Saturday 24 September 2011


One million hour countdown to May 2012 naming

MSC Divina, the third to the MSC Cruises’ flagship Fantasia class, was ceremoniously floated out of dry dock of the STX Europe ship yard in Saint-Nazaire, France on Saturday, September 3 and transferred to another dock for final fitting and furnishing ahead of her naming in May next year.

Representing a major milestone in the mammoth build of the new 140,000-tonne, 4363-passenger cruise ship, the special occasion was watched by a select group of guests who gathered to applaud the “12th and most magnificent of the MSC Cruses fleet”.

“It is a proud moment,” said Emilio La Scala, general manager of MSC Cruises Technical Department. “Today marks the start of the final one million hours of work devoted to meticulously applying the finishing touches to ensure our new ‘dĂ©butante’ is ready and perfectly ‘dressed up’ when she emerges for her debut ‘Grand Ball’ on 26 May 2012 in Marseille, France,” he said.

Lynne Clarke, managing director of MSC Cruises Australia and New Zealand, echoed Mr La Scala’s remarks by saying such an addition would further highlight interest from Australia and New Zealand for an MSC Cruises holiday and the Italian flavour of the fleet.

“We forecast a rush of bookings for a cabin aboard the new flagship which will operate on a series of cruises of the Mediterranean in its first year. “It’s exciting times not only for MSC Cruises but also for cruise fans from our corner of the world.”

Seven-night cruises aboard MSC Divina begin at A$939 (NZ1229) per person, twin share. Children aged under 18 years cruise free when sharing a cabin with two parents (pay only port charges).

Named in honour of legendary screen idol and patron of the MSC Cruises fleet, Sophia Loren, MSC Divina will be appropriately themed as a divine goddess. This was hinted at the recent ceremony with the announcement that the ship’s 18 decks (13 of them for passengers) will be named after the Gods of ancient Greece, among them Urano, Afrodite, Aurora, Giunone, Artemide, Zeus, Mercurio, Cupido, Iride, Minerva, Apollo, Saturno, Elios.

There will be something decidedly transcendental about one of the most novel additions to the ship: the aft designed and decorated as a private and “heavenly upscale area” with infinity pool.

Construction of MSC Divina started over a year ago with around 50 per cent of fittings already completed. When finished the cruise ship will have 1751 cabins, 100 more than on board sister ships MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida. Features include an expanded exclusive MSC Yacht Club where guests can relax in the Top Sail Lounge. The ship will also feature a new reverse osmosis system for fresh water production, requiring 40 percent less power and assuring less environmental impact.

Details: MSC Cruises, phone 1300 028502,

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