On 17th November the 2001 built MSC Armonia (above) was delivered back to MSC Cruises by Fincantieri at Palermo after a 10 week lengthening project valued at close to €50 million. Next to be dealt with is the 58,625gt/2002 built MSC Sinfonia in early 2015, followed by the MSC Opera from May to July, and the MSC Lirica, from September to November.
The four Lirica Class ships were built between 2001 and 2004 at the STX yards in Saint-Nazaire, France. Pre-rebuild they are 251 metres long, carried 2,069 passengers and had a gross tonnage of 59,000. After the Renaissance Program, the ships will each be 275 metres long, carry 2,680 guests and have a gross tonnage of 65,000. A total of 193 passenger cabins, plus 59 new crew cabins, have been installed. New entertainment spaces and new technological enhancements have also been installed as well as other facility enhancements. The following day the MSC Armonia was publicly unveiled at Genoa ahead of a 10-day inaugural cruise to the Canary Islands. Younger fleet mate, the 95,128gt/2010 built MSC Magnifica went to Damen Shiprepair in Rotterdam (Schiedam) on 20th October for a 17 day scheduled dry docking.
Work included the replacement of 47 tonnes of steel plus the Rolls Royce rudders and a thorough clean and repainting for the vessel. While in dry dock, around 800 of the ship’s crew remained on board the vessel as the work was carried out, presenting some unique challenges concerning safety and security. On 2nd December the 37,049gt/1981 built Saga Sapphire arrived there for her overhaul whilst the 22,080gt/1965 built Marco Polo and 20,704gt/1987 built Astor have visited Damen’s Vllissingen Shiprepair facility.