MSC Cruises has held a flag ceremony for its forthcoming flagship MSC Virtuosa, a ritual that forms part of the ship joining MSC’s fleet.
The ceremony, which was held at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint Nazaire, was attended by executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, his wife Alexa Aponte-Vago and their children as well as representatives from MSC Cruises new builds team along with executives and workers from the shipyard.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman said,“My family and I could not miss this opportunity to welcome in person the newest member to our fleet. The delivery of MSC Virtuosa at such a challenging time for our industry symbolises how as a family company we continue to look at the longer term and build our future.
“In doing so we remain committed to building each time some of the most innovative ships in the world when it comes to their environmental performance featuring nothing but the most advanced available technology at sea.Just as importantly, with each new ship we continue to push boundaries and innovate our product offering with new and unique experiences for our guests. On MSC Virtuosa, this includes the world’s first humanoid bartender at sea that will be the star of a futuristic, immersive experience using cutting-edge technologies. Our exceptional dining offering has been further enhanced with two new restaurant concepts that showcase popular international cuisines to take guests on a gastronomic journey of discovery. This is of course in addition to the richness of experience that already sets us apart such as the grand-scale nightly theatrical shows, the award-winning family offering, industry-leading guest technology, of course the now iconic promenade with a stunning 91.8 metre long LED sky dome that is the social heart of the ship and more.”
Laurent Castaing, general manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, stated:“I am proud of what our teams have accomplished together, despite a difficult sanitary context. With the construction ofMSC Virtuosa, we have reached a level of finish and performance that will give futureMSC Virtuosaguests the best that cruising has to offer. The sixteenth ship that the Chantiers de l’Atlantique has built for MSC Cruises is therefore an example that will be difficult to overtake.”
Virtuosa will be a sister-ship to MSC Gradiosa, the company’s first Meraviglia-plus ship. The vessel will spend its maiden season in Europe before heading to the Gulf in November.
Vago added: “Our long-term goal is to achieve a zero-impact cruise operation and this is the journey we are on today. MSC Virtuosa represents another important step in this direction together with our other investments in the accelerated development of next-generation environmental technology. It also confirms our long-term firm commitment to achieving this ambitious goal.”
MSC Virtuosa will come into service for the summer season from 16 April, with four cruises in the Mediterranean of 3-,-4- and 10-nights before the ship moves to her new homeport of Kiel, where she will commence her Northern Europe itineraries from 8 May.