MSC Virtuosa was delivered today to MSC Cruises at les Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint Nazaire, France.

The ship will become the 18th ship in the MSC fleet and the second ship in the Meraviglia-Plus Class ship.

MSC’s executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, his wife Alexa Aponte-Vago and their children, as well as representatives from both the shipyard and MSC Cruises attended the ceremony.

Mr Vago commented, “My family and I could not miss this opportunity to welcome in person the newest member to our fleet. The delivery of MSC Virtuosa at such a challenging time for our industry symbolises how as a family company we continue to look at the longer term and build our future.”

“In doing so,” continued Vago, “we remain committed to building each time some of the most innovative ships in the world when it comes to their environmental performance featuring nothing but the most advanced available technology at sea. Just as importantly, with each new ship we continue to push boundaries and innovate our product offering with new and unique experiences for our guests. On MSC Virtuosa, this includes the world’s first humanoid bartender at sea that will be the star of a futuristic, immersive experience using cutting-edge technologies.

Our exceptional dining offering has been further enhanced with two new restaurant concepts that showcase popular international cuisines to take guests on a gastronomic journey of discovery. This is of course in addition to the richness of experience that already sets us apart such as the grand-scale nightly theatrical shows, the award-winning family offering, industry-leading guest technology, of course the now iconic promenade with a stunning 91.8 metre long LED sky dome that is the social heart of the ship and more.”

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique: “I am proud of what our teams have accomplished together, despite a difficult sanitary context. With the construction of MSC Virtuosa, we have reached a level of finish and performance that will give future MSC Virtuosa guests the best that cruising has to offer. The sixteenth ship that the Chantiers de l'Atlantique has built for MSC Cruises is therefore an example that will be difficult to overtake!”

The MSC Virtuosa features some of the most advanced technology currently available at sea, MSC stated, including:

  • wastewater treatment systems in line with the International Maritime Organization’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution; this wastewater system's standards is higher than most treatment facilities ashore;
  • cutting-edge selective catalytic reduction systems (SCR), which is said to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission by 90%;
  • hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), it will reduce by 98% the release of sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions.

MSC Cruises also highlighted the energy efficiency commitment onboard with shore-to-ship power connectivity, LED lighting controlled by smart management systems and advance smart ventilation and air conditioning systems.

On the Protection of Marine life, MSC Virtuosa is committed to reducing the impact on marine life with an underwater radiated noise management system. This will allow the ship to minimise the sound impact that negatively affects the marine fauna, especially the marine mammals.

MSC Virtuosa has also received 11 Golden Pearls from Bureau Veritas for her range of innovative aspects in  environmental protection and health and safety.

The ship is the first cruise ship in the world to receive a BIORISK notion from Bureau Veritas in recognition of her ability to mitigate and manage infectious disease risk for passengers.

Vago also mentioned “Our long-term goal is to achieve a zero-impact cruise operation and this is the journey we are on today. MSC Virtuosa represents another important step in this direction together with our other investments in the accelerated development of next-generation environmental technology. It also confirms our long-term firm commitment to achieving this ambitious goal.”