GENEVA, Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- MSC Cruises -- the Geneva, Switzerland-based global cruise line -- today announced a long-term partnership with Cirque du Soleil -- the Quebec-based world leader in artistic entertainment -- that will set new standards in live entertainment at sea. In a first at sea, brand new Cirque du Soleil shows will be created exclusively for MSC Cruises guests aboard the cruise line's next-generation Meraviglia ships in a multi-million dollar, ground-breaking entertainment and dining venue, designed in collaboration by MSC Cruises and Cirque du Soleil.
Exquisite dining and award-winning entertainment are two key distinguishing elements of the MSC Cruises experience. To elevate these two elements to the next level, MSC Cruises and Cirque du Soleil together imagined and are building a completely custom-made, latest-technology dining and entertainment venue -- the first of its kind at sea -- for MSC Cruises' Meraviglia ships. This is where MSC Cruises guests will be able to enjoy brand new, exclusive Cirque du Soleil shows, six nights a week, two performances per night -- all while enjoying an extraordinary MSC Cruises culinary experience.
The specifically-designed venue represents an industry-first $21 million investment, in which the custom-built entertainment and dining Aft lounge is equipped with the latest technology and best-suited to the needs of both Cirque du Soleil artists and guests. The 10,760 sq ft, 450-seat Aft lounge will feature a 200-seat dining area so that guests can enjoy an exquisite dinner or drinks before the performance. Cirque du Soleil's world-class artists will deliver two shows created exclusively for MSC Cruises that will capture the imagination of all guests. Shows and related dining options will be available only to MSC Cruises guests aboard the four next-generation Meraviglia project ships, the first of which -- MSC Meraviglia -- is set to sail its inaugural season in the Mediterranean from June 2017.
"MSC Cruises is a company built on innovation, from the unique, prototype ships we design and build to the on-board experiences we conceive and create," said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises. "Together with our newest world-class partner, Cirque du Soleil, we imagined and are now designing a totally new, live entertainment experience exclusively for our guests; an original show in a multimillion-dollar custom-built venue aboard a ship we designed ourselves, down to the last detail. It's this commitment to innovation, and the vision and creativity that only a family-owned company can apply, that make MSC Cruises so distinct."
"We have found in MSC a long term partner with a clear vision about trends in the cruising industry and a strong desire to be the leader by bringing entertainment on board to a whole new level," said Yasmine Khalil, President 45 DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil's Special Projects Company. "For Cirque du Soleil, this is what inspires us and provides us with a great creative challenge that we require for each new relationship and project that we embark on."
This ground-breaking new offering will first be available aboard MSC Meraviglia, the most innovative cruise ship ever built by a global European-based cruise line. The cutting-edge 4,500-guest (based on double occupancy), 167,600-GRT ship -- due to be delivered in May 2017 -- will spend her first summer sailing the western Mediterranean, and will be the first to have three major ports of embarkation: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona. Cruises for MSC Meraviglia's inaugural season are already on sale and can be accessed here or via preferred travel agents around the world.
For more information on MSC Cruises partnership with Cirque du Soleil, visit https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Partnerships/Cirque-Du-Soleil-MSC-Cruises.aspx
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About MSC Cruises
Geneva, Switzerland-based MSC Cruises S.A. is the world's largest privately-held global cruise line. Since its inception in 2003, the Company grew by 800% and is today the fourth largest cruise line in the world, the market leader in Europe and in the Mediterranean as well as in South America and South Africa. MSC Cruises recently announced a $5.4 billion investment plan that includes the construction of up to seven new ships that will see MSC Cruises' fleet double its current capacity by 2022. In 2014, 1.5 million passengers from over 150 countries vacationed aboard MSC Cruises fleet, one of the youngest at sea. MSC Cruises has offices in 45 countries and employees 16,000 staff globally.
MSC Cruises is the only company in the world to receive the "7 Golden Pearls" award from Bureau Veritas, the global certification agency, in recognition of its high level of quality management and environmental responsibility. The Company has also achieved ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 certification for the quality and food safety of all aspects of its catering, both on shore and on board. MSC Cruises has partnered with UNICEF since 2009, collecting more than $3.5 million from MSC guest donations for UNICEF initiatives.
About Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 160 million spectators in 400 cities in 60 countries on six continents.
SOURCE MSC Cruises USA