‘Renaissance project’ moves on to second ship – lengthening and refit to take 10 weeks in PalermoMSC Cruises has begun work to transform the second of its four Lirica-class ships with the arrival of MSC Sinfonia at the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo, Sicily.
The work to lengthening and refit the vessel over the next 10 weeks will now include the addition of dedicated kids’ club areas from LEGO and Chicco – extending the exciting brand partnerships introduced on sister ship MSC Armonia. That ship returned to service on November 17 2014.
The €200 million ‘Renaissance project’ is upgrading all four of MSC Cruises’ smallest, Lirica-class, ships with the addition of new pre-built mid-sections to add balcony cabins, plus comprehensive onboard enhancements.
Fincantieri’s world-class marine engineers will carefully bisect MSC Sinfonia’s hull, after which the two halves of the ships will be slowly drawn apart. On 20 and 21 January they will insert a 2,200GT, 24-metre midsection containing 193 extra cabins. Then they will refit and renew much of the ship’s interior, bringing an enhanced sense of comfort and space.
Before MSC Sinfonia’s arrival, Fincantieri’s preparations were already well under way for the work on board and in the shipyard. On January 9, the new midsection was floated into the shipyard and hauled into the dry-dock area where MSC Sinfonia will remain for the duration of its stay.
Once the work is complete and sea trials completed, the larger, smarter MSC Sinfonia will weigh anchor from the shipyard on March 25 for Genoa, from where it will begin for a maiden cruise to Ajaccio, Barcelona and Marseille.
MSC Sinfonia will feature new purpose-built areas for children created in partnership with Chicco and LEGO, and a new Baby Club, Mini Club, Young Club and Teens Club.
MSC Cruises executive director UK and Ireland Giles Hawke said: “Everyone at MSC Cruises loves our partnerships with LEGO and Chicco – they are two fantastic internationally-renowned brands. It is great news that we are giving families even more opportunity to enjoy these facilities by adding them to MSC Sinfonia.”
MSC Cruises has also reimagined the onboard dining experiences, keeping the buffet open 20 hours per day and installing fresh new dining spaces, a brand new lounge and an extended restaurant.
The ship’s MSC Aurea Spa will also be enriched with additional massage areas, and a new outdoor spray park will be added on deck 13 – an exciting series of playful water features and jets.
The remainder of the Renaissance Programme will progress according to the following schedule:
• MSC Opera: May 2 to July 4 2015
• MSC Lirica: August 31 to November 2 2015
MSC Cruises currently carries roughly 40,000 guests per day, but by 2022 will double its capacity to 80,000 guests a day – 3.4 million per year – once the Renaissance Programme is completed and the last of seven planned ships is delivered.