At an event hosted by Lynne Clarke, MD of MSC Cruises Australia, MSC Cruises announced its first-ever world cruise and the construction of new vessels.The MSC World Cruise features the industry’s largest and most modern ship to offer this type of extended voyage. MSC Magnifica will depart from Genoa on 5 January 2019 and complete her around-the-world voyage back in Genoa 119 days later. Crossing six continents, calling at 49 unique destinations in 32 countries, this one-of-a-kind world cruise will be an unforgettable dream come true for even the most demanding voyagers, with the comfort and elegance that guests have come to expect from MSC Cruises and its ships.Throughout the 119-day globetrotting voyage, guests will visit some of the most historic ports, bustling cosmopolitan cities and remote, exotic island paradises around the globe. Highlights of this one-of-a-kind cruise include:• Exotic and uncharted destinations:From the warm archipelago of Tonga and the pristine waters of Bora Bora to the thriving culture of Cartagena and oasis of Aqaba, MSC Cruises has selected 49 coveted destinations across the world – many of which are only available to cruise lovers and world travellers alike via this cruise. The MSC World Cruise will also offer guests the opportunity to explore New Zealand, Fiji and the Maldives as well as an expanded comprehensive tour of “off the beaten path” Caribbean islands, with nine ports of call in the region.• Exclusive and unprecedented shore experiences:MSC Cruises continues in its commitment to providing authentic experiences to satisfy the needs of all guests with an extensive choice of excursions. Whether riding the elephants of Pinnawela, snorkelling in the lagoons of Moorea or touring the Nga Bay National Park, guests are able to immerse themselves in local culture and experience the best that each destination has to offer. Furthermore, exclusive to MSC World Cruise, guests will be able to book 15 complimentary shore excursions of their choice to really explore the globe like never before.• True discovery: In order to take advantage of the local culture and activities of each call, MSC World Cruise guests will have plenty of time to explore. With an above-industry average stay of 13 hours on shore per port of call, guests will be able to fully experience and discover at their own pace.• Extended stays in coveted destinations:For popular destinations with a range of activities, MSC Cruises has arranged extended in-port stays that no other cruise line offers, including four full days in Polynesia and three full days in both Hawaii and San Francisco, as well as two days in Los Angeles.• Quality onboard experience:Spending 118 nights on board, MSC Cruises will make guests feel at home thanks to, among others, numerous onboard discounts which include laundry services. Every little detail has been considered to ensure that it is now even easier than ever to make this the voyage of a lifetime.In addition to the immense variety of destinations and experiences to be had whilst on shore, MSC Magnifica will enable guests to travel in real comfort and style. Built in 2009, the ship boasts masterful design and relaxed refinement, with all of the features that distinguish any MSC Cruises ship, including one of the highest ratios of balcony cabins, high-quality service, fresh and authentic dining options including four restaurants and 11 bars, modern and comfortable cabins as well as a wide range of entertainment and leisure activities. From the gourmet restaurants serving cuisine prepared with fresh ingredients and authentic inspiration from around the world to the wide variety of world-class entertainment offerings including a full-scale casino, panoramic discotheque, cigar lounge, 4D cinema and much more – guests will feel the attention to detail in service and design that is a trademark for MSC Cruises.While there are plenty of activities to enjoy at sea, guests can also opt to escape to relaxation at one of the many on board havens. This includes MSC Magnifica’s award-winning MSC Aurea Spa, with traditional Balinese massages found nowhere else at sea in addition to a number of other ultramodern beauty treatments, a sauna, Turkish bath and thalassotherapy room.Under constructionMSC Cruises and STX France have agreed on all the ship specifications and now construction can commence in earnest to meet the required timings. The two next-generation ships – the largest ships ever built for a European cruise line and the second largest globally – will be delivered in October 2019 and September 2020, respectively.The MSC Cruises “Meraviglia-Plus” class is the next-level generation of ships for all seasons, at 331 metres long. Thanks to innovative maritime technology, together with their “Meraviglia” class sister ships, they will be the only ones in their class able to call at all world cruise ports.The two “Meraviglia-Plus” ships’ interior 111-metre-long promenade will feature an LED sky screen ceiling measuring 95 by 6 meters, beaming out visual events and vistas around the clock to create a unique atmospheric experience for guests. The Meraviglia and Bellissima will also feature duplex cabins with private whirlpools.Cirque du Soleil will again bring its unique brand of world-class shows exclusively to MSC Cruises two Meraviglia-Plus ships in a purpose-built dining and entertainment venue in the aft lounge.“Meraviglia-Plus” ships will also feature a unique cultural experience for guests at sea, with the first-of-its-kind classic and contemporary fine art museum. This industry-first feature will enable guests to experience masterpieces from around the globe in collaboration with the world’s premier cultural centres, classic and modern art museums as well as public and private art institutions.Additionally, the “Meraviglia” and “Meraviglia-Plus” ships will feature the latest STX France’s ECORIZON and other next-generation environmental technologies. Among other things, they will result in air emission levels that are already in line with all upcoming 2020 regulatory requirements.