MSC Cruises to further expand fleet with two new cruise ships

MSC Cruises to further expand fleet with two new cruise ships
The third and fourth World-class ships for MSC will be delivered in 2025 and 2027 (Image: MSC Cruises)

MSC Cruises and shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique have agreed construction of the third and fourth LNG-powered World-class ships to operate under the cruise line’s brand.

The two ships will be delivered in 2025 and 2027, representing an investment of 2 billion (US$2.22 billion) from the cruise line. The first World-class ship, MSC Europa, is already under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atalantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, and will become the biggest vessel operated by a European cruise line when she enters service in 2022, as well as the first LNG-powered vessel to be built in France.

MSC Cruises and Chantiers de L’Atalantique also extended their partnership with the signing of two memorandums of understanding (MoU). The first will see the companies work together in the development of a new prototype class of LNG-powered cruise ships, focusing on emerging environmental technologies to help meet the International Maritime Organizations’ targets for 2030 and 2050. The four vessels that would potentially be built in this new class would represent another investment of 4 billion (US$4.43 billion).

The second MoU will see the development of another prototype ship class, exploring opportunities for the use of wind power and other technologies in passenger shipping.

The three agreements were announced at a ceremony held at the Matignon Palace, attended by French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe; Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s founder and executive chairman; Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman; and Laurent Castaing, Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s general manager.

“The three agreements signed today extend our investment plan up to 2030,” said Vago. “They stem from an exceptional partnership with Chantiers de l’Atlantique that has already delivered 15 highly innovative cruise ships over the past two decades and will see many more vessels come to life at Saint-Nazaire’s docks in the next 10 years. They also confirm this industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability, in this case helping the French national industry further position itself as a world leader in the development of next-generation technologies and other solutions.”

MSC Cruises recently became the first major cruise line to become carbon neutral, offsetting all direct carbon dioxide emissions from 1 January.

“We are really proud and happy to have built such an outstanding relationship with MSC Cruises, based on mutual trust and driven by the spirit of innovation,” said Laurent Castaing, general manager of Chantiers de l’Atalantique. “We are both committed to shaping the cruise of tomorrow and to developing ship concepts which go far beyond current environmental standards. Our companies have already been working together for 20 years and these new projects allow us to look enthusiastically to the future.”

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
20 January 2020

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