msc lirica cruise ship review & photos - msc crociere - msc cruises

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MSC Lirica

Built in France at a cost of 270 million, the 59,058 ton MSC Lirica was delivered to her owners Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) on March 24, 2003 and has proven to be an instant hit during her first summer season on the popular weekly Western Mediterranean run. It was in Barcelona, Spain on a sunny September morning that I was given the opportunity to visit MSC Lirica and see for myself how MSC is doing things differently. MSC Cruises started operations in 16 years ago and has grown to a fleet of four very different ships, ranging from the vintage 1952-built MSC Monterey to the very popular MSC Melody. Crowning the MSC fleet will be MSC Opera, a near-sister of MSC Lirica, entering service in the Mediterranean very soon.

Since its inception, the line has been offering an upbeat cruise experience for a modest price, emphasizing its Italian heritage and catering to a mostly pan-European crowd. Traditionally, MSC Cruises has been very popular with family with kids and therefore entertainment on board is virtually non-stop. Apart from the Mediterranean, MSC is also active in U.S. waters, offering winter cruises from Ft. Lauderdale, while one fleetmate traditionally spends winter in South America.

MSC Lirica follows in the footsteps of her popular fleetmates by offering the same Italian shipboard flavor, albeit on a more elegant level. Her beautiful interiors are crafted by the best Italian designers and exude the "Dolce Far Niente" feeling without ever going over the top. Despite the fact that Lirica's service staff is very international, she flies the Panamian flag and the company is run from Switzerland these days, my ship visit made it very clear that this is the ultimate new Italian passenger liner. "Splendido!"

Cruise Line: Mediterranean Shipping Company
Year built: 2003
Price tag: 270 million
Yard: Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire, France
Gross Tonnage: 59,058
Length: 251.25 m (824.3 ft)
Beam: 28.8 m (94.4 ft)
Passengers (norm.): 1,526
Passengers (max): 2,213
Crew: 760
Service speed: 20.8 knots
Flag: Panama

And now please join me for a virtual tour of MSC Lirica. Please note: as the ship was fully booked during my visit, I was not able to photograph any staterooms. 


Photos and text: 2003-2004 Bart de Boer -

First published on February 28th, 2004

Amenities, decor, charges and services may have changed since this article was written

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