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HomeBusinessSt. Croix businessWICO Welcomes MSC Cruises ‘TV Star’ Lead Ship

WICO Welcomes MSC Cruises ‘TV Star’ Lead Ship

The USVI delegation included (left to right) Thyago Penha, MSC Meraviglia Event Manager; Paschal Simeon, Best Taxi; Monoj, Hotel Manager; Avery Lewis, St. Thomas/Water Island Administrator; Gavin Carroll, Cruise Director; Nicole George-Petersen, Department of Tourism; Kevin Rodriguez, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor; Jennifer Mauro, Guest Relations Director; Jason Charles, WICO Board Chairman; John Amaro, Harbor Pilot; Jean Yves Chan, Front Desk Manager; Paula Belen Romero, International Hostess; and Mark Sabino, WICO Director of Marine Operations and Cruise Services. (Submitted photo)

A television star of sorts received a grand welcome on her inaugural visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

MSC Meraviglia, the lead ship of MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia-class vessels, arrived at the West Indian Company dock where company executives and cruise tourism stakeholders officially welcomed Captain Alessandro Galotto in a plaque exchange ceremony.

The ship’s construction was featured in the second episode of the Science Channel’s Building Giants television series.

“Cruise ship building is an intricate, precise and fascinating feat of engineering,” said Anthony A. Ottley, WICO president and CEO. “Seeing a ship assembled on television provides a level of awe, and MSC Meraviglia brings big star power. We are delighted to welcome her to our port.”

The $1 billion flagship was built in 2017 in Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazier, France.

Geneva-based MSC has committed to investing $10.2 billion for 11 new ships to increase the line’s market share in the cruise industry.

Anthony A. Ottley, WICO president and CEO, (left) and Captain Alessandro Galotto at the official ceremony welcoming MSC Meraviglia to the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Submitted photo)

With one of the most extraordinary fleets in modern cruising, MSC Cruises is making a distinctive name for itself. Prior to booking, guests can choose from four experiences, each with increasing levels of access to amenities: Bella, Fantastica, Auria or — the ultimate — Yacht Club, which includes exclusive butler service and access to members-only areas onboard.

MSC Meraviglia’s 4,787 guests and 1,628 crew are on a 10-day excursion that includes stops in the Dominican Republic, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands before returning to New York City where the ship homeports.

Built: Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard, St. Napier, France

Entered service: 2017

Port of Registry: Malta

Class: New Vista Project, Meraviglia class

Cost: $1 billion

Capacity: 5,642 passengers

Crew: 1,600

Weight: 171,598 tons

Length: 1,036 feet

Decks: 15 (passenger)

Speed: 22 knots

Godmother: Sophia Loren

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