Traditional coin ceremony for MSC Cruises’ lucky 13th, MSC Preziosa
Two commemorative coins have been welded to the mast radar of MSC Cruises' new ship, MSC Preziosa, marking a significant construction milestone.
The time-honoured maritime tradition was carried out in a ceremony at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, where the ship is being constructed for arrival in March 2013.
Following the termination of the agreement with the original owner, earlier this year MSC Cruises signed a contract to take over the 140,000-ton cruise ship, making her not only the 13th member of the MSC fleet but also the fourth and final Fantasia class vessel.
“I am delighted to celebrate this important milestone in the construction of MSC Preziosa, the beautiful ship who will complete our celebrated Fantasia class. She will raise our total capacity to over 40,000 berths and, joining her sister ships MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida and MSC Divina, will allow us to offer the unparalleled features of this new generation of ship all over the world,” said MSC Cruises CEO Pierfrancesco Vago.
Laurent Castaing, general manager of STX France, added: Some impressive shipbuilding figures illustrate the ambition which is at the heart of the Fantasia class project: 30,000 tonnes of steel, 2,000 km of cables, 1751 passenger cabins and, at the present moment, 1,000 people working every day on MSC Preziosa. It is STX’s ambition to support MSC to become the European leader in the cruise market.”
Preziosa godmothers Daniela Picco and Jeannette Le Queau at the coin ceremony and, below, a worker welds the coins into place on the radar mast
”While marking this occasion, I am also glad to officially announce that MSC Preziosa will be christened on 23 March in Genoa, Italy, one of the our most visited and best loved destinations, and her first homeport for 2013.”
Genoa was an obvious choice to celebrate the new ship’s arrival. The city has been an MSC Cruises homeport since the start of the company’s expansion programme in 2003 and has shown a keen understanding of the major economic impact that the cruise sector, and MSC in particular, brings to its port and the region.
In 2013, MSC will be deploying nine ships from the port and, over the course of the year, nearly 930, 000 passengers will embark, disembark or transit during a total of over 200 calls.
MSC Preziosa, pictured under construction in France,is the last of the four Fantasia Class ships
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