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MSC Cruises’ First Steps Towards A Renaissance

May 21, 2014 Cruise No Comments Email Email

The initial steps in MSC Cruises much anticipated Renaissance program have taken place in Sicily, heralding the beginning of a $300 million (€200 million) project which will ultimately see the transformation of the cruise line’s Lirica class ships.

Engineers at Fincantieri’s Palermo yard have laid out a new 350 tonne block for MSC Armonia’s keel, the first of three such blocks which will be fitted to the ship’s mid section by the end of August.

Such an extension will result in 200 extra cabins as well as new entertainment spaces and new technological enhancements. unnamed (33)

The Renaissance program, which was announced in December 2013, focuses on the four ships of the Lirica class (MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia and MSC Opera) and will be completed in 2015.

In the end the ships will boast a new spray park, with an exhilarating pathway of water features and water cannons. The impressive onboard boutiques will be enhanced with new interiors, more space and an all-new perfumery with display corners dedicated to leading brands.

The end of the work on MSC Armonia is scheduled for November 17, 2014, the day on which the ship will leave the shipyard to sail to Genoa before heading to the Canary Islands.

Lynne Clarke, managing director of MSC Cruises Australia and New Zealand, welcomed the Renaissance program and said the enhancements would prove popular in attracting many more of the cruise loving Australians and New Zealanders.

The laying out of the new block of the cruise ship’s keel on Monday, May 19, has been described as an important step in ensuring that all of MSC Cruises’ ships benefit in terms of “technology and comfort”. 

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, weigh 60,000 tonnes and carry 2069 travellers. After the “Renaissance programme”, the ships will be 275 metres long, weigh 65,000 tonnes and carry 2680 travellers, boasting 193 additional cabins (plus 59 new cabins for crew). 

Schedule and key figures

MSC’s Lirica class Renaissance programme will follow the below dry dock schedule:

  • MSC Armonia (2004): 31 August to 17 November 2014
  • MSC Sinfonia (2005): 12 January to 16 March 2015
  • MSC Opera (2004): 2 May to 4 July 2015
  • MSC Lirica (2003): 31 August to 9 November 2015 

Details: MSC Cruises, phone (Australia) 1300 028502, (NZ) 0508 4278473, or visit

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