Chantiers de l’Atlantique today delivered its first new build cruise ship in nearly eleven months and she is one of the world’s largest cruise ships. The 181,541 gross tons MSC Virtuosa was delivered in a small ceremony at the shipyard. She is the second Meraviglia-Plus class ship for the line and the sixteenth cruise ship that the yard has built for MSC.
The new MSC Virtuosa is part of an aggressive construction program that MSC has been following to expand its cruise operations. She is the sixth new cruise ship the company has introduced since 2017. She is scheduled to be followed this summer by another large cruise ship, the MSC Seashore, currently under construction by Fincantieri in Italy. Chantiers de l’Atlantique is also scheduled to deliver the first of the new 205,700 gross ton World Class cruise ships to MSC in 2022 and in 2023 a sister ship to the MSC Virtuosa.
Measuring 1,085 feet in length, the MSC Virtuosa is a sister ship to the MSC Grandiosa that was introduced in October 2019 and they are enlarged versions of the MSC Meraviglia. The larger ships accommodate a maximum passenger capacity of 6,334 people and have a crew of 1,700. Like all the new cruise ships they feature a range of passenger amenities. The MSC Virtuosa has 11 different dining venues, including two new concepts. Among the eye-catching features is a 300-foot-long LED sky dome in the central atrium of the ship and a new “humanoid bartender at sea.”
The ship also incorporates environmental technologies into its operations, including the second ship in the company’s fleet to have a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. They report that the system will help reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90 percent. The hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system achieves a 98 percent reduction of sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions.
She is also equipped with a next-generation advanced wastewater treatment system (AWTS). It also has systems for the prevention of oil discharges from machinery spaces and state-of-the-art energy-efficiency improvements, including heat recovery systems and LED lighting. The MSC Virtuosa is also equipped to do shore-to-ship power and an underwater radiated noise management system minimizes acoustic sound impact.
She marks the first cruise ship Chantiers de l’Atlantique completed since the Celebrity Apex, which was delivered at the end of March 2020. The MSC Virtuosa was floated out at the end of October 2019 and was originally scheduled to enter service in November 2020.
The new flagship of the MSC Cruise fleet, the current plan call for the MSC Virtuosa to enter service on April 16, with four cruises in the Mediterranean of 3-, 4-, and 10-nights before the ship moves to Kiel, Germany for Northern Europe itineraries beginning in May. Her sister ship, the MSC Grandiosa, was MSC’s first cruise ship to return to service in the summer of 2020 and is currently sailing cruises to Italy and Malta.