The 56,625-gt, 1544-guest, 2001-built MSC ARMONIA (ex EUROPEAN VISION), which entered dry dock on Aug. 31 at Fincantieri’s Palermo, Sicily shipyard, has been cut into two sections in the first step of a $273 million lengthening process called the Renaissance Program that will be rendered upon all four of the line’s ARMONIA Class ships (MSC SINFONIA, MSC ARMONIA, MSC LIRICA and MSC OPERA). The 14,000-ton bow section was moved some 30 meters away to allow for the insertion of a 79-foot midsection yesterday. For the next ten weeks, workers will be welding the three sections together, rewiring, re-plumbing and adding a number of public spaces as well as 194 staterooms, many with balconies. before the ship returns to service on November 17.
Enhancements will include a new Youth and Teen Center; a new lounge; an additional library; an enlarged spa, restaurant and buffet as well as a new water park.
A press release issued by MSC states, “MSC ARMONIA will receive a new hull treatment to minimize drag and lower water resistance, considerably reducing fuel consumption. In addition, LED technology in all public spaces on the ship will mean less energy is consumed on board. A Variable Speed Drive Inverter will also be installed – an energy-saving system that significantly reduces the ship’s electricity consumption by adjusting it in line with operational conditions. Finally, a new design of propeller blade is being studied by MSC Cruises’ blade manufacturer to maximize efficiency and lower fuel consumption even further.”
“Fincantieri has the proven expertise and experience in this type of operation, which was essential to satisfy our high standards, and have been long-standing partners for various maintenance and refitting operations on our fleet, ” said Emilio La Scala, General Manager MSC Cruises Technical Department.
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."