MSC Cruises says that it has finalized contract negotiations with STX France to take over a 140,000 ton cruise ship after the termination of an agreement with its original owner, Hannibal Gaddafi, the exiled son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
At a price tag of 550 million euros, the new ship, named the MSC Preziosa (formerly known as the Phoenician in the Gaddafi heyday), will come fully equipped with all the bells and whistles you’d expect out of a modern-day cruise ship marvel, including a custom 120-ton seawater tank, originally built to house Hannibal’s wide-ranging collection of man-eating sharks.
The dramatic 120-ton seawater tank was designed to accommodate Hannibal’s two sand tiger sharks, two white sharks and two blacktip reef sharks.
It would have run throughout the bar and reception area of the 1,100â€‰ft-long ship.
Four resident marine experts would have looked after the sharks, with a dedicated food store catering to their needs. – Daily Mail
To the relief of future passengers on the vessel, the cruise ship was only about half way completed when the Gaddafi regime was overthrown, leaving the hull up for sale by its builder, the French arm of Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, and eventually scooped up by MSC Cruises earlier this month.
“Negotiations with STX France have lasted over nine months; a significant but understandable period of time considering the importance of the investment and the unexpected nature of the takeover,” said Mr Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises.
Once completed in March 2013, the 333-meter long MSC Preziosa will join MSC’s fleet as part of their fantasia-class, which includes the MSC Fantasia, the MSC Splendida and the long-awaited MSC Divina, sans man-eating sharks, of course.