A rendering of MSC Seaside berthed at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
MSC Cruises has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with STX France for the construction of up to four LNG-powered ships.
The four World Class ships covered by the LOI – two firm orders and two further options – will be delivered in 2022, 2024, 2025 and 2026. They will feature a GRT in excess of 200,000 tonnes, more than 2,700 cabins and around 5,400 lower berths.
“The new MSC Cruise World Class prototype will feature – among other highly innovative elements – a futuristic design that will maximise the open space available to our guests,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC’s executive chairman. “Our long-standing focus on innovation will make the new ships unlike anything that currently exists in the cruise industry. They will be the richest yet in terms of amenities and features for guests and families; have a cutting edge design; feature the latest and the best state-of-the-art smart technology and use the most advanced environmentally friendly technology available with LNG-propelled engines. But most importantly it will be a ship for all seasons and all regions.”
The new orders will reflect an additional nearly €4 billion investment, bringing the total value of MSC’s ten-plus year investment plan to nearly €9 billion. The line will now introduce up to 11 new vessels between 2017 and 2026, including up to three Seaside Class ships on order with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. STX France has already been contracted to build two Meraviglia-class and two Meraviglia-Plus Class ships and by 2026, it will have designed and built a total of 20 ships for MSC at its Saint-Nazaire yard.
“We have just signed an exceptional agreement with MSC Cruises that will give us a vision of our industrial capacity for the next ten years,” said Laurent Castaing, STX France CEO. “We have already designed four different classes for MSC Cruises – Opera, Musica, Fantasia and Meraviglia – each with four ships, and now we are working together on this new generation of World Class ships.”