MSC Cruises has released more details on its upcoming flagship, the MSC Bellissima, this time with a preview of the new cruise ship’s shopping area – which, at 8,072 square feet, will be the largest-ever retail offering in the cruise line’s fleet, MSC said.
The retail area will be in the ship’s 315-foot-long Mediterranean-style promenade, which will be topped with a 262-foot LED dome and which will also host a number of restaurants and social areas. For the retail experience, MSC says that it is aiming to create a “retail entertainment” experience, with special events like a 60’s-themed Flower Glory party hosted with external partner Ray-Ban. That event will offer guests the chance to win exclusive t-shirts, purchase limited edition sunglasses and dance. The area will also offer a number of other nightly retail events, including competitions, offers, fashion shows and lucky draws, as well as a team of Retail Ambassadors, who will be on hand to assist guests.
The retail area will also have a number of features designed to cater to the Asian cruise market, as the ship will be positioned in Asia in 2020, MSC said. The cruise line will be able to swap out the language, service and style of its retail locations depending on where the ship is sailing, even changing the purpose of certain areas.
All told, the retail area will host 13 shops selling 200 brands, with a strong luxury focus; brands on offer will include beauty products by Guerlain and Dior; jewelry and watches from Bulgari, Damiani, Chopard, Omega, Longines and Tag Heur; Italian accessories from Furla and Coccinelle; and clothing from Armani Exchange, Lacoste and Calvin Klein. MSC Bellissima will also offer the fleet’s first technology shop, selling products – including wearable devices – from Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Apple, Samsung and more.
The cruise line will also work with brands to create exclusive products only available onboard, with special pieces available from Swarovski and chocolatier Jean Philippe Maury. For children, LEGO and Chicco will each offer exclusive-to-MSC toys, while the Danish jewelry brand Trollbeads will sell the MSC Tattoo bead, which will show a sterling silver ship sailing through the MSC Cruises wind rose. British jewelry brand Infinity & Co has also created exclusive captain’s wheel charms for MSC.
Prior to its 2020 sailings in Asia, the MSC Bellissima will spend its inaugural season in the Mediterranean, offering seven-night cruises after its naming ceremony in Southampton, UK, on March 2. The new ship will then sail from the Emirates in winter 2019/2020.
When it launches in March, MSC Bellissima will represent the second ship in the cruise line's Meraviglia class and the fourth MSC Cruises next-generation ship to come into service in just over 18 months. In addition to the expanded retail area, guests will also be able to enjoy two new shows developed through the cruise line’s partnership with Cirque du Soleil; a new tapas restaurant; and a new digital cruise assistant named Zoe.