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MSC Takes Delivery of 133,500-ton Fantasia in Naples

Written by: Cruise

MSC Cruises received its flagship MSC Fantasia today at a hand-over ceremony at the STX France shipyard in St Nazaire, France. The official handover of the flagship from the shipyard to MSC Cruises saw the lowering of the French flag and the flag of STX France, and the raising of the MSC Cruises flag, along with the flags of Italy and Panama.

The godmother at the flag ceremony was four-year-old Asia Aponte, granddaughter of MSC Crociere owner Gianluigi Aponte. MSC Crociere�s CEO Pierfrancesco Vago, and Jacques Hardelay, General Manager of the shipyard, were also present.

The largest ship in the MSC fleet with a total passenger capacity of 3,959, MSC Fantasia is the sixth new build for MSC Cruises from STX France. Her sister ship MSC Splendida will join the fleet in July 2009, to be followed by three more ships � MSC Magnifica, MSC Meraviglia and MSC Favolosa � by 2012, making MSC Cruises the fastest-growing and most modern fleet in the world.

Following the flag ceremony, MSC Fantasia sails to Italy via Lisbon, Gibraltar, Alicante, Barcelona and Marseilles, to reach Naples, where she will be christened on December 18 in a ceremony scheduled to feature Sophia Loren as the ship’s christener. After her inaugural cruise, she will be based in Genoa. sailing the Mediterranean year-round.

MSC Fantasia at 133,500 gross registered tons, measures 1,092 feet long, 196 feet high and 124 feet wide. It can cruise at a maximum speed of 23 knots, carrying 3,274 guests (double occupancy) in its 1,637 cabins.

The 290,000 square feet of common areas include:

5 swimming pools – including “I Tropici,” with a retractable roof

12 whirlpool baths and 1 Acqua Park with 150 fountains

5 restaurants -including “La Cantina Toscana” – with the finest Italian wines; “El Sombrero Tex Mex” to enjoy the taste of tacos and margaritas; and even a very elegant “Belle époque” style a la carte French restaurant.

Guests will have the opportunity to choose among 19 bars, such as the Manhattan Jazz Bar, with a perfect New York style, and the Sports Bar, where guests can support their team together with friends.

MSC AUREA SPA is 17,384 square feet, the “L’Avanguardia” theater offers 1,650 seats, there is a casino, the disco and the virtual area with a Formula 1 simulator and a 4D cinema. There is a children’s playroom dedicated to a North Pole theme.

For the first time onboard, guests will find the new MSC Yacht Club: 99 suites, between 247 and 570 square feet, furnished as a luxurious yacht; a large lounge with a breathtaking view of the sea; a Conciergerie with Swarovski crystal stairs; and other reserved spaces. Personal butlers will provide the most exclusive services such as taking care of the luggage, booking excursions, in-suite dining, choice of cigars, liquors and champagne.

Elegance and class are the elements which distinguish all the new spaces on the flagship, which, as always, have been designed by the studio De Jorio Design International. The most important contemporary design styles dominate all the ship’s spaces and reveal the great attention given to detail, and the quality of the materials.

MSC Fantasia is also an entirely ecological ship with environmentally friendly paint, modern technology for the treatment of black and grey waters and a system of energy saving in cabins and common areas.

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