Skip to main content

European mega-ship's maiden voyage

By CNN Staff
updated 6:36 AM EDT, Fri March 15, 2013
Europe's equal largest cruise ship, the MSC Preziosa, tips the scales at 140,000 tons and can travel at speeds of up to 23 knots. Europe's equal largest cruise ship, the MSC Preziosa, tips the scales at 140,000 tons and can travel at speeds of up to 23 knots.
HIDE CAPTION
Europe's largest cruise ship
Broadway-sized theater
Maiden voyage
A lot of mouths to feed
Big but not biggest
First cruise
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • At 333 meters long, it is Europe's equal biggest cruise ship
  • The 'Allure of the Seas' at 362 meters is the world's biggest
  • MSC Preziosa's first official cruise will start March 24

(CNN) -- Europe's largest cruise ship, the MSC Preziosa, set sail on its maiden voyage from the western France port of Saint Nazaire on Thursday.

The ship actually holds the title jointly with its sister ship the MSC Divina, which first set sail in May of 2012. Both measure 333 meters long by 38 meters wide and can hold 4,345 passengers. The mega-ships each weigh 140,000 tons and can travel at speeds of up to 23 knots.

Swiss-Italian cruise operator MSC Cruises says the ship has 30,000 square meters of public area, including pools, a casino and a theater.

The boat is the 12th in MSC's fleet, making it the world's third biggest cruise line, according to company CEO Pierfrancesco Vago.

The ship has quite the interesting back story. According to various reports, a shipping firm in Libya originally ordered it.

But payments were halted in the wake of the Libyan revolution in 2011.

MSC Cruises stepped in and purchased the already-in-progress ship from builder STX France.

The luxury cruise ship is now on its pre-inaugural 9-day/8-night cruise from Saint Nazaire, that will end in Genoa, Italy on Friday, March 22. There a christening ceremony will take place before it departs on March 24 on its first official cruise.

The five-night voyage begins in Genoa and includes stops in Naples, Messina, Tunis and Barcelona.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
A scene from a desert safari in Dubai
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
updated 9:50 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Cities around the world have closed the brew gap, but the Oregon city's innovative scene continues to lead the beer parade.
updated 5:49 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
From gourmet hotdogs to Sevillian tapas, the food served in these London restaurants is worth lining up for.
updated 10:45 AM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Plans are underway to build the world's tallest -- and quite possibly most terrifying -- roller coaster at an Orlando, Florida, theme park due to open in 2017.
updated 2:32 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
The 7th Annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards highlight the top cruise lines for North American travelers in 18 categories.
updated 9:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Joining the ranks of pilgrims tackling Adam's Peak rewards with a spiritual awakening, or at least a stunning sunrise.
updated 8:13 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
The cover of Norway's new passport design
Beautifully designed travel document reveals image of Northern Lights when placed under UV light.
updated 12:25 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Properties in the Italian village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio have been converted into a high end hotel spread through the village.
New concept offering luxury rooms in ancient dwellings helps spare beautiful villages from falling into ruin.
updated 5:47 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Are you the butcher or the cattle? Tainted meat-obsessed fans are following the tracks of their favorite "Walking Dead" survivors.
updated 12:21 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
People never cease to find amazing ways to make water more incredible than it already is. Here are some powerful examples
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT