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Saturday, 23 March 2019

MSC Magnifica maiden call


Following her maiden call in Auckland, New Zealand on her 118-night World Cruise from Genoa, Italy, MSC Magnifica reached Sydney on 18 March receiving a warm welcome. This visit from MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world's largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, The Gulf, South America and South Africa, marks the second time MSC Cruises has brought one of its cruise ships to Australia, with MSC Orchestra having visited in 2015

In honour of the maiden call to this stunning harbour, MSC Cruises organised events throughout the day to welcome guests. MSC Cruises invited key media and travel agents to allow them to familiarise themselves with the unique MSC Cruises experience.

Alessandro Guerreri, Managing Director of MSC Cruises Australia and New Zealand, said: "We are honoured to welcome MSC Magnifica to Australia. At MSC Cruises we are committed to continuously enrich itineraries for our guests, allowing them to discover new destinations and cultures in a unique way."



After an overnight in Sydney, MSC Magnifica made her maiden call in Melbourne on 21 March and will reach Fremantle on 25 March.

Guests onboard were treated to a signature menu from multi-award-winning chef, Serge Dansereau of Sydney's highly-acclaimed restaurant: The Bathers' Pavilion, on 20 March. Guests had the choice of starter; Yellowfin tuna tartare with ponzu sauce, avocado, rice paper and sesame or Fregola with peas, capsicum, coriander pesto, lemon and parmesan. For main; Lamb ,loin with slow-cooked lamb shoulder cumin carrots and tomato, smoked couscous, date puree and lemon or Potato gratin with miso butter, sautéed mushrooms, shallot puree, pine nut crumble and for dessert guests were treated to Chocolate gateau with chai chocolate mousse, lemon curd, hazelnut crumble and chocolate ice cream.



Friday, 8 March 2019

MSC Bellissima launched



MSC Bellissima brings to the sea the latest advances in maritime design, state-of-the-art environmental features and cutting-edge customer-centric technology

Second key construction milestone marked with MSC Virtuosa's Coin Ceremony

 MSC Cruises, the world's largest privately-owned cruise company, has taken delivery of MSC Bellissima from Chantiers de l'Atlantique, a world leader in cruise ship construction. With three Meraviglia generation ships under simultaneous construction at the shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, the two parties marked a double celebration today, with MSC Virtuosa's Coin Ceremony.

MSC Bellissima's Delivery Ceremony took place in the presence of Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group's Founder and Executive Chairman. Also present were Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, as well as other regional and local authorities and dignitaries.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises' Executive Chairman, said: "Today's delivery marks another chapter in the story of our partnership with Chantiers de l'Atlantique. Together we have already brought to life 14 highly-innovative cruise ships, paving the way for our Company's initial growth. Many more will be built together over the coming years to further deepen the reach of our fleet. Furthermore, MSC Bellissima's elegance and beauty, as well as focus on the best and latest maritime and environmental technology at sea, bear testament to our restless pursuit for innovation."

Laurent Castaing, Chantiers de l'Atlantique's General Manager, said: "This new outstanding ship is another evidence of the quality of the long-term partnership we have established between MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l'Atlantique during these last twenty years. We bring each time all our expertise and innovation capability to deserve the confidence of our customers: this is a real success story for our two companies."



As other ships in MSC Cruises' fleet, MSC Bellissima pushes the boundaries of ship building and design. Bearing testament to the Company's commitment to protect the environment, she has been equipped with some of the latest environmental technologies available. These include, amongst others, a cutting-edge exhaust gas cleaning system, an advanced wastewater treatment plant, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, a ballast water treatment system, and various energy-saving improvements – from heat recovery systems to LED lighting.

MSC Bellissima is also equipped with cutting-edge guest technology. She is the first MSC Cruises ship to feature ZOE, the world's first virtual personal cruise assistant, which has been added to MSC for Me. The voice-enabled virtual personal assistant will be found in every cabin and can answer hundreds of questions about the cruise.

With the delivery, MSC Bellissima has become the fourth ship to join MSC Cruises' fleet in less than two years. As part of MSC Cruises' unprecedented new builds programme, another 13 next-generation cruise ships are due to join its fleet by 2027. These include four World Class mega cruise ships capable of welcoming nearly 7,000 guests as well as four smaller ships that will serve the ultra-luxury segment.

