Today, as MSC Splendida arrived in Chinese waters, MSC Cruises – the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line as well as leading cruise brand in Europe and South America – announced that MSC Bellissima will be deployed in Asia in Spring 2020, becoming MSC Cruises’ newest flagship for the region. MSC Bellissima, MSC Cruises’ second Meraviglia-class ship, is currently being constructed at STX France’s shipyard in Saint-Nazaire and is due to first come into service in March 2019.
Following her inaugural season in the Mediterranean next summer, MSC Bellissima will bring a range of cutting-edge innovations to China and Japan, including the longest LED Sky Screen at Sea, at 262 feet long, within a stunning 315 ft. long Mediterranean-style promenade, designed to become the social hub of the ship. Guests will be able to enjoy brand new and exclusive to MSC Cruises Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows every night as well as a next-generation MSC Yacht Club, with new features and luxurious accommodations spanning three decks, private facilities and butler service around-the-clock. MSC Bellissima will be among the biggest and most innovative cruise ships deployed in the region.
While MSC Bellissima will be mostly based in Shanghai to serve the Chinese home market, she will also offer a number of sailings from Japan to cater to the growing demand for the MSC Cruises product and experience from Japanese consumers.
Speaking at an official meeting with Mr CHEN Qun, Vice Mayor of Shanghai, Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, commented, “MSC Splendida does not mark the end of our ambitions in China and Asia overall. This market is a global priority, and we are committed to serving it with our very best ships and products. For this reason, I’m delighted to announce that MSC Bellissima will homeport in Asia as of Spring 2020, marking the next step of our growth in one of the world’s most appealing cruise markets.”
In addition, MSC Splendida has completed her Maritime Silk Road sailing, which has taken her from Dubai, UAE, to Shanghai, China. During her season in Asia, she will also operate mostly out of Shanghai as well as Yokohama, Japan. With 137,936 gross ton, MSC Splendida is one of the largest, most modern cruise ships currently operating in the Asia region. She features 1,637 staterooms, 76 percent of which feature a balcony and can accommodate up to a total of 4,363 guests (3,274 double occupancy).
MSC Splendida, a favorite for Asian guests cruising in Europe, will introduce the MSC Yacht Club to the Chinese and Asian markets. This exclusive, “ship-within-a-ship” high-end concept has been designed for the most discerning guests who desire exclusivity and privacy with all of the choices of a larger ship. Offering a broad range of private facilities, MSC Yacht Club’s guests also benefit from exclusive services including 24-hour butler service, a dedicated concierge service as well as priority boarding and disembarkation.
Prior to today’s arrival, MSC Splendida went through an extensive overhaul to renovate her interiors, install new features of and upgraded on board experiences and add features that meet the expectations of Chinese and Asian guests. MSC Splendida now features an exclusive selection of Asian and Western cuisines in three new restaurants: the signature hot pot restaurant, Sea Pavilion, by the acclaimed Chinese chef Jereme Leung, who is globally recognized for his contemporary interpretation of Chinese cuisine; the Hong Kong style Dim Sum & Teahouse; and the Butcher’s Cut, a popular American-style steak house on board MSC Cruises’ fleet.
MSC Splendida is also now equipped with the latest evolution of MSC for Me, MSC Cruises’ digital innovation program bringing the very latest advances in customer-centric technology to guests at sea. The comprehensive program is focused on connecting guests to their desired vacation experience through cutting-edge technology that is specially engineered to meet their every need, providing guests with smart features geared toward a fully optimized cruise. These include a dedicated app to help guests tailor their experience at any point on their journey, whether booking their excursions prior to embarkation or reserving a specialty restaurant while relaxing by the top-deck pool. The technology will improve the overall guest experience allowing for more free time to enjoy the cruise. MSC Splendida also provides portable Wi-Fi translator enabled by Baidu’s AI technology, and supports payments via Alipay, an easy to use payment method providing discounted exchange rates without internet connection.
MSC Splendida is due to arrive in Yokohama on April 27, where MSC Cruises will also celebrate its ten-year anniversary in Japan.
Carnival’s Duffy talks Vista and beyond
Looking forward to Mein Schiff 1 – Preview 2018
Hapag-Lloyd’s new expedition ships
Regent Seven Seas – the evolution of luxury cruising
Stakeholders debate environmental solutions
Arctech returns to cruise shipbuilding
Caribbean open for business & South Florida’s cruising heritage
Madrid Cruise Summit