17 MAR 2013
MSC Preziosa was officially delivered to MSC Cruises on 14 March 2013 during a traditional flag ceremony at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire.
Laurent Castaing, general manager of STX France, formally handed MSC Presioza to MSC Cruises’ owner Gianluigi Aponte, who then gave command of the vessel to Captain Giuliano Bossi. During the ritual, the shipyard’s pennant and the French flag were lowered, accompanied by the French national anthem, before the flags of Italy and MSC Cruises were raised to the Italian national anthem.
MSC’s vice president, Alexa Aponte Vago cut the ribbon on the 4,345-guest cruise vessel, while the traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne and three blasts from the ship’s siren signalled the end of the ceremony.
“We are here today to celebrate MSC Preziosa, twelfth addition to MSC’s state-of-the-art fleet and our fourth Fantasia class ship, whose arrival means that MSC Cruises is now the world’s third biggest cruise line,” said MSC Cruises CEO Pierfrancesco Vago. “Thanks to our longstanding and effective collaboration with the STX yard, we have been able to successfully fine-tune our product year upon year.
The 140,000-ton ship was designed by naval architects De Jorio Design International and features Vertigo, the longest single rider body waterslide at sea. Other features include the Doremi Castle Aqua Park Adventures, the first two Eataly restaurants at sea and the MSC Aurea Spa. Similar to her sister ship Divina, Preziosa also offers the infinity style Garden Pool and Galaxy Lounge Restaurant and Club.
Vago said: “With her unique features and outstanding favourites such as the MSC Yacht Club, I believe MSC Preziosa now brings the MSC Mediterranean experience to perfection. MSC Preziosa completes a cycle, crowning an investment programme of over six billion euros started in 2003, through which we have realised our ambitious vision of building 10 new ships in just under 10 years.”
Following the flag ceremony, MSC Preziosa embarked on her pre-inaugural nine-day cruise from Saint-Nazaire, which includes visits to Lisbon, Cadiz, Casablanca, Valencia and Marseille, before arriving in Genoa for the official christening ceremony on 23 March.