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USA Today / Life - Entertain

One of the world's biggest cruise ships, MSC Meraviglia, to sail from New York

At 171,598 tons, MSC Meraviglia is the fourth biggest cruise ship in the world.

Christened on June 3, 2017, MSC Cruises' 171,598-ton MSC Meraviglia is the line's largest vessel ever. At the time of its debut, only the three ships in Royal Caribbean's giant Oasis Class were bigger.  Bernard Biger


Nineteen decks high and more than 1,000 feet long, MSC Meraviglia has a capacity for up to 5,714 passengers.  Bernard Biger


The hub of MSC Meraviglia's cascading top decks is the Atmosphere Pool. It's billed as the one of biggest pools at sea.  Gene Sloan, USA TODAY


The 82-foot-long Atmosphere Pool is rectangular in shape and features platforms suspended in the water.  Gene Sloan, USA TODAY


One deck up from the Atmosphere Pool are side promenades lined with deck chairs.  Gene Sloan, USA TODAY


The lounge areas on Deck 16 overlooking the Atmosphere Pool also have nooks holding whirlpools that are cantilevered over the side of the vessel.  Gene Sloan, USA TODAY


The Atmosphere Pool area features a giant LED screen that offers entertainment during the day and night.  Gene Sloan, USA TODAY


The top deck of MSC Meraviglia as seen from near the front of the vessel on Deck 17.  Gene Sloan, USA TODAY


A contemporary structure that houses MSC Meraviglia's Sky Lounge rises from the top of the ship just behind the main pool area.  Gene Sloan, USA TODAY


A jogging track circles the back of MSC Meraviglia on Deck 16.  Gene Sloan, USA TODAY


More lounge seating can be found on tiered deck areas forward of the Atmosphere Pool.  Gene Sloan, USA TODAY


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MSC Cruises' 171,598-ton MSC Meraviglia sails from the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France in May 2017.(Photo: Bernard Biger)

The Big Apple soon will be home to one of the biggest cruise ships in the world. 

Europe-based MSC Cruises this week revealed that its new, 171,598-ton MSC Meraviglia would operate three cruises from New York in October 2019 before heading to Miami for an inaugural winter season of cruises to the Caribbean.

Unveiled in June, Meraviglia is the fourth largest cruise vessel ever built. Only the three Oasis Class ships that Royal Caribbean has launched since 2009 are bigger. Designed for an international audience including North Americans, Meraviglia is capable of holding up to 5,714 passengers.

Meraviglia's sailings from New York will include two 10-night round-trip voyages to Canada starting on Oct. 8 and 18, 2019, respectively. The first of the sailings will feature stops in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and an overnight stay in Quebec City, Quebec. The second sailing will bring visits to Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Portland, Maine; and Boston. 

RELATED:  Latest giant of the seas, MSC Meraviglia, christened in France 

Meraviglia's third sailing from New York will be a 13-night trip to the Caribbean kicking off Oct. 28, 2019. Ending in Miami, it'll feature stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort de France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint George, Grenada; Willemstad, Curaçao; and Oranjestad, Aruba.

Fares for the 10-night trips start at $799 per person, based on double occupancy. Fares for the 13-night trip start at $999. 

The sailings from New York will be preceded by a 17-night trans-Atlantic voyage from Kiel, Germany to the city that includes stops in Denmark, the United Kingdom, Iceland and Canada. 

After arriving in Miami, Meraviglia will operate seven-night voyages to the Western Caribbean. There will be two different itineraries: One that includes stops in Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas; and another with stops in Mexico, Honduras, Belize and the Bahamas.

The newly announced sailings will be available for booking starting on Jan. 2.

The arrival of Meraviglia in June was a significant milestone for MSC, which is a giant of cruising in Europe but still relatively unknown in North America. Nineteen decks high and more than 1,000 feet long, Meraviglia is the first MSC vessel to rank among the top five biggest cruise ships, and its debut kicked off a period of rapid growth at the line that likely will see it compete more closely with such North American-based cruise giants as Royal Caribbean. 

Like the latest vessels from Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line — the two brands that operate nearly all of the world's 15 biggest cruise ships — Meraviglia is a floating mega-resort with multiple pools, showrooms, lounges and restaurants. Among its deck-top diversions is  a sprawling Aqua Park with three water slides and a "Himalayan Bridge" sky walk that allows passengers to cross the vessel nearly 200 feet above the water. Other notable features include an amusement area with race car simulators, a flight simulator, a 4D cinema and a full-sized bowling alley.