Cape Town – The building of the MSC Seaside sees one of the world’s largest privately-owned cruise lines reaching an important milestone in its ten-plus years €9 billion (About R145bn at R16.16/€) investment plan.
Marked with the celebration of the traditional maritime coin ceremony held at the Monfalcone, Italy shipyard on Thursday, the MSC Seaside is the first of up to three MSC Cruises’ next-generation “Seaside” class of smart ships set to come into service in December 2017.
The ship will sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean.
MSC says its long-term plan includes building of up to 11 next-generation smart ships coming into service between 2017 and 2026.
This prototype is significantly different to anything we have ever built before as this is a ship dedicated to cruising in warm seas - incorporating the highest ratio of outdoor spaces on any of MSC Cruises’ ships, guests will also enjoy an increased number of balcony cabins, sea views and public areas," the cruise liner said.
'Pioneering beach condo concept, bringing guests and the sea closer'
At 323 metres long with a GRT of 160 000 tonnes, the ship will feature a maximum capacity of 5 179 guests. MSC Seaside is the first of two identical ships in the Seaside generation. Her sister ship is set to enter service in 2018, while a third one – reflecting an existing option for one additional Seaside generation ship – would be delivered by 2021.
Itineraries and the exclusive Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
MSC Seaside will feature starting in December 2017 exciting itineraries including the Bahamas, Mexico, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, thus complementing the itineraries of its other ships serving the region, MSC Divina sailing out of Miami as well as MSC Opera and MSC Armonia out of Havana, Cuba1.
In addition, the ship will call at MSC Cruises’ own Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Spanning 95-acres (38.5-hectares) with 11,400 feet (3.5 km) of pristine beach-front spread across six distinct beaches, representing in total the fourth longest beach in the world, this exclusive marine reserve island experience is only available to MSC Cruises guests.
Unique design features
Three catwalks unlike anything else at sea with glass balustrades and a glass floor will give guests the feeling that they are walking on water. The catwalk on the top deck spans 30 metres with views from the top of the ship; the other two are located on deck eight, are 40 metres in length and are part of a 360° open air promenade, the widest on any ship ever built.
Variety of accommodations
The accommodations on MSC Seaside are specially designed to meet the needs of a variety of cruise guests, in particular families and their children, groups, sun-lovers who want private outdoor space through to those who are looking for the exclusive style and luxury of the MSC Yacht Club.
MCS Seaside have been designed to offer a wide choice of performances and shows with a stunning new theatre and comedy club. Other features include family entertainment such as a full-sized bowling alley and a 5D cinema.
For thrill-seekers who want to experience the sensation of flying at sea, MSC Seaside will feature the longest zip line on any cruise ship currently at sea. Taking off from the funnel at the top of the ship, guests will whiz along the impressive 130 metres across the length of the ship landing at the aft.
Another industry-leading feature is the most interactive and originally-designed aqua park at sea, with four slides and attractions for all ages, including:
- Slideboarding - a unique waterslide and interactive video game all in one;
- Duelling High-Speed Aquatubes - sitting in single or double inner tubes, guests race against their fellow guests through metres of twists, turns and drops on slides that partially extend over the side of the ship and give riders a view of the sea below;
- AquaPlay™ & AquaSpray™ catering to younger guests, a portion the aqua park will be designed specifically for tots, featuring an active and colourful water play structure that is an experience all of its own;
- Adventure Trail - a ropes course which allows guests to traverse between soaring towers, rope bridges, climbs, crawl-throughs and slides as they enjoy an amazing bird’s eye view of the sea.