including Deloitte Digital and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. This latest enhancement to MSC for Me has been conceptualized by MSC Cruises’ dedicated Business Innovation team led by Luca Pronzati, Chief Innovation Officer, and HARMAN, whose experts in the field of voice-enabled technology have developed audio solutions for technology leaders such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft. This new collaboration is a result of the long-standing relationship between MSC Cruises and Samsung, a true partnership founded on a joint vision to shape the future of the cruise industry through the introduction of the very best connected technologies.
Sanjay Dhawan, President, HARMAN Connected Services and HARMAN CTO, commented:
“Digital Assistants and voice recognition technologies are transforming the way we communicate and get our work done today. With this outstanding solution, MSC Cruises will completely transform its guest experience on board. Imagine getting instant and personalized information like cruise events, entertainment options, journey updates, or just playing your favorite music by a simple voice command. HARMAN is excited to bring this innovation to MSC Cruises.”
Unlike other home digital assistants that rely on cloud-based programs with internet-connected devices or applications, this digital offering will be designed around a ship-based solution, customized especially for MSC Cruises’ guests’ needs. The current ways in which guests seek their information on board will be further enhanced, allowing for a uniquely personalized experience. Reflecting MSC Cruises’ truly international on board offering, guests will be able to communicate with the new digital personal assistant device in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Mandarin. The personal assistant will initially launch on MSC Bellissima, but will be available on all future new ships and plans are in place to introduce the feature on the rest of the fleet.
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The unique service is the latest feature of MSC for Me, a multi-channel digital experience that is designed to connect guests to their cruise with cutting-edge technology. It includes the MSC for Me App, in-cabin connected television, and interactive information screens around the ship, among other features. MSC for Me was first launched on board MSC Bellissima’s award-winning sister ship, MSC Meraviglia.
MSC Bellissima brings beauty to Southampton
MSC Bellissima will become MSC Cruises’ fourth mega-ship to come into service in less than three years since 2017 and is part of a ten-year €10.5 billion (≈$12.4 billion USD) investment program introducing a total of 12 new ships. She represents a further evolution of the award-winning Meraviglia prototype as her sister-ship, MSC Meraviglia, which came into service in June 2017 was awarded Cruise Critic’s Editors’ Picks “Best New Ship in the UK” in 2017.