May 24 2022  |  Retailers

MSC Cruises to launch ‘trail-blazing’ new flagship

By Hibah Noor

MSC World Europa will be MSC Cruises’ new flagship, spanning 22 decks with 2,626 cabins

In six months’ time, MSC Cruises is set to launch its most environmentally advanced ship.

MSC World Europa, the cruise operator’s new flagship, is the first from the “trail-blazing World Class prototype”, spanning 22 decks with 2,626 cabins and boasting more than 40,000 square meters of public space.

This “ultra-modern urban metropolis at sea” is described by MSC as the future of cruising while setting a new standard for the cruise industry.

MSC World Europa boasts a 104-meter long, seven-deck-high outdoor World Promenade, providing an entertainment and al-fresco dining space.

The promenade has a striking architectural masterpiece: The Venom Drop @ The Spiral spanning 11 decks. With its sleek stainless-steel curves, passengers can jump on the longest dry slide at sea, and traverse down 74 meters, from the top of the ship to the promenade.

Connected to this is the World Galleria spanning 303 square meters and topped with an LED and kinetic dome ceiling, lined with bars, restaurants and shops.

MSC World Europa will feature 33 restaurants, bars and lounges, offering globally inspired menus and best-in-class culinary artistry.

The ship will offer 13 restaurants, including six specialty restaurants with two new concepts for MSC Cruises: the Chef’s Garden Kitchen is the first hydroponic garden at sea where the ingredients include micro herbs, salads and garnishes grown onboard; and La Pescaderia, a Mediterranean fresh fish restaurant.

Guests will also find MSC Cruises’ signature Butcher’s Cut, an American-style steakhouse, Latin American street food-inspired Hola! Tacos & Cantina, Kaito Teppanyaki and Sushi bar.

Among the 20 bars and lounges onboard are seven new bar and cafe concepts including the line’s first onboard microbrewery, a gin bar, and a “cool and edgy” cocktail bar.

Interactive family entertainment

Entertainment will include grand-scale theater productions, immersive performances in the aft lounge, interactive family entertainment in the Luna Park Arena, and authentic Bohemian street theater around the ship. The ship also has a roller-disco and bumper cars.

MSC World Europa's children's area will be the largest in the fleet, with over 766 square meters of interior space, and seven rooms dedicated to different age groups from 0 to 17 years old developed in collaboration with Lego and Chicco.

With seven swimming pools and 13 whirlpools, water-based highlights include a Zen Pool area dedicated to adults only featuring two pools, a solarium and a lounge area.

The MSC Yacht Club boasts a double-deck sundeck, private pool and whirlpool; the Aquapark, the largest in MSC Cruises’ fleet, features a kids’ pool and slides; the La Plage main pool has a 3,474 square meter pool deck area with different levels for sunbathing; and the Botanic Garden Pool boasts a retractable roof and a tropical bar.

The enhanced public spaces include a totally reimagined sundeck, set over two decks for the first time, while two ultra-spacious Owner-Suites join the exclusive ‘ship within a ship’ concept.

The World Galleria is topped with an LED and kinetic dome ceiling, lined with bars, restaurants and shops

MSC World Europa incorporates all-new cabin designs and the most balcony cabins on any ship in the fleet.

And it will be the first LNG-powered vessel in MSC Cruises’ fleet and the most environmentally advanced.

In addition, MSC World Europa will feature selective catalytic reduction systems, shore-to-ship power connectivity, advanced wastewater treatment systems to comply with the strictest global standard for wastewater disposal to sea, a noise management system to reduce impact on marine mammals, as well as energy-efficient equipment and systems to optimize engine use.

Immersive retail experiences

Commenting on the retail experience, MSC Cruises Head of Retail Adrian Pittaway said: “MSC World Europa will offer the future class of cruise retail excellence, with a concept designed around the principles of immersive dynamism, family experiences and ever-changing exciting discoveries for our guests.”

There are three main concepts for guests to discover on each of the three main public area decks.

On Deck 6, the Shopping Gallery brings together many different products and experiences for the first time on a cruise ship, creating a “department store at sea”, Pittaway said.

The categories of beauty, fashion, jewelry, watches, sunglasses, technology, food, tobacco and liquor will be offered together in the same retail environment at the World Galleria with a fully interconnected department store for the first time.

The evolving, digitally enhanced event plan can change dependent on the day, time or port, with different spaces and feelings every hour.

“This flexible environment ensures that our guests are always able to discover something new and engaging throughout the cruise,” said Pittaway.

A new retail theater at the heart of the store will allow the retail cruise director to guide guests through activities and events, including tastings, learnings and seminars.

An industry-first, seamless guest payment system is connected to all other departments, meaning an innovative approach to tailored offers, cross promotions, recommendations and incentives, said Pittaway.

MSC Cruises’ own-brand shopping concept on MSC World Europa is designed to get guests excited about the new class of ship. Created as a connected MSC multiverse, the area contains the MSC Shop, MSC Hub and MSC Foundation, designed to capture the essence of MSC brands into different family experiences.

The MSC Shop will be 100% larger than on Meraviglia class ships with a reinvented portfolio of products focusing on new designs, sustainability and experiences of MSC World class, with a fresh retail design.

Outside the front of the store will be a new MSC World Experience space to host various events, seminars, workshops and promotions throughout the cruise, bringing the world of MSC Cruises to life. The MSC Foundation shop will provide guests with dedicated merchandise to help raise money for good causes around the world.

Luxury outdoor promenade

Luxury watches, jewelry and accessories will be featured in a world of luxury boutiques in the outside space at the aft of the ship.

The stores, including an Omega boutique, have been designed to offer a premium and relaxed luxury shopping experience. The use of contemporary designs and large, open spaces are interwoven with the outdoor spaces of the MSC World class.

“The double-height shopfront and large open display windows looking out to sea will give a new sensation of space, previously unseen in cruise ship shops, offering a perfect environment for luxury retailing,” said Pittaway.

MSC World Europa will spend her inaugural season in the Gulf for a winter cruise experience. Her season will commence on 20 December 22 with a four-night sailing from Doha to Dubai.

MSC World Europa will then offer seven-night cruises from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, on to Sir Bani Yas Island.

Departing Dubai on 25 March 2023, MSC World Europa will head to the Mediterranean for seven-night cruises in summer 2023.

REGION International

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