MSC Cruises has this week announced an exclusive long-term partnership with Cirque du Soleil to create new live entertainment shows aboard its Meraviglia ships.
The productions will take place inside Aft Lounges, which will feature 450 seats, including a 200-seat restaurant area. The 1,000sq metre spaces are being specifically designed for the shows at a cost of €20 million (USD 21.4 m).
Cirque du Soleil productions will take place six nights a week during sailings, with two performances per night.
MSC Cruises has four Meraviglia project ships in the pipeline with the first, MSC Meraviglia, under construction at the STX shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France.
The 4,500-guest, 167,600GRT ship will set sail on its inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean from June 2017 and will be the first to have three homeports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona. Further Meraviglia project ships are scheduled for delivery in 2019, 2020 and 2022.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, said: “MSC Cruises is a company built on innovation, from the unique ships we design and build to the on-board experiences we conceive and create.
“Together with Cirque du Soleil are now designing a totally new, live entertainment experience for our guests. 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.”
Yasmine Khalil, president 45 DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil’s Special Projects Company, added:
“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 taking entertainment on board to a whole new level.
“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.”