The MSC’s 9 million euros investment plan set an important milestone for its development on the 15th of November. As a matter of fact, on that day it took place an unexpected double ceremony at Saint-Nazaire shipyard: the first steel cutting ceremony for MSC Grandiosa and the coin ceremony for MSC Bellissima. MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, commented: “Today we are celebrating a truly unique moment, as it is the first time that key shipbuilding milestones for two different ships are celebrated on the same day. This is testimony to the strength and ambition of our investment plan.”
Meraviglia Plus steel cutting ceremony
Our day in Saint-Nazaire begins with the MSC Grandiosa’s steel cutting ceremony, first Meraviglia Plus Class ship, 331 metres in length, 16 more than Meraviglia, and 181,000 GRT’s. She will be the fifth ship in MSC new industrial plan and she will join the fleet in 2019 as 17th unit.
The first steel cutting is a ceremony which gets the production of construction blocks from steel started. These block will then be assembled inside the dock. The honour to let the cutting for MSC Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, who turns on the laser machine with a click and after a couple of minutes a Grandiosa silhouette of steel is ready. Two workers extract it from the cutting machine and Vago with shipyard’s director Laurent Castaing signs in.
After the cutting Mr Vago revealed that the ship will be named MSC Grandiosa, commenting: “The Meraviglia generation of ships is already setting a new standard for the cruise industry and is just one of the three brand new prototypes that we have designed to bring the cruise guest experience to the next level. MSC Grandiosa is named to signify magnificence and grandeur, a fitting name for this even richer, ultra-modern mega-ship.”
Among the features of the new ship we can find for the first time an art museum cruising the sea, the Circque du Soleil with two new shows and the latest hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems.
MSC Bellissima coin ceremony
After the Grandiosa ceremony, we move to another shipyard zone for the second scheduled event, MSC Bellissima coin ceremony.
In the large construction dock, named Forme A, it is already set the mid-ship first section, on which the ceremony will take place. As tradition wants it, two coins, one for the shipyard and one for the cruise Company, are welted in the ship, with the presence of two godmothers. For MSC Vago presents Mrs. Marcia Leite (on left in the photo), in MSC for 20 years, now operations director in Brasil.
Then a 1100 tons block is moved by the massive gantry cranes and after a “flight” over our heads is set in the dock. It is only one of the almost 60 different blocks that will complete Bellissima structure.
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