MSC Orchestra seen at the Amsterdam passengerterminal during her stay at the13th of may, 2010.
As the second member of the Musica-class of ships, the MSC Orchestra followed her earlier sister and namegiver to the class MSC Musica when she floated out of her building dock in Saint Nazaire at the 9th of september 2006. She was built under yardnumber R32 at the Aker yards, the former Chantiers de L'atlantique. The ship measures some 92.409 tons, she is 293,80 meters long, 32,20 meters wide and she has a draft of 7,70 meters. Her maximum passenger capacity is 3013, but another number given, based on a two-per-cabin count, is 2550. Also, 987 crewmembers are present on the ships 16 decks, of which 13 are accessible for her passengers. The normal speed of the ship is 22 knots and she is registered at Panama, having the equally named homeport. She is driven by 5 Wärtsilä-designed dieselengines, and thrusted by 2 propellers. For maximum passenger comfort, the MSC Orchestra is equipped with the so-called MABS-system (Multi Air Blowing System). This system of nozzles placed under the stern creates a cushon of air acting as a shock absorber between the hull and the turbulence generated by the propellers. Noise reduction through this innovation is 5db and of course, it causes a smooth ride also... Inside, the Italian firm Studio De Jorio Design International provided the MSC trademark of sophisticated Italian style throughout the ship.
At the 22nd of march 2007, her seatrials began from Saint Nazaire and those took her to the dangerous waters of the Bay of Biscay. Luckily, the bay was kind and the ship proved well in those tests. This is why she could be delivered to the company the following 3rd of may. Two days later, the ship sailed from Saint Nazaire to Civitavecchia, Italy, the port of Rome. Here, she was named by the godmother of almost all MSC cruiseships, the Italian moviestar Sophia Loren. After the official part of the ceremony, the Italian 1928-born composer and coirmaster Ennio Morricone performed, with appropriate fireworks in the background. At the second of june, the official maiden voyage of the ship started from the Italian port of Venice and took her to the eastern Mediterranean. After this, the ship sailed Mediterranean and northen European cruises, in the European winter the ship is employed at the South American shores.
MSC Orchestra entering the port of Amsterdam at the 7th of may 2010. The picture above is taken at the same date after her turnaround that didn't went as smoothly as normal. The ship proved to be too long and she was turned too early, causing her to almost get stuck between the northern and southern shore of the IJ. Luckily, the error was found out on time...
In may 2010, the ship was in the news when she was docked at Dover and eight passengers (4 from Bulgaria and 4 from Lithuania) were arrested aboard for the posession of a large amount of cocaïne. They were all proven guilty and sentenced in 2011 to around 15 years inprisonment each.