Geneva, Switzerland and Shanghai, China, 24 April 2018 – Today, on the occasion of MSC Splendida’s Maiden Call to Shanghai, 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. She will become MSC Cruises’ 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 be delivered 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 80 metres long encompassing a stunning 96 metre long Mediterranean-style promenade, designed to become the social hub of the ship. Guests will be able to enjoy exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows every night as well as next-generation MSC Yacht Club, with new features and luxurious accommodations spanning three decks, private facilities and butler service round-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. In addition, a number of Asia sailings will be reserved for international guests wanting to discover this popular region from the comfort and style of an MSC Cruises ship.
Speaking at MSC Splendida’s Maiden Call ceremony in Shanghai, Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, commented: “MSC Splendida does not mark the end of our ambitions in China and Asia overall. On the contrary, we see this market as a global priority and are committed to serving it with our very best ships and product. 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.”
MSC Splendida has successfully 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 GRT, MSC Splendida is one of the largest, most modern cruise ships currently operating in the Asia region. She features 1,637 cabins, 76% of which come with a balcony and can accommodate up to 4,363 guests.
MSC Splendida, a favourite for Asian guests cruising in Europe, introduces 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. Offering a broad range of private facilities, MSC Yacht Club’s guests benefit from exclusive services including a 24-hour personal butler, a dedicated concierge service as well as priority boarding and disembarkation.
Prior to today’s arrival, MSC Splendida went through an extensive overhaul process to renovate her interiors, install new as well as upgrade the onboard 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 globally recognised 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 programme bringing the very latest advances in customer-centric technology to guests at sea. The holistic and guest-centric programme is focused on connecting guests to their desired holiday experience through cutting-edge technology that is specially engineered to meet their every need, regardless of how they prefer to use technology when travelling. MSC for Me provides guests with smart features geared toward a fully optimized holiday experience. These include a dedicated app to help guests tailor their holidays at any point on their journey, whether they are booking their excursions prior to embarkation or a specialty restaurant whilst relaxing by the top-deck pool. This will improve the overall guest experience, while also freeing up more time to enjoy one’s holiday at sea. 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 27 April, where in addition to another Maiden Call Ceremony MSC Cruises will also celebrate its ten-year anniversary in Japan.