MSC Cruises to join ultra-luxury segment with four newbuilds

MSC Cruises to join ultra-luxury segment with four newbuilds
The new ships will take the personalised MSC Yacht Club butler service and other amenities to an even higher level (Image: MSC Cruises)

MSC Cruises has entered the ultra-luxury cruise segment for the first time after ordering four new cruise ships from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.

According the memorandum of agreement, Fincantieri will construct four 64,000gt vessels for more than €2 billion (US$2.3 billion). Each ship will have a “highly innovative design”, 500 guest cabins, “ground-breaking options for guest comfort and relaxation” and the latest environmental technologies.

“It is off the back of the great success of our ship-within-a-ship luxury concept that our guests asked us to enter into the ultra-luxury segment, as a natural evolution of the MSC Yacht Club,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman. “These ships will be able to offer unique itineraries, thanks to their size, and the guest services will be taken to another level, including our personalised MSC Yacht Club butler service, available 24/7.”

Fincantieri will deliver the first ship in spring 2023 and the remaining three vessels will enter service on a one-per-year basis until 2026. Once these four vessels are complete, Fincantieri will have constructed a total of eight ships for MSC Cruises since the start of its partnership with the cruise line.

“It is with pride that two great brands – an Italian one and one with a strong Italian DNA well-known all over the world – today announce an important construction programme,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “We are extremely satisfied that, to launch a new class of ships in the luxury segment, MSC Cruises has recognised that our design will help it to create a new generation of ships that will be cutting edge, both in terms of safety and technological content, and with particular attention paid to passenger comfort. With this project Fincantieri can count on 53 cruise ships in its order book, confirming its position as absolute market leader.”

The ultra-luxury vessels bring the number of newbuilds in MSC Cruises’ multi-year €13.6 billion fleet expansion plan up to 17. Three of the ships in this plan – MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview – have joined the fleet since 2017 and the remaining 14 will be delivered between now and 2027. They include newbuilds in the Meraviglia, Meraviglia Plus, World, Seaside Evo and now ultra-luxury classes.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Thursday, October 18, 2018