MSC Cruises will add several new ships to their fleet in 2008, including the lastest in its 'Musica' class of Panamax vessels (the MSC Poesia) and its largest ship ever – the MSC Fantasia.
The MSC Fantasia (along with its sister ship, the MSC Serenata -debuting in spring 2009) will be the largest ships commissioned by a European ship owner to date. At 133,500grt, 1,093ft long and 125ft (37.9m) wide they offer a passenger capacity of 3,900 (1,650 cabins) with 1,313 crew.
The vessel will have 17 decks. 80% of its cabins will be outside and 95% of those will have balconies. The standard balcony cabin will measure almost 16m², plus bathroom and balcony.
The MSC Fantasia is scheduled for deliverey in the latter part of 2008 and will sail alternating itineraries between the Canary Island and Egypt.
It will have four pools including the fleet's first ever pool-with-sliding roof (Magrodome) and will feature a brand new concept – exclusive areas of the ship.
Both the MSC Fantasia and MSC Serenata will offer an exclusive privately accessed area; the 'Happy Island'. A boutique-style option offering a dedicated concierge, a panoramic lounge, its own private galley, private swimming pool, private elevator and solarium and direct access to the wellbeing centre. There will be 90 suites, each with a balcony plus butler service, exclusive to the guests of this area.
The MSC Fantasia and MSC Serenata will also offer a three-dimensional cinema, a 16,146ft² spa, a sports bar and 6,000m² of restaurants, including a specialty restaurant and a 24-hour Tex Mex venue.
Public spaces will stretch over 27,000m² and offer, among others, a main show lounge with 1,700 seats and a panoramic disco on deck 16.
The ship is being constructed by Aker (Chantiers de l’Atlantique) at the St.Nazaire yard in France, recently acquired from Alstom.
The MSC Fantasia will have an 8.5m (27.8ft) draught so that it can be manoeuvred into relatively shallow waters at small ports (an ocean liner like the Queen Mary 2 has the deepest draught at 32.6ft).
APC Power Conversion has been awarded a contract to supply electric propulsion systems for the two MSC Cruises vessels. Both liners will each be equipped with two synchronous motors with 20.2MW supplied through synchro converters. APC's scope of supply will also include the propulsion transformers, advanced digital propulsion control and a remote control system.
The coin ceremony for the MSC Fantasia took place in April 2007; two gold coins from the shipyard and the owner were welded into the keel.
The ship owner's coin was from Mrs Rafaela Aponte, a member of the Aponte family who own and operate MSC Cruises. An acclaimed pianist, she parted with a much loved gold coin she won as first prize from the Conservatory in Geneva. This follows MSC Cruises history of naming their ships along musical themes.
The Fantasia's interior design is by De Jorio Design International (architects Marco and Giuseppe de Jorio) of Genoa, a leading Italian company in the architecture and interior/exterior design sector for cruise ships.