MSC Cruises to ‘stretch’ Magnifica cruise ship ahead of her 2021 UK cruise season

It seems undertaking one of the largest ship lengthening refurbishment projects in history wasn’t enough for MSC Cruises when it stretched it’s four Lirica-class ships, because the cruise line has just announced that MSC Magnifica will undergo a similar procedure in 2021.

MSC Magnifica, already a vast cruise ship at almost 100,000-gross tons, will be stretched by 23-metres, with a new mid-section containing 215 new staterooms and several public spaces, to be inserted, making the ship a 3,000-guest vessel before she’s deployed in the UK market.

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The UK summer season will run from May to October with cruises ranging from two to 14 nights, sailing to the Canary Islands and Madeira, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltic. Sales are set to open on September 12th.

The refurbishment will likely be undertaken at Fincantieri (which stretched the four Lirica-class ships) but this hasn’t been confirmed by MSC Cruises, it may choose to return the ship to Chantiers de l’Atlantique, where she was built in 2010.

The project will cost US $140-million, and will be the largest ship lengthening project ever for the cruise industry. When the 76,000-gross ton Enchantment of the Seas was stretched back in 2005 it was the biggest project of its kind on record.

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That work was undertaken by Damen Verolme Rotterdam, but Fincantieri has more experience with these kinds of refurbs, having also worked on stretching Silver Spirit for Silversea, and Windstar’s trio of Star-class cruise ships.

In addition to 215 new staterooms (including 92 balcony cabins), the new mid-section will also include a new water park, a new shopping area, two new restaurants and a redesigned kids’ area.

Other technical upgrades for the ship include two new onboard environmental systems to bring her up to date with the rest of the fleet: a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system. The ship will also get a shorepower system.

MSC Magnifica is one of four ships in MSC’s Musica-class, she currently has capacity for 2,550 guests at double occupancy. It’s unclear whether MSC Cruises will be stretching its three other Musica-class ships (MSC Musica, which sails in South Africa annually, MSC Orchestra and MSC Poesia).

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