MSC Cruises changes name of new ship

MSC Cruises has changed the name of its latest new build ship from MSC Fantastica to MSC Divina.

The change came as the Italian company confirmed that the third vessel in its large Fantasy class – the 12th in the fleet – will be christened in Marseille in May 2012.

The ship will have 100 more cabins at 1,739 than its two sister ships.

There will be two additional lifts to improve passenger flow and a total redesign of decks and restaurants.

The MSC Yacht Club – the upmarket "ship within a ship" – will also be enlarged and redesigned, as well as the Aft Lounge, the adults-only area surrounding the Aft Infinity Pool, the casino and the disco.

The new name was announced at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire in France, at a traditional ceremony in which two commemorative coins were welded into the ship’s keel to mark a significant construction milestone.

During the ceremony, the ship was renamed MSC Divina, in honour of the fleet’s godmother, actress Sophia Loren, a family friend of MSC president Gianluigi Aponte.

She said: "One evening I was chatting to Gianluigi about wishes and desires and I mentioned my own dream of having a ship named after me.

"He immediately suggested ‘Divina’ in place of ‘Fantastica’, adding that a fantastic experience is fleeting, whereas a divine experience gives you memories that will last forever."

MSC Cruises’ CEO, Pierfrancesco Vago said: "Today I am happy to celebrate the first major step in the construction of our new ship, the third in the Fantasia class.

"This new vessel will reflect the qualities of her sister ships, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia, while enhancing them in ways that will delight even our most demanding guests.

"For example, she will have 100 additional cabins and innovative new features such as the gorgeous infinity pool in the aft."

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