MSC Cruises was today delivered MSC Virtuosa

  • The traditional ceremony for the delivery of the ship was held on February 1st 2021, on Chantiers de l’Atlantique industrial site, to bid goodbye to MSC Virtuosa, the 16th ship of the fleet to be built in France. This delivery brings to 12.5 billion euros the contribution of the MSC fleet to the French economy.
  • MSC Virtuosa is major leap forward in terms of environmentally friendly technology, thus contributing to the influence of France’s expertise worldwide.
  • MSC Virtuosa will be followed by three other ships using Liquified Natural Gaz by 2025, all of which built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, for three additional billion worth of investment.

Paris, France – February 1, 2021 – MSC Cruises today took delivery of the MSC Virtuosa, the Company’s new flagship, and a symbol of the long-term investment of the MSC Group, and more specifically MSC Cruises, in France.

As tradition dictates, a delivery ceremony took place behind closed doors at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, in compliance with health regulations. On this occasion, MSC Virtuosa received its official flag and good fortune augurs. The ceremony was attended by the MSC’s Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, his wife Alexa Aponte-Vago and their children, as well as representatives of their teams, managers and collaborators of Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

This event was also organized to celebrate one of the major steps of MSC/Chantiers de l’Atlantique long-term collaboration, which lives on despite the pandemic. The ceremony also reaffirms once more the strength of this 20+ years old collaboration between the third most important cruising company and the French shipyard. In total, 16 of the Company’s 18 ships were built at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, representing an economic contribution of 12.5 billion euros for the country.

With the vast majority of the ships in the MSC Cruises fleet built in France, the delivery of the MSC Virtuosa symbolizes once again the shipowner’s ongoing commitment to maintain its investments in the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, despite the COVID-19 crisis. It contributes to the dynamism of the local ecosystem and the French industrial fabric, as well as to the international influence of its expertise. The shipyard is also working on the construction of the next three LNG-powered ships, for which firm orders have been confirmed. These will be the first LNG-powered ships ever built in France, contributing to France’s worldwide reputation not only in the construction of innovative ships but also in the development of environmental technologies.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive manager commented on the matter: “My family and I could not miss this opportunity to welcome in person this new ship made in France. The delivery of MSC Virtuosa, which comes during a difficult period for our industry, demonstrates that we continue to look to the long term and build our future. We are pleased to celebrate this event in Saint-Nazaire, at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, our long-standing partner with whom we are developing projects more innovative than ever thanks to their unique and world-renowned expertise and know-how.”

Pierfrancesco Vago also added:We remain committed to building ever more innovative ships and to further improving their environmental performance. Similarly, our first LNG vessel is under construction here in Saint-Nazaire and work on the second will begin later this year. Significantly, with each new ship, we continue to push the boundaries and innovate our product offering by providing new and fabulous experiences for our customers. On MSC Virtuosa, we are pleased to introduce the first-ever humanoid bartender at sea who will star in a futuristic, immersive experience using state-of-the-art technology. Our exceptional food and beverage offering has also been enhanced with two new restaurant concepts that feature popular international cuisines to take guests on a journey of gastronomic discovery. This is, of course, in addition to the rich experience that already sets us apart, such as the magnificent shows worthy of the biggest productions, the award-winning family offering, the state-of-the-art technology on board and, of course, the now iconic 101-meter long promenade with a stunning LED sky dome that is located at the heart of the ship, and much more.”

Laurent Castaing, CEO of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, concluded:I am proud of what our teams have accomplished together, despite the difficult health context. With the construction of the MSC Virtuosa, we have reached a level of finish and performance that will offer future MSC Virtuosa customers the best in cruising. The sixteenth ship that Atlantic Shipyards has built for MSC Cruises is therefore an example that will be difficult to surpass!”

Pierofrancesco Vago also added: “Our long-term goal is to achieve zero-impact cruise operations, and that’s where we are headed in the future. The MSC Virtuosa represents another important step in this direction, along with our other investments in the accelerated development of next generation environmental technologies. It also confirms our firm long-term commitment to achieving this ambitious goal.”

The new ship destined to his company, MSC Virtuosa, will be commissioned on time for the summer period, from April 16th with four cruises. It will sail for three, four or ten nights in the Mediterranean Sea before resting in his home port in Kiel, in which it will stay until the 8th of May, ready for its new itineraries in Northern Europe.

The Meraviglia generation ships, to which ships like the MSC Virtuosa belong, are characterized by their iconic 101-meter long promenade with an impressive LED celestial dome, located at the heart of the ship. The promenade spans two decks and is lined with stores, restaurants and bars – the perfect place to enjoy yourself, shop, dine and relax. At night, the promenade comes alive with music, theme nights, entertainment and more.

