MSC Cruises has taken a major step in the €50 million upgrade of its smallest ship, MSC Armonia – by cutting it in two!
Work to insert a new pre-built section into the 60,000gt vessel has now begun at the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo, Sicily. When completed, the cruise ship will be 24 metres longer than before and boast an additional 193 cabins.
The incredible engineering feat marks the start of the cruise line’s €200 million ‘Renaissance’ project, which is transforming all four of MSC Cruises’ similarly-sized
Lirica-class ships (MSC Armonia, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera and MSC Lirica).
Each ship will take approximately nine weeks to lengthen and refit, with the new-look MSC Armonia sailing out of the shipyard on November 17. After a repositioning cruise from Genoa to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria it will begin a winter season of week-long Canary Island sailings.
Sister ship MSC Sinfonia goes in for the same treatment in on January 12 2015, with work starting on MSC Opera and MSC Lirica in May 2015 and August 2015 respectively. The whole ‘Renaissance’ programme should be completed by November 2015.
The lengthening work involves each ship being cut in two just in front of the funnel (slightly behind the mid-way point) and then separated so the new section can be inserted. The hull is then resealed.
MSC Armonia is currently 251 metres long, carries a maximum of 2,199 passengers and has a gross tonnage of 60,000gt. Once the new section is inserted it will be 275 metres long, have a gross tonnage of 65,000gt and be able to cater for 2,679 guests.
In addition to the new cabins for passengers and crew, each ship will undergo a host of on-board and technological improvements. These include the addition of a spray water park for children, extended designer shopping outlets, refitted restaurants and public areas and new storage areas. MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia will also benefit from improved bow thruster technology.
Renaissance Programme explained
MSC Cruises’ Lirica class ships:
The four Lirica Class ships were built between 2003 and 2005 at the STX yards in Saint-Nazaire, France. They are currently 251 metres long, 60,000gt and carry 2,199 guests. After the “renaissance programme”, the ships will be 275 meters long, be 65,000gt and carry 2,679 guests, boasting 193 additional cabins (plus 59 new cabins for crew members).
The additional capacity will consist of 79 new inside cabins, 82 new outside cabins and 92 extra balcony cabins in total (32 are new and 60 converted from outside cabins).
Ship modifications planned
- Removal of a lounge at deck 7 and installation of new passenger cabins.
- Conversion of the deck 9 window cabins to balcony cabins.
- Removal of the crew area at deck 7 and creation of new passenger cabins.
- Addition of a new ship section of approximately 24m in length. The new ship section will provide additional open spaces, passenger cabins, public areas and crew cabins.
- Deck 6: new public areas include lounge and library area larger teen area and video games
- Deck 11: four kids’ club areas catering for different age group (0-14 years); larger massage area; refreshed buffet and pizza/grill; new gelateria (ice cream station)
- Deck 12: pool refit with addition of spray water park for children; new canopy over bar area
- Additional cold and refrigerated food storage rooms and extra common areas for crew.
- Additional lifeboats/tenders shall be provided to comply with the new LSA of the vessels, increased by 500 persons, taking the new total to 3,300 persons on board.
- On MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia, a further operation shall be required to increase the size of the bow thrusters.
Info courtesy of MSC Cruises