FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – MSC Splendida, the second in MSC Cruises’ luxurious “Fantasia” class of cruise ships and the newest addition to the most modern fleet in the industry, was christened in Barcelona yesterday. This latest ship brings the MSC Cruises’ fleet total to 10 ships.
The event featured a Flamenco performance by Joaquin Cortes and a spectacular display of castells, the Catalan tradition of human towers, in addition to a special concert by world famous tenor Jose Carreras. Performing in his hometown, the maestro was accompanied by the 60 musicians of the Orquestra Simfonica del Valles.
The celebration was complete with a traditional ribbon cutting by the godmother of the MSC Cruises fleet, Italian icon Sophia Loren, and a spectacular fireworks display culminated the christening ceremony.
MSC Splendida – at 137,936 gross registered tons and 1,092 feet long, 124 feet wide and 219 feet tall – ranks in the top tier of Post-Panamax megaships in the world’s cruise fleet and, with a top cruising speed of 23 knots, is capable of sailing extensive itineraries to offer her guests truly outstanding experiences.
As on the MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida features an Aqua Park main pool with 150 fountains and water jets, and North Pole-themed children’s play center. MSC Splendida’s unique amenities include two mini-bowling alleys in her high-tech Sports Bar and the signature L’Olivo restaurant, serving exciting Mediterranean cuisine from couscous to paella.
She offers 1,637 staterooms (43 accommodate special needs guests) with 80 percent of them, including the ship’s 107 suites, providing an ocean view. The staterooms range from 193 to 571 square feet.
MSC Splendida features the company’s newest private club concept, MSC Yacht Club. Designed for discriminating vacationers and originally introduced on MSC Fantasia, MSC Yacht Club offers an exclusive six-star experience at sea unique to MSC Cruises. The 99 suites and luxurious private facilities in the club area allow guests to enjoy the comfort and convenience of a personal Butler trained to the rigorous standards of the International Butler Academy, 24-hour concierge service, private pool and bar, exclusive retail services, and complimentary beverages. Selections include quality Italian wines from the MSC Cruises wine cellar, beer and cocktails at the exclusive MSC Yacht Club lounge.
The MSC Yacht Club also features private elevator access to the Aurea Spa and a staircase sparkling with Swarovski crystals.
Highlights of MSC Splendida’s many features include:
290,000 square feet of public space, including an expansive theater; the 18,300 square foot “Aurea Spa” well-being center; four restaurants, including a speciality Mexican restaurant (Santa Fe) a restaurant with a panoramic view (Villa Verde) and a restaurant serving specialty Mediterranean cuisine (L’Olivo); wine bar, coffee bar, and several special theme bars, including a sports bar and Jazz bar; shops, casino, disco club, mini-bowling alleys, Formula 1 simulator and an interactive 4D cinema.
Four swimming pools, including one with a Magrodome (retractable roof). The 150 fountains in the Aqua Park illuminate at night to the rhythm of music.
North Pole children’s area – Thousands of square feet dedicated to the younger guests where trained staff will offer the Mini-Club, Junior Club and Teenager Club programs that are a hallmark of MSC Cruises’ family-friendly style as all kids 17 and younger sail free. A two-deck-high water slide that combines thrills and fun with breathtaking scenic views highlights this youth-oriented space. There will also be a fun area for Mini-Club, Junior Club, and Teenager Club guests.
Designed by De Joro Design Studio, MSC Splendida’s interiors complement these famous sites of history with exuberant modern and classically refined Italian designs featuring many natural and traditional materials.
Even before her christening, MSC Splendida achieved unique status as the first ship to earn the “Energy Efficient Design” award from Bureau Veritas. This worldwide recognition cites the ship’s use of best-practice standards throughout its design and onboard systems to conserve energy, according to the international rating agency.
MSC Splendida is also the second MSC Cruises ship to earn the Bureau Veritas Six Golden Pearls designation for compliance with the three highest international standards in the areas of environment (ISO 14001), health and safety (OHSAS 18001) and food safety (ISO 22000) and the additional notation for the vessel Cleanship 2 (waste; water; air), covering systems which limit emissions to the air and water and waste handling. MSC Fantasia, sister ship to the MSC Splendida, also received this coveted honor when it was introduced into the MSC Cruises fleet in December 2008.
Sailing the heart of the Mediterranean and the adjacent European Atlantic seaboard, MSC Splendida is set to embark on a series of inspiring itineraries to many of history’s most famous sites. Alexandria, Ashdod, Athens, Barcelona, Casablanca, Crete, Genoa, Madeira, Malta, Malaga, Naples, Olympia, Rhodes, Rome, Taormina, Tenerife, and Tunis are among the destinations.
For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com or a local travel professional.