MSC Splendida

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MSC SPLENDIDA (20037774212).jpg
NameMSC Splendida
OperatorMSC Cruises
Port of registry Panama[3]
Ordered16 November 2005
BuilderSTX Europe (St. Nazaire)[3][5]
Cost$550 million[3]
Laid down24 October 2007
Launched18 July 2008
Christened12 July 2009 by Sophia Loren[4]
Completed2 July 2009
Maiden voyage4 July 2009
StatusIn service
General characteristics
Class and typeFantasia-class cruise ship
Tonnage137,936 GT[3]
Length333.33 m (1,093.60 ft)[1]
Beam37.92 m (124.41 ft)[3]
Height66.81 m (219.2 ft)[6]
Draft27.2 ft (8.29 m)[1]
Decks18 total, 13 passenger decks[3][6]
Installed powerDiesel (40,000kW)[3]
Propulsion2 propellors[3]
Speed21 knots (39 km/h)[5]
Capacity3,900 passengers[3]
Crew1,313 crew[3]
Notes15 elevators,[6] post-Panamax

MSC Splendida is a Fantasia-class cruise ship owned and operated by MSC Cruises. Constructed at STX France in Saint-Nazaire, she commenced service in July 2009 with $550m investment.

MSC Cruises announced the suspension of all North American itineraries until 30 June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]


MSC Splendida in Geirangerfjorden in June 2015.

MSC Splendida was completed in 2009 at a cost of $550 million and is a sister ship to MSC Fantasia, originally, she was to be named MSC Serenata, but the name was changed in May 2007 to MSC Splendida[8][9] She measures 137,936 GT, and is 333.30 m long with a beam of 37.98 m, a height of 66.81 m and a draft of 8.29 m. Her capacity is 3,900 passengers.[10][11] The two Neopanamax vessels were to be the largest ships in a European cruise line's fleet at the time of delivery.[12]

The then-unnamed vessel was part of a two-ship order made by MSC Cruises with STX France on 16 November 2005, for a tentative delivery in spring 2009.[13] Construction began on then-MSC Serenata on 12 April 2007 with the steel-cutting.[12] The ship was launched from the shipyard on 18 July 2008.[14] She began her sea trials on 21 May 2009 and completed them on 27 May 2009.[15] The ship was delivered to MSC Cruises on 4 July 2009.[15] She embarked on her maiden voyage on 4 July 2009[16] and returned 11 July, to be officially named on 12 July 2009, in Barcelona by Sophia Loren, her godmother.[4]

Areas of operation[edit]

MSC Splendida has cruised the Mediterranean and Far East.[17] She was refurbished in 2017 before deploying to China.[18] In 2020 March, the ship docked in Palong, Thailand beach during the coronavirus pandemic, after more the 2,700 passengers was disembarked.[19] The ship is scheduled to serve Southeast Asia until summer 2020 before repositioning to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.[20] The ship is scheduled to be based in Durban for the 2023/2024 cruise season and will serve the South African market sailing to Mozambique, Mauritius, Reunion, Namibia, Port Elizabeth & Cape Town.[21]


The ship's horn system is set up to play multiple songs, including "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" by Queen, "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes and "Happy Birthday to You".[22]


Bardo National Museum attack[edit]

On 18 March 2015, MSC Splendida was in port in Tunis with Costa Fascinosa when gunmen opened fire on tourists at the Bardo National Museum. Twelve passengers hailing from Japan, Italy, Colombia, Spain, Britain, Australia, Poland, and France, were killed.[23]

Coronavirus pandemic[edit]

On 23 March 2020, around 14:00 CET, a Thai crew member working aboard as a buffet attendant was medically evacuated via lifeboat after she exhibited symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and was having difficulty breathing.[a][24] At the time, the ship was near the island of Sardinia and headed to Marseille[b] to disembark all of its passengers.[24]

On 24 March 2020, MSC Cruises informed the crew that the sick crew member had tested negative.[24] However, two days later, on 26 March, it was reported that the sick crew member had been tested again, and this time, the test had returned positive.[24] As a result, 16 crew members were placed under quarantine.[24] The ship later docked in Genoa so that some of its crew members could disembark.[26]

By 1 April 2020, 26 crew members had been placed under quarantine, with 3 crew members running high temperatures.[24]

In popular culture[edit]

MSC Splendida is featured on Indian Tamil film, Manmadan Ambu.[27]


  1. ^ She had been suffering from a fever and a sore throat for three days, and her health had been worsening.[24]
  2. ^ The cruise originally was supposed to end at Genoa on 29 March, but the trip was cut short due to the pandemic and the end of the cruise was moved up to 4 March when it docked at Marseille.[25]


  1. ^ a b c "MSC Splendida (9359806)". Veristar Info. Bureau Veritas. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b "MSC Splendida (IMO: 9359806)". Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ward, Douglas (2009). Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships (18th ed.). Singapore: Berlitz. ISBN 978-981-268-564-3.
  4. ^ a b "MSC Splendida Christening to Feature Sophia Loren". TravelPulse. Performance Media Group, LLC. 10 June 2009. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  5. ^ a b "MSC Splendida". ShipParade. Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  6. ^ a b c "Technical Sheet" (PDF). MSC Cruises. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  7. ^ "MSC Cruises is latest to suspend operations through summer". Fox News. 30 April 2020.
  8. ^ "MSC Serenata is renamed MSC Splendida". MSC Cruises. 31 May 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
  9. ^ "MSC Serenata is Renamed MSC Splendida". yourcruiseyourway. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  10. ^ "MSC Splendida Cruise Ship". Ship Technology.
  11. ^ "Iowans on cruise ship expected to be home soon". 9 March 2020.
  12. ^ a b Staff, C. I. N. (31 May 2007). "MSC Serenata Renamed MSC Splendida".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Newsletter, C. I. N. (16 November 2005). "MSC Expansion, Two New Ships Ordered".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "MSC Splendida (9359806)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  15. ^ a b "MSC Splendida completes trials". Ship Management International. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  16. ^ "MSC Splendida Pre-Christening Voyage". Free Press Release. 22 May 2009. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012.
  17. ^ Ashmore, Jehan. "MSC Splendida's Mediterranean Sister Makes An Appearance".
  18. ^ retail, Trbusiness The travel retail Trbusiness The magazine for global; Professionals, Duty Free (16 April 2018). "MSC Splendida ship set to be deployed in China on May 18 | Travel Retail Business". Trbusiness. {{cite web}}: |first1= has generic name (help)
  19. ^ Com, The Phuket News (5 March 2020). "Phuket News: More than 2,700 cruise tourists arrive in Patong". The Phuket News Com.
  20. ^ "MSC SPLENDIDA MAKES MAIDEN CALL IN KOCHI, INDIA". MSC Corporate Information & Media Room. 7 April 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Cruise ship MSC Splendida playing We Will Rock You / Seven Nation Army on its horn". YouTube. HD1080ide. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  23. ^ "News: MSC Cruises Official Statement on Tunisia Events". Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g "MSC Splendida Emergency Medical Evacuation of Crew Member | Crew Center". 23 March 2020.
  25. ^ "JavaScript is disabled in your browser". Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  26. ^ News, ABS-CBN. "More than 300 Filipino seafarers from Italy, Portugal back in the Philippines". ABS-CBN News. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  27. ^ "MSC Splendida stars in forthcoming Bollywood Film". Breaking Travel News. 15 December 2010. Archived from the original on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2019.

External links[edit]