The MSC Virtuosa is the sister ship to the MSC Grandiosa, the first ship of a major cruise line to resume operations in August 2020, accommodating nearly 40,000 passengers to date under the protection of industry-leading MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol, currently sailing 7-night itineraries in the Western Mediterranean.

2021 will also see the launch of two new state-of-the-art MSC Cruises ships – the second being the MSC Seashore – bringing the total fleet to 19, with four more ships to be launched by 2025. MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore, which will enter service in August 2021, will offer the latest environmental technologies, state-of-the-art passenger technology and a range of new experiences and features. Each ship built by MSC Cruises is different from the last, and these ships are no exception, offering more public spaces, staterooms, new bars and restaurants and more.

Learn more about MSC Virtuosa


All MSC Cruises ships commissioned since 2017 are equipped with MSC for Me technology – designed to enrich the customer experience on board. This multi-channel digital offering provides passengers with the information they need when and where they want it, among other things, and helps them plan and book services. This multi-channel experience is available via the MSC for Me app, in-cabin TV and interactive screens around the ship. The MSC for Me wristbands allows guests to enjoy the ship without needing their cruise card, providing a touchless experience. With the MSC for Me wristband guests can pay for purchases, book services, open the cabin door and it also allows for contact tracing as part of the health and safety measures in place.

MSC Yacht Club

MSC Virtuosa features the MSC Yacht Club, an exclusive ship-within-a-ship concept that offers the luxury and exclusivity of a private club, while providing the leisure and entertainment opportunities available throughout the ship. Guests can enjoy 24-hour personal butler service and a dedicated concierge team, as well as private amenities including a gourmet restaurant, elegant lounge, spacious pool and secluded terrace.

An award-winning family offer

As a family-owned company, MSC Cruises has always placed the needs of families at the heart of the cruise experience, and the award-winning family offering has something to entertain the whole family. Onboard, guests can discover extensive dedicated facilities designed in collaboration with LEGO and Chicco, a range of clubs for children of all ages, an action-packed activity program each day and much more.

Inspiring itineraries

The MSC Virtuosa will spend her inaugural season in Northern Europe, with Kiel, Germany as her home port. The ship will offer two breathtaking itineraries. The first will explore the Norwegian fjords where the ship will call at Copenhagen, Denmark, and then Hellesylt / Geiranger, Alesund and Flaam in Norway. The second will offer guests the opportunity to discover the Baltic Capitals: Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Tallinn.

Starting in late November 2021, the MSC Virtuosa will spend the winter season in the Gulf, offering seven-night cruises to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Doha.


Atmospheric emissions: the MSC Virtuosa will be equipped with hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems. This technology allows a 98% reduction in sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions. It will also be equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems that reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90%.

The ship will be equipped with a shore-to-ship power system, allowing it to connect to local power grids in ports where this infrastructure is available. This technology reduces engine operation once the ship is docked, resulting in a significant reduction in emissions when ships are near urban areas.

Wastewater: The MSC Virtuosa will be equipped with advanced wastewater treatment systems designed in accordance with International Maritime Organization Resolution MEPC 227 (64). Purification standards will be higher than most shore-based wastewater treatment facilities. The ballast water treatment systems will prevent the introduction of invasive species into the marine environment through ballast water discharges.

Protection of marine life: The ship will have a system to reduce underwater background noise. This is achieved through hull and engine room designs that minimize acoustic noise impact, thereby reducing their potential adverse effects on marine life, especially marine mammals.

Energy efficiency: All MSC Cruises’ new buildings incorporate a wide range of energy-efficient features that help reduce and optimize engine use. These include intelligent heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and LED lighting controlled by intelligent management systems to further improve energy savings. In partnership with shipyards, all new buildings are equipped with remote energy monitoring and analysis systems, providing real-time assistance onboard to optimize operational efficiency.

MSC Virtuosa, it is also:

  • Nineteen decks named after famous music composers,
  • 331 meters of length (1.085 ft). It is 16 meters (50 ft) longer than MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellissima, thus offering more public area,
  • Twenty-one bars, four main restaurants, five specialty restaurants,
  • 945 seats available in the theater,
  • Twelve different cabin categories, including 190 family-sized cabins able to host up to 12 people,
  • five swimming pools, including an indoor one on deck 15,
  • On deck 19, the Himalayan Bridge, a tree-climbing course 80 meters above the sea (260 ft)