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Geneva, 3 September 2014 – MSC Cruises’ ambitious Renaissance Programme to renew and enlarge four ships of its 12-strong fleet has reached a new level after MSC Armonia arrived in Sicily.

On Sunday 31 August MSC Armonia entered the Fincantieri shipyard, in Palermo, Italy, where she will remain for 11 weeks, until resuming service on 17 November with a one-off inaugural Mediterranean cruise from Genoa to the Canary Islands. 

Over the next two and a half months, Fincantieri’s team of world-class shipbuilders will lengthen the ship by inserting a prebuilt 24-metre section containing 194 extra cabins. In addition, they will refit and renew many other parts of the ship, upgrading the level of comfort, entertainments and services available on board.   

Before MSC Armonia’s arrival on Sunday, Fincantieri had begun preparations for the massive project both on board and in the shipyard. On 28 August, the new midship section was floated into the shipyard, and towed into the drydock area, where MSC Armonia will undergo her Renaissance. Finally, on Sunday morning, MSC Armonia stopped inside the drydock, where the midship section was waiting. Work immediately started on her hull, as the cutting line was marked. The midsection will be inserted mid-September and the maiden journey out of the shipyard will be on 17 November.  

In addition to new cabins, the ship will boast new areas for the Baby Club built in partnership with Chicco; also a new Mini Club and Young Club for kids to play, as well as a Teens Club.  

Food lovers were not forgotten as the buffet will be open 20 hours per day and exciting features will be available for an even better food experience. She will also feature a new lounge area as well as an extended restaurant.   

MSC Armonia will in addition be fitted with a library for MSC travellers to enjoy their time on board even more. MSC Aurea Spa will also benefit from enrichments to please our guests. A completely new spray park will also be added, with an exhilarating pathway of water features and water cannons.   

The Renaissance programme will follow the below schedule:  

  • MSC Armonia: 31 August to 17 November 2014

  • MSC Sinfonia: 12 January to 16 March 2015

  • MSC Opera: 2 May to 4 July 2015

  • MSC Lirica: 31 August to 9 November 2015

The four ships were built between 2003 and 2005 at the STX yards in Saint-Nazaire, France. They are currently 251 metres long, weigh 60,000 tons and carry 2,069 travellers. After the “renaissance programme”, the ships will be 275 meters long, weigh 65,000 tons and carry 2,680 travellers, boasting 194 additional cabins (plus 59 new cabins for crew members).   

More information can be found on