Cirque de Soleil’s first residency on a cruise ship is launching with two brand-new productions. The Carousel Lounge on MSC Meraviglia is being purpose-built at a cost of €20 million (£17 million) to stage the shows, complete with the latest in sound and lighting technology and special rigging.

VIAGGIO is the story of a passionate and eccentric artist who hears the call of his faceless muse. Mysterious and seductive, she beckons him into the vivid world of imagination to complete his masterpiece – brought o life by electrifying colours and exciting acts.

With sound at its heart, SONOR – the second show – takes guests on an auditory adventure with dancers, acrobats and characters all moving to the rhythm. It conjures a world of unique sensations, astonishing sounds, bold music and immersive projections.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO said: “We are committed to creating unique experiences and we work with innovative, world-class leaders in their sector. It was only natural that, when it comes to entertainment, we would look to partner with Cirque du Soleil.”

“By creating two different shows for each of the four Meraviglia and Meraviglia-plus generation ships, we will make available exclusively to our guests something new and exciting with each ship’s launch. Moreover, these shows will be a true first at sea.”

Yasmine Khalil, President 45 DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil’s Events and Special Projects Company, added: “After years of hard work, our team is very excited  to unveil the names and visuals of the two first productions of our partnership with MSC; two concepts very different from one another. Guests of MSC Meraviglia are definitely in for a treat.”

Carousel showcases the performances in a dinner theatre, and different menus are being created for each show. For SONOR, guests will be invited into a parallel world where culinary creations will not only trick the eye but the senses, whilst VIAGGIO will immerse guests in a universe of colour, testing the imagination of guests from beginning to end.

The theatre has a capacity of 413, with dinner served to just 120 guests paying €35 each. The remaining guests will get a cocktail and the show for €15. Two 40-minute performances will be staged on six nights each week.

The 4,500-passenger MSC Meraviglia is close to completion in a French shipyard and will be christened by Sophia Loren next month