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WITH 3 DAYS TILL TWO SIRENS MEET: MSC Meraviglia’s Flag Ceremony commences the countdown.

June 2, 2017 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Nine million man-hours worked over three years have brought MSC Cruises to this big moment. Yesterday in St Nazaire, France; STX France builders delivered the biggest and largest ship ever built by a European ship owner to MSC Cruises, through the time honoured Flag Ceremony.

Yesterday (31st May 2017) at the STX France shipyard St Nazaire, France, MSC Cruises officially took delivery of MSC Meraviglia. At 171,598 GRT and a guest capacity of 5,714, MSC Meraviglia’s flag ceremony, which pays tribute to centuries-old maritime tradition, received her official flag and blessings for good fortune. The Flag Ceremony was attended by Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic and other high-level dignitaries from the French government.

As the first of six new ships due to come into service between 2017 and 2020, with four of the six ships being built by STX France, this further reinforces a long-standing partnership that has already produced all 13 vessels in MSC Cruises’ fleet and has allowed the Company to grow by 800% from 2003 to 2013. MSC Cruises estimates that its total investment at STX France from 2003 to 2020 will amount to over 7 billion euros.

During yesterday’s flag ceremony, the shipyard’s pennant and the French flag were lowered, accompanied by the French national anthem, before Laurent Castaing, CEO of STX France, formally handed the ship over to MSC Cruises’ owner Mr Gianluigi Aponte. Mr Aponte then gave command of MSC Meraviglia to Master Captain Raffaele Pontecorvo before the ship’s flag and MSC Cruises’ pennant were raised.

The honour of cutting the ribbon at the Flag Ceremony fell to the ceremony’s godmother, Ms Zoe Africa Vago, daughter of MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago and Alexa Aponte-Vago, MSC Group’s CFO. After the traditional breaking of the bottle of champagne, three blasts from the ship’s siren signalled the end of the ceremony.

Mrs Lynne Clarke, Managing Director of MSC Cruises Australia who was present in St Nazaire for the ceremony said, “MSC Meraviglia’s coming into service marks a key milestone in the history and future of MSC Cruises, and the flag ceremony is the start of three days of celebrations for both the companies’ hard work and dedication.”

MSC Meraviglia, will set sail for Le Havre on the 1st June where she will celebrate her stylish christening on the 3rd June 2017. For this outstanding new siren of the MSC Cruises fleet who better than a siren of European cinema, Sophia Loren, to be her godmother. Ms Loren has held a close relationship with MSC Cruises for over a decade, christening her first MSC ship, MSC Lirica in 2003. As the fleet has grown, she has continued to bless each and every new ship, reflecting MSC Cruises’ belief not only in loyalty, but also in Sophia’s unique beauty, talent and Mediterranean style, the same style that distinguishes every detail on board, MSC Meraviglia.

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