Chantiers de l’Atlantique Delivers Cruise Ship MSC Virtuosa
MSC Cruises on Monday took delivery of its new flagship, MSC Virtuosa, built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint Nazaire, France.
The occasion was marked by a small and private ceremony held at the shipyard attended by MSC Cruises' executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, his wife Alexa Aponte-Vago and their children, as well as representatives from MSC Cruises newbuilds team along with shipyard executives and workers.
“The delivery of MSC Virtuosa at such a challenging time for our industry symbolizes how as a family company we continue to look at the longer term and build our future,” Pierfrancesco Vago said.
“In doing so,” continued Vago, “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.”
When it comes to the environment, MSC Virtuosa features some of the most advanced technology currently available, including hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) and cutting-edge selective catalytic reduction systems (SCR); wastewater treatment systems in line with the International Maritime Organization’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution; shore-to-ship power connectivity; as well as, underwater radiated noise management system, with hull and engine room designs that minimize acoustic sound impact.
Vago said, “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.”
The 331-meter cruise ship has also received 11 Golden Pearls from Bureau Veritas for her range of innovative aspects including environmental protection and health and safety. MSC Virtuosa is in fact the first cruise ship in the world to receive a BIORISK notation from Bureau Veritas in recognition of her ability to mitigate and manage infectious disease risk for passengers
Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, said, “I am proud of what our teams have accomplished together, despite a difficult sanitary context. With the construction of MSC Virtuosa, we have reached a level of finish and performance that will give future MSC Virtuosa guests 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.”
MSC Virtuosa is scheduled to enter service for the summer season from April 16, with four cruises in the Mediterranean before the ship moves to her new homeport of Kiel, where she will commence her Northern Europe itineraries from May 8.
MSC Virtuosa is the sister ship of MSC Grandiosa, the first vessel of any major cruise line to return to the seas this summer successfully hosting to-date nearly 40,000 guests under the protection of MSC Cruises’ health & safety protocol currently sailing in the Western Mediterranean.
2021 will see two the launch of two new MSC Cruises next-generation ships—the second one being MSC Seashore, which will come into service in August 2021—bringing the fleet total to 19, with a further four to be launched by 2025.