MSC Cruises celebrated the float out of its newest -- and largest -- ship MSC Seaside last week.
The 5,200-passenger megaship, which will launch in December next year, was floated out -- the first time the ship touches water -- at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.
-- which will be based year-round in Miami and sail Caribbean itineraries -- will be the first MSC ship to be christened outside of Italy, underscoring the line's commitment to the US market.
The 160,000-ton ship will be joined by a sister, MSC Seaview
, in June 2018, with an option on a third in 2021.
Each ship has been especially designed for warm climes, and will feature an outdoor promenade filled with shops, bars and alfresco dining.
It also features a Miami-style beach condo design (pictured above), with more than three quarters of the cabins outside facing.
Each ship will have 463,000 square feet of public space, including panoramic elevators with sea views, suspended glass floors and, a giant aquapark.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises
Executive Chairman, said: "This is another exciting milestone in our ambitious expansion plans as we see the second of our 11 next-generation ships entering the final stages of her construction.
"MSC Seaside has been specifically designed to provide our guests with a unique onboard experience in warmer regions and boasts one the highest ratio of outdoor space in the industry so that guests can enjoy a range of open-air activities such as dining and drinking al fresco, strolling along the promenade or simply taking in the beautiful sea views from the privacy of one of the many balcony cabins."
The float out is an important milestone in the construction of a cruise ship as it is the moment where the ship first floats on water when the dry dock is flooded and the ship is moved to a wet dock for the final phase of her construction. The exterior of the ship is complete and work moves to complete interiors, fixtures and fittings.