The Preziosa: MSC Cruises’s new Flagship
 The Preziosa MSC Newest Cruise ship       
The cruise company MSC Cruises is a market leader in the Mediterranean, South Africa and Brazil. But it also offers a wide range of cruises in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, the French Antilles, South America, West Africa, the Red Sea and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Northern Europe.

MSC Cruises is world-wide recognised as a company with a special concern for social responsibility and environmental sustainability by way of inbuilt environmental friendly materials and modern technologies. This commitment has earned them numerous awards, such as being the first cruise company to be awarded the prestigious 6 Golden Pearls for environmental care by the international certification body, the Bureau Veritas.

Now its latest ship, the MSC Preziosa, launched during March of this year (2013) has earned one of the highest “Quality Health Safety Environment” (QHSE) awards, the 7 Golden Pearls, validating that the vessel has achieved appropriate protection of the marine ecosystem, as well as the safety and health of its crew and passengers by way of its design, built, operations and maintenance. Aspects that were, amongst others, taken into account are: + advanced air, water and waste treatment, + environmental management, + food safety, + catering both onshore and on board, + occupational health and safety, + eco-friendly facilities, + aluminium recycling.

But this is not the only attribute making this ship unique. As the latest of MSC Cruises’s 13 vessels, the Preziosa has taken a few steps further in creating facilities thought not to be found on a cruise ship, such as the Doremi Castele Aqua Park for children, which includes fountains, water pistols, sprays and water valves, and for adults a designated space away from children, namely the for-fee Top 18 Exclusive Solarium featuring a bar menu, spa service and fruit skewers. It also boasts a Formula 1 simulator, the longest single-rider water slide at sea more than 12 m high and 120 m long, as well as a sports and bowler diner. Seven different restaurants, including three main ones, offer their services to the passengers.

The ship also features MSC's signature Yacht Club suite complex, which provides passengers what can be described as “ship-within-a-ship” luxury and exclusivity, such as access to private upper decks with 24-hour personal butler service, and a stunning lounge offering panoramic views. Members of the MSC Yacht Club have the exclusive use of a private pool complex with bar, solarium and library.
 MSC Preziosa

The Preziosa

The Preziosa interior

The Preziosa waterslide

 The Preziosa aireal view

The Preziosa wterpark
The Preziosa is the fourth in MSC Cruises’s Fantasia Class – the others being the MSC Divina, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia – each weighing about 140 000 tons, measuring 333 m in length and 38 m wide, and carrying between 4000 to 4 363 guests and about 1 400 crew. All have 18 decks, of which 13 are for passengers. Complementing them are four vessels in the Musica Class, each weighing about 90 000 tons, carrying 3 000 guests, and the Lirica Class, also with four ships, weighing 30 000 tons each, carrying 2 000 guests. Amongst them are the MSC Opera and the MSC Sinfonia, operating in South African waters. Finally there is also the MSC Melody, weighing 35 000 tons and carrying 1 000 guests.

Until November, with Genua as its homeport, the MSC Preziosa will be sailing the western Mediterranean. Thereafter, until spring 2014, MSC Preziosa undertakes cruises to South America.
The history of the MSC Preziosa is quite unusual: It was originally commissioned by Hannibal Gaddafi, the son of the former Lybian dictator. Amongst the luxuries that he wanted to be included in the design, was a large shark-tank, statues and marble columns. However, the 2011 revolution terminated the construction, whereafter MSC Cruises bought the unfinished ship for 550 million Euros, altered the design and transformed it into the stunning vessel sailing the oceans today.

Due to the popularity of cruises over the past decade, cruise companies are building not only larger, but also more luxurious state of the art ships. With the MSC Preziosa the level has been raised once more. One can only guess as to what the future has in store!

Manie Wolvaardt

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