MSC Cruises is to embark on the Company’s most comprehensive new ship launch ever and will carry out the largest face-to-face engagement drive with more than 14,000 travel agents on board MSC Grandiosa. The events will commence in St Nazaire, France when the Company’s newest flag ship officially comes into service on 31 October.
Achille Staiano, MSC Cruises VP Global Sales, comments, “The events for the launch of MSC Grandiosa have been carefully designed to enable an extensive programme of activities and celebrations for the travel agency community, as well as other guests and stakeholders. We have designed an inaugural itinerary for the ship with overnight stays in multiple ports to enable as many travel agent partners as possible to stay on board or visit the ship in order to experience it first-hand.”
Staiano continues, “Looking ahead, as MSC Grandiosa will be one of the most environmentally-sound ships at sea, we will utilise the MSC Masters e-learning platform to educate our travel agent partners around our environmental stewardship practices and other environmental initiatives. This will allow them to understand the latest advancements in environmental technology and practices, which will be invaluable information for them and their customers.”
During the course of the launch itinerary, seven ‘All Stars of the Sea’ awards events will be held to recognise the efforts and achievements of travel agents from all around the world, acknowledging MSC Cruises’ distribution in more than 80 countries. Separate familiarisation tours and presentations will also be given to travel agency front-desk staff, managers, proprietors and tour operators.
MSC Grandiosa will remain in the Port of Hamburg from 6 to 10 November, with the christening on the evening of the 9th. The Blue Port will be condensed into a maritime stage around the Elbphilharmonie. Twenty locations in Hamburg's harbour will become ambassadors of light art, shining with a significant blue light, mixing industrial harbour light with graphic drawings. The colour blue is significant for the events as it is part of MSC Cruises livery, as well as representing water to symbolise MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to the ocean. To respect the environment and the climate, small lights with low-energy consumption will be used. The dazzling installations will be created by renowned international light artist, Michael Batz.
MSC Grandiosa is equipped with two new and important technological innovations, including a selective catalytic reduction system, which will decrease nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent and transform it into pure water and nitrogen. The ship is also fitted with a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment system that will lead to nearly zero impact on discharges and allow MSC Grandiosa to operate in delicate environments such as the Baltic Sea and Alaska.
The new features add to other effective technologies found on MSC Cruises’ fleet to reduce any further environmental impact, including a cutting-edge hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, a ballast water treatment system and various energy-saving improvements such as heat recovery systems and LED lighting.
Some of the guest highlights of this new state-of-the-art ship include:
· Two original new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea
· A Mediterranean Promenade lined with restaurants, including the new restaurant Il Campo and mall-style shopping, with a 93-metre-long LED Sky Screen that displays atmospheric images and animations throughout the day and night
· An immersive art experience in L’Atelier Bistrot with 26 original etchings by French Impressionist, Edgar Degas
· Dedicated kids areas designed in partnership with LEGO and Chicco
· The world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant, ZOE, in every cabin.
MSC Grandiosa will commence her regular seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean from 23 November with six embarkation ports, calling at Genoa and Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.