September 10, 2019
(1 p.m. EST) -- MSC Cruises will stretch and refurbish MSC Magnifica in 2021, adding a host of new features.
The ship will go into dry dock in March 2021 to be sliced in half so a 75-foot section can be added, giving it nearly 75,350 square feet of extra space.
The additional footage will incorporate 215 new cabins, a new kids' water park, a larger sun deck, a refurbished kids club, two new restaurants and a shopping area.
The line would not confirm which two restaurants would be added, but Cruise Critic was told they will be two of the popular ones on the line's newest ships -- likely Butcher's Cut and Teppanyaki.
Both of these restaurants debuted on MSC Meraviglia and have since appeared on all subsequent new-builds, including the Seaside Class of ships.
The 215 new cabins will be predominantly balcony cabins, but the line has not rule out adding the its keycard-only, all-suite enclave, the MSC Yacht Club, to the ship.
The kids' water park will include water slides, and the kids club will be enhanced to include the line's existing partnerships with both LEGO and Italian baby product specialist Chicco.
The ship will also have a complete refurbishment during the two-month dry dock.
"Whether looking to sail on board MSC Magnifica again, or cruising the ship for the first time, guests will have an entirely new experience sailing brand new itineraries in a region that is rapidly increasing in demand," said Ken Muskat, EVP & Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA.
This is not the first time MSC Cruises has refurbished and stretched existing ships in the fleet; in 2015, the "Renaissance Project" was completed, which saw all four Lirica-class ships stretched.
MSC Magnifica will be UK-based over summer 2021, offering a variety of cruises from Southampton to the Norwegian fjords, Western Mediterranean, the Baltic and the Canary Islands.