JOHN ROZENTALS takes a look at travel's lighter side
TRAVEL: 30 SEPTEMBER 2014
MSC really does know how to stretch it
How do you significantly increase the passenger capacity of a cruise ship? In MSC’s case, it’s certainly not by squeezing more guests into existing cabins.
The Italian line has begun the process of physically stretching MSC Armonia by 24 metres.
The remarkable feat of engineering, which started this month at the Fincantieri shipyard, in Palermo, Sicily, saw the 14,000-tonnes separated bow of the vessel slowly advanced 30 metres from its stern on rails to allow a new 2200-tonne prebuilt mid-ship section to be inserted.
The procedure marked a key milestone in the €200 million (about A$282 million) Renaissance Program, which will enlarge and enhance MSC Armonia, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera and MSC Lirica, giving them an array of improvements and new amenities that are “perfectly suited to today’s cruise traveller”.
MSC Armonia will be re-launched on November 19 with a one-off 10-night inaugural Mediterranean cruise from Genoa to the Canary Islands, priced from $929 per person twin-share. Seven-night Canary Islands cruises will begin at $524.50 per person twin-share.