More on Cirque creating new shows for MSC Cruises


Gianni Onorato, Geneva-based CEO of MSC Cruises, said the shows have yet to be designed, but will be in the typical Cirque style, adapted for the conditions of a cruise ship.

The company plans to invest $20 million on each of the four Meraviglia ships to build a theater space that will be co-designed by Cirque. The 450-seat space will seat about 200 for a pre-show dinner, with another 250 seats for spectators who can order drinks.

Like at a club, those not dining will pay a cover charge, Onorato said.

Renderings of the theater show an aft lounge close to the water with dramatic high window views.


Onorato said the dinners will be as stylish as the shows, and food will be served “with spectacular interventions of artists.”

The 4,500-passenger MSC Meraviglia, the initial ship in the class, will debut in June 2017 in the Mediterranean, followed by three similar vessels. Cirque will create a pair of new shows for each ship. Performances are planned six nights a week, with two shows a night.

Cirque has previously been to sea with Celebrity Cruises, which in 2004 announced a plan to rebuild a bar on two of its ships as “The Bar at the Edge of the Earth.”

Costumed Cirque artists interacted with guests accompanied by special effects, visual projections, music and ambient sounds. But the program was put on hiatus in its second year and eventually disappeared.

“I understand it was something completely different from what we mean this time,” Onorato said.

(ED: Quebec-based Cirque du Soleil once had a partnership with Celebrity Cruises, the former line of Richard Sasso, current President and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA). While the creative collaboration with Celebrity received a mixed response due mostly to poor integration with its existing fleet, the MSC one is on track to be a more tailor-made fit.)

{ SOURCE: USA Today | }