"Float out" is the shipyard term for an important milestone in the construction of a vessel. The outside or hull of a ship is constructed in a dry dock; once that work is done, the dry dock is slowly filled with water -- which allows the ship to float for the first time. Then, the final leg of work (mostly interior) can begin. MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica -- under construction at Aker Yards in St. Nazaire, France, and due out in 2009 and 2010 respectively -- completed their technical float outs successfully early in the morning on March 1.
MSC Cruises currently has four ships under construction. MSC Poesia is the next ship to debut in the fleet, scheduled for launch in early April (stay tuned for live coverage from Dover here on Cruise Critic); Fantasia will follow in late 2008. Both ships will sail itineraries in the Mediterranean -- not just in spring, summer and fall, but winter too.
For a chance to check out the cruise line and its winter Mediterranean program, join our Treasure Hunt & Cruise Giveaway, in progress right now! The grand prize is an 11-night cruise for two in a verandah stateroom aboard MSC's brand-new MSC Poesia or MSC Fantasia (no purchase necessary; airfare not included).
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor