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MSC Magnifica 

MSC Magnifica was built as the fourth and last member of the Musica-class of ships for Mediterranean Shipping Cruises. Originally, the class would recieve two ships more, of which the names would be MSC Meraviglia and MSC Favolosa. These orders were cancelled in 2009 and instead two larger ships were built in the newer Fantasia-class, measuring some 140.000 tons. The Musica-class ships were also quite large already, measuring more then 90.000 tons. The first ship of the class was of course the MSC Musica that entered service in 2006. This ship was followed by the MSC Orchestra in 2007 and the MSC Poesia in 2008. As you can see in the names, the ships of this class were still following the theme of music that had almost always been an inspiration for the company. But with the last ship in the class, it seemed that the inspiration was over and so the ship recieved a name that is not directly music-related. Of course music can be magnificent, but it is really a sidestep. The larger Fantasia-class lost the musical names in total.

The MSC Magnifica was, like her sisters, built at the STX France yard at Saint Nazaire, the follow-up to the old Chantiers de L'atlantique that was founded by the founders of the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique in 1862. The ship measures some 92.409 tons, had a lenght of 293,80 meters, is 32,20 meters wide and her draft is 7,70 meters. In total, 3605 passengers can be sailing her, normally, the number given is 2518 but this is based on a two-per-cabin basis. The number of crewmembers is 1027. The ship has 13 decks and het homport is Panama, so she flies the flag of the equally named country too. Her normal speed lies somewhere around 23 knots and the yardnumber under which she was built was T32. In january 2009, the ship left her building dock before she was finished and sailed on her 72-hour trials that were completed at the 17th of january 2010. She could really proove herself well, because the weather during her trials was awfully bad... The following 25th of february, the ship was handed over to the company and undertook a short invitation-only cruise to Southampton from Saint Nazaire.

Below, MSC Magnifica is seen between the pierheads at IJmuiden after departing from Amsterdam at the 21st of april 2013.

Like most ships of MSC, MSC Magnifica was named by Italian moviestar Sophia Loren during a ceremony at Hamburg, Germany at the 6th of march 2010. MSC likes to have naming ceremonies in many different European ports and with MSC Magnifica, they tried to honour the sea-traditions of Hamburg and Venice. Several internationally well-known stars were present, next to godmother Sophia Loren. Nana Mouskouri, the Greek singer and ambassador for the 'MSC for UNICEF'-program was present. This program was set up by MSC to support children in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo in Brazil, collecting donations from crew and passengers of the MSC ships. This 'Got on board for children' raises funds to help disadvantaged children and young people in Brazil so they can attent quality education to improve life. Also the Italian singer Eros Ramazotti and the German singer Sasha were there to perform on stage and of course the chef-cook Mauro Uliassi, who earned two Michelin-stars and runs the kitchen of the ship. For the people of Hamburg, two large screens were erected at the Landungsbrücken, the beautifully restored old harbours of the city. The link with Venice was laid because the whole ceremony was styled in the theme of the Venice carnaval.

Below, MSC Magnifica is shown leaving Amsterdam at the 9th of march 2010, departing on her first official cruise. The picture at the top of the page was also taken on this day.

After the ceremony, MSC Magnifica sailed for Amsterdam, from where her first official cruise started at the 9th of march. Normally, the ship sails European cruises, her first season mostly in the Mediterranean, later she was sailing Baltic cruises. She also is to be found in the Caribbean and in South America during the wintermonths. At the 15th of april 2013, the ship arrived at Hamburg for her season in northern Europe, and for this a special welcome was arranged for the ship by the Dutch football-international Rafael van der Vaart, who also is the captain of HSV, the city's footballclub. MSC is since 2012 one of the main sponsors of HSV and Van der Vaart offered a T-shirt signed by all players of the first team to Pierfrancesco Vago, the Italian CEO of MSC Cruises. After this, of course he also was there to give autographs to fans of the club in the Altona Cruiseterminal. Another event happened in Hamburg between the 9th and 11th of may 2014 when MSC Magnifica became the largest harbour tour boat the city had ever seen. At the yearly Harbour Anniversary celebrations, this year the 825th, the ship made a short harbour cruise as a special event. Of course, she was also christened in the port in 2010. She was not the only cruiseliner in port that day, ion total, 12 cruiseships visited the port in those days, unloading 37.000 cruisepassengers. Of course a huge gathering like this also brought some spectators around, as about one million people came to get a closer look at the ships. 

MSC Magnifica seen from the North Pier at Velsen Noord at the 21st of april 2013.

All normal public places are found aboard the ship available for her passengers. The ship offers 16 bars and lounges, four restaurants and a large new buffetrestaurant called Sahara. One of her restaurants, L'Oasi is also themed from northern Africa, offering exclusive a la carte dining in a Moroccan atmosphere. Another nice feauture is the Tiger bar, totally dedicated to this large striped feline. Here, cocktails are served and musical acts perform. There also is a 4D-cinema on board, as well as a mini-bowling alley and a sportsbar called L'Olimpiade, that even offers a billiard table.

A stray cat with no interest whatsoever in the departing MSC Magnifica at Lisbon, Portugal on the 13th of october 2017.

On the 5th of januari of 2019, MSC Magnifica will depart on a first for MSC Cruises when she will start their first ever worldcruise. This 119-day voyage will call at 49 ports in 32 countries. The cruise will depart and end in the companies homeport Genoa.

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