The keel laying ceremony has been conducted for the second of two new generation sister ships for MSC Cruises.
The 5,179-passenger MSC Seaview is due to enter service in the Mediterranean in June 2018 before being deployed in the winter from Brazil.
The vessel will follow 154,000 tonne MSC Seaside which is set to start service in December with cruises from its homeport in Miami.
MSC Seaview will be the latest next-generation mega cruise ship to come into service under MSC Cruises’ ten-year investment plan through to 2026.
UK and Ireland country manager Antonio Paradiso said: “The new ships represent an increase in capacity that will benefit the UK market and we are pleased with the way that they are performing with the UK market.
“MSC Seaside has seen a 46% increase in sales for the same itinerary compared to last year, with an overall increase of 69% year-on-year increase in the Caribbean, helped by our fly and cruise package to the region, with charter flights with Virgin Atlantic.
“In the Mediterranean, MSC Meraviglia is currently our most booked ship in this region and represents 20% of our volumes for 2017, with the Med seeing a 30% year-on-year increase in guests, further strengthening the market leader role that MSC Cruises has in this region.
“We expect to see this trend continue with MSC Seaview and MSC Bellissima.”
The European line’s executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “MSC Seaview is one of the four MSC Cruises’ ships currently under construction, as part of an industry-unprecedented ten-year, €9 billion investment plan that underpins the next phase of our global growth as the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line.
“She will also be a reflection of our unique and ongoing commitment to each time bringing to market the most innovatively conceived cruise ships, as the Seaside generation of MSC Cruises ships – of which MSC Seaview is part – introduces yet another game-changing prototype.”