MSC Cruises gears up for ‘smart ship’ technology
MSC Cruises has claimed the line will be the first to use state-of-the-art “smart ship” technology this summer.
It comes just weeks after Carnival Corporation unveiled its wearable onboard device, set to debut in 2017.
Chief executive Gianni Onorato said the new technology – which he claimed has similar capabilities to that of Carnival’s Ocean Medallion class – would be “implemented for the first time” onboard MSC Meraviglia in June and later feature on its Seaside-class ships: MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview.
Onorato said he “wanted to make clear” that MSC had been developing its own onboard technology for some time but had “not advertised it”.
“At MSC, we need to improve our marketing strategy – we like to do things first and then talk about them,” he said.
Onorato was speaking at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where a coin ceremony was being held for Seaview, which will enter operation in June 2018. Sister ship Seaside will launch in November.
Onorato said MSC aimed to offer a “connected holiday experience” using digital channels such as an app and interactive screens onboard to help guests “live better”; customers will be able to make reservations, locate children and view holiday pictures taken onboard by photographers in an interactive photo gallery.
MSC has been fine-tuning the platforms with major technology firms, including Samsung, Bosch and Hewlett Packard.
Meanwhile, Onorato said he believed Seaside’s design for cruising in warmer climates would attract British guests.
The ship, which will homeport in Miami and sail in the Caribbean, will feature “one of the highest ratios” of outside space for guests: 3.2 square meters per person, comprising a 360-degree open-air promenade, panoramic lifts, two glass catwalks and more than 70% of cabins with balconies.
Seaside is one of 11 new vessels coming into MSC’s service by 2026 – part of a €9 billion investment.
Onorato said UK agents would be able to visit the ship when it ports in Trieste in late November. The line will also organise fam trips to the Caribbean for trade partners.
“The Caribbean is an important destination for the UK market. We have started to be more active in the UK, and have seen outcomes that have been encouraging,” said Onorato.