Monna Lisa: from genius to masterpiece, the new vessel is coming to life


Prysmian Group has chosen the name Monna Lisa for the new 171-meter cable-laying vessel that is currently under construction in Romania, the sister ship to the state-of-the-art Leonardo da Vinci.

The name of the new ship has been chosen through an internal survey conducted among all 30,000 employees, similar to the process followed to name the Leonardo da Vinci. As a result, Prysmian chose Monna Lisa, which perfectly incorporates the strong connection with the sister vessel named after the Italian Renaissance artist, recognized worldwide for her innovations and highlighting true Italian genius.

Just as Monna Lisa can be considered Leonardo’s art masterpiece, we wanted to create a strong link with our sailing flagship,” said the project manager Davide Leoni, discussing the early 16th-century portrait by the Renaissance polymath which is widely believed to depict the Italian noblewoman Lisa del Giocondo and generally considered the most famous painting in the world.

This is another name that has its roots in Prysmian’s history and activity, being linked to creativity, inspiration, excellence and Italian identity.

It is an appropriate name for a vessel that will follow the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci, boasting the most advanced technology in the market, and will reinforce Prysmian’s EPCI approach offering engineering, manufacturing, installation and monitoring services, strengthening its leadership in the interconnection and offshore wind farm markets.

Prysmian decided to invest in the new €240 million vessel shortly after her sister ship was unveiled in 2022. Monna Lisa will join Prysmian’s installation fleet, increasing the number of cable laying ships to six vessels (others are Ulisse, Cable Entreprise, Giulio Verne, Barbarossa and Leonardo da Vinci). The company has seen rising demand for its advanced cable technology, boosted by strong growth in the renewable energy sector as countries around the world seek to meet decarbonization targets.

A keel laying ceremony was held in Tulcea, Romania, in April 2023 to mark the birth of the new vessel, which is being built by the VARD Group (a subsidiary of the Fincantieri Group). She will match the capacity and performance of the Leonardo da Vinci, while incorporating some green improvements such as lower C02 emissions thanks to the shore connection (to feed the vessel with clean energy from shore during the loading at the factories) and an energy storage system with double the battery capacity.

“The Monna Lisa will have several technical and sustainable solutions aimed at reducing the environmental footprint, while reaching the same loading capacity and installation flexibility of the Leonardo da Vinci, still unmatched in the cable-laying market,” said Leoni.

The construction of the Monna Lisa, which is set to start commercial operation in early 2025, is moving along on schedule. The next steps will be erecting the outfitted hull units to form the ship blocks, followed later this year by the installation of the diesel generators, explained Leoni.