The 140,000-ton MSC Divina, the third and latest addition to the MSC Cruises' flagship Fantasia class, was floated out of dry dock B at the STX Europe ship yard in Saint-Nazaire, France on Saturday, September 3. Divina was then transferred to dock C for final fitting and furnishing prior to her christening on May 26, 2012.
MSC is the largest Independent cruise line in Europe, a privately-held, family-owned, Italian cruise line with a fleet of 11 ships: MSC Magnifica, MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and MSC Melody. Its 12th ship, MSC Divina, a sister ship to MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida, debuts in May of 2012.
Divina is actually named in honor of Italian film star Sophia Loren, who is also the godmother of several MSC ships. MSC Divina will be appropriately themed as a divine goddess. The ship will carry up to 4,363 guests and is slated to become the 12th ship in MSC Cruises' fleet. A select group of company officials and repoters gathered to witness the ship coming into view for the very first time.
Emilio La Scala, general manager of MSC Cruises' technical department said, "Today marks the start of the final one-million hours of work required to ensure MSC Divina is ready for her debut on May 26, 2012 in Marseille, France."
It was also revealed during the float out ceremiony that the ship's 18 decks (13 of which are for guests' use) will be named after the gods of ancient Greece; among them Urano, Afrodite, Aurora, Giunone, Artemide, Zeus, Mercurio, Cupido, Iride, Minerva, Apollo, Saturno, and Elios.
Another addition to the ship is the aft Garden Pool purposely designed and decorated as an upscale "serenity" area for quiet retreat. The building of MSC Divina, in the same shipyard that has built all opf the MSC ships of this class, began more than a year ago. All together the ship has used a total of 74 mega-blocks - sets of large pre-fabricated hull components used for assembling the ship.
Although she has a long way to go before she is ready for passenger service, MSC has already started working on the keel, completed 50 percent of the outfitting and all of the electrical networking and plumbing for the public areas. Work has also started on 400 of the 1,751 total planned staterooms, 100 more than her sister ships; MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida.
Cutting-edge technology changes on MSC Divina include more powerful motors for it pod-propellers, rated at 21.8 MW each (compared to 20.2 MW on the most recent sister ship, MSC Splendida); new alternators, and state-of-the-art HVAC chillers. For fresh water production Divina will feature a new reverse osmosis system that consumes 40 percent less power, for a smaller environmental footprint.