MSC Bellissima is the second Meraviglia Class ship to join MSC Cruises' fleet. As MSC Meraviglia, she is the ship for all seasons, with plenty of outdoor and indoor public spaces. With a length of just 315 metres, she has been designed to be able to access most of the world's cruise ports.

This evening MSC Bellissima will set sail towards Southampton, UK, where her Naming Ceremony is due to be held on 2 March. On 4 March she will depart on her maiden voyage, which will take her to Genoa, Italy, where she will spend her inaugural season, offering Western Mediterranean cruises. In November 2019, she will reposition to the Gulf, providing weekly sailings out of Dubai. In spring 2020 she will be deployed to Asia.

Earlier in the day, MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l'Atlantique held MSC Virtuosa's Coin Ceremony, which takes place at the early stages of construction of a newbuild, when the keel is laid. Due to be delivered in November 2020, she will become the fourth Meraviglia Class ship in MSC Cruises' fleet and the second of three Meraviglia-Plus ships, a larger and enriched version of the Meraviglia prototype with an increased number of cabins, more public space and additional features. Tradition dictates that two long-standing employees from the shipyard and the ship owner act as godmothers, placing two coins under the new ship's keel block as a sign of blessing and good fortune. Today Elise Guérin, Project Manager, Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Helen Huang, President, Greater China, MSC Cruises had the honour of performing this traditional task.

For more information visit msccruises.com.au or msccruises.co.nz


Delivery date                                27 February 2019
Gross tonnage                               171,598 GT
Lower berth capacity                    4,434
Max. passenger capacity               5,686
Crew members                               1,536
Number of cabins                           2,217
Length / Beam / Height                  315.3 m / 43 m / 65 m
Maximum speed                             22.7 knots



Thursday, 7 March 2019

First look at new Seabourn expedition vessels [video]

Is this new Damen design for Seabourn? (Damen) 


Seabourn has released new details on what guests can expect from its two new luxury expedition ships. The cruise line signed a letter of intent with shipbuilders T. Mariotti and Damen in July, marking the brand’s first entry into the expedition cruise market.

The ships will represent a brand-new design, with the first slated for delivery in June 2021 and the second in May 2022. The first ship is currently planned to sail in the Arctic in late summer 2021, with a full summer season in Antarctica to follow.

Each will be designed with a high level of autonomy and a global deployment capability, which Seabourn says will allow them to go farther north and south than any ship in parent company Carnival Corporation’s history, visiting both warm and cool weather destinations. As previously reported, each will be built to PC6 Polar Class standards, allowing them to operate in both summer and autumn in medium first-year ice in Antarctica and the Arctic. The ships will be propelled by Azipods complemented by three bow thrusters, allowing for greater manoeuvrability.




Other newly released design details include shell doors at the ship’s waterline, which will allow guests to move easily on and off the ship via its onboard complement of Zodiacs. Additionally, dynamic positioning systems will provide the ship increased operational flexibility when it comes to maintaining its position.

For guests, the new ships will have approximately 29,600 square feet of open deck space, complemented by high-quality optics mounted in various areas on the decks when conditions permit, to maximize opportunities to view wildlife and dramatic scenery. Also notable: the ships will carry two onboard submarines for underwater exploration, as well as a complement of kayaks and 24 Zodiacs. Shore experiences will build on the brand’s existing Antarctica and Ventures by Seabourn programs, the cruise line said.

In terms of accommodations, each ship will have 132 oceanfront veranda suites, allowing for a capacity of up to 264 guests.

The onboard crew will include a 26-person expedition team, who will regularly interact with guests. These experts are also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places the ships will visit. The expedition team will be available to guests in both formal presentations and casual conversations.

Seabourn said it will continue to announce design and itinerary details for the new ships over the next few months. Expect more on planned itineraries and booking availability this spring.

Captain Serena Melani To Helm Seven Seas Splendor


On International Women's Day, An Historic Cruise Industry Achievement: Captain Serena Melani Will Be First Woman Captain To Launch A Brand-New Cruise Ship

Captain Melani Will Lead Seven Seas SplendorTM When Ship Launches in February 2020