MSC Cruises has officially taken delivery of its new flagship, the MSC Seashore, from Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard, in further proof that confidence in cruising is booming pretty well everywhere except Australia, due to our Federal Government.

According to our friends at Cruise Industry News and a press release, the 4,560-passenger Seashore is the largest cruise ship to be built in Italy, with sister ship MSC Seascape still under construction at the shipyard and due to come into service in winter 2022.

MSC said that an intimate ceremony was held to mark the occasion as tradition dictates at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone and was attended in person by MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, other members of the Aponte and Aponte-Vago families, Giampiero Massolo and Giuseppe Bono, Chairman and CEO of Fincantieri, as well as representatives from MSC’s new builds team along with executives and workers from the shipyard.

During the ceremony, which pays tribute to centuries-old maritime traditions, Roberto Olivari, Fincantieri’s shipyard director, presented to Giuseppe Galano, master of the MSC Seashore, an ampoule containing the water that first touched the hull when the ship was floated out earlier this year.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, said, “The construction of MSC Seashore is an investment that generates a direct and indirect economic impact of almost 5 billion euros on the Italian economy:, adding, “At the same time, it’s coming into service also activates an important economic and employment driver for coastal communities and much beyond, generating a further significant economic impact every year for the tourism industry.”

He added, “Our new flagship is a further testament to our leadership in sustainability, with each new ship featuring the latest and most advanced environmental technology and solutions”, and “Additionally, over and above our industry-leading health and safety protocol, the MSC Seashore is the first cruise ship in the world to feature a new and ground-breaking air sanitation system. ‘Safe Air’ uses UV-C lamp technology, eliminating 99 percent of viruses and bacteria to guarantee clean and safe air for all guests and crew on board”.

According to Vago, the Seashore demonstrates MSC’s commitment to “continuous innovation in terms of guest experience”, adding, “She is, without doubt, our most stunning and sophisticated vessel to date and takes to a whole new level the already successful Seaside platform, with public spaces completely reimagined, a new secondary lounge and a broader offering both in terms of restaurants and retail options amongst many other new and much improved features”, and “This will create a unique onboard experience for our guests this summer in the Mediterranean and during the Winter season when she will move to Miami to represent our full brand values with North American consumers”.

The CEO of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono, said that the MSC Seashore is the fourth cruise ship that the shipyard group has delivered in Italy during this “still extremely demanding year,” adding “All these milestones, and others to come, have been successfully achieved and this is never taken for granted. This is why I consider this ship not only the best symbol of recovery for the whole cruise sector but also of the capability of the group to leverage its competencies and soundness to fully preserve our workload,” Bono said.

MSC has a long-term objective to achieve net carbon neutral operations by 2050 and according to the cruise line, each new ship represents “another step towards this goal, alongside other investments to help accelerate the development of next-generation environmental technology.”

The MSC Seashore in particular features hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, selective catalytic reduction systems, achieving a 98-percent reduction of sulfur oxide emissions and reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent and Seashore’s wastewater treatment system has been designed in line with the International Maritime Organization’s MEPC 227(64) Resolution and achieves purification standards that are higher than most wastewater treatment facilities ashore, MSC said.

MSC Seashore has received two additional class notations from the classification society RINA, with the first the Sustainable Ship notation for its advanced environmental technologies and the second the Biosafe Ship notation for infection risk mitigation, achieved also by the MSC Grandiosa.

MSC says that MSC Seashore – the first Seaside EVO class ship – offers a whole host of new features, venues and experiences for guests, as 65 percent of the public areas have been reimagined, with 13,000 sq. meters of outdoor space, with a wide choice of outdoor bars and dining, pools and deck area as well as different vantage points around the ship to take in the sea views.

The Seashore will commence her inaugural season in the Mediterranean offering the ‘Six Pearls’ itinerary calling the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples, for visits also to Pompeii, and Messina in Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

On October 31, she will depart Genoa for an 18-night repositioning cruise to North America and from November 20, she will then offer seven-night cruises in the Caribbean, calling San Juan in Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie in St Thomas, Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic and then Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in The Bahamas – MSC Cruises’ private island.

A report from Cruise Industry News by John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor Global Travel Media and Global Cruise News.