MSC Cruises has contracted Fincantieri to build two new cruise ships, which will be delivered in November 2017 and May 2018.
Offering an option for an additional ship, the contract was signed by Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC, and Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. Each newbuild will cost €700 million and will be funded with the support of the insurance and financial company SACE.
Bringing MSC’s fleet up to 12 ships, the new prototypes will enable MSC to double its fleet by 2022 and reach a capacity of about 80,000 passengers a day.
“Today, MSC Cruises adds the last piece to its new industrial plan that will allow us to double the capacity of our fleet by 2022,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “As of today we have launched an investment plan of over €5 billion that includes newbuilds, ordered in Italy and France, and the conversion of four ships already in the fleet.”
Codenamed Seaside, each vessel will measure 323 metres in length, 41 metres in width and 70 metres in height, making them the largest cruise ships ever built by Fincantieri. They have been designed to dock in ‘any port around the world’.
“From the moment we started talking with Fincantieri, we had in mind to design and build two completely new ships, revolutionary in their structure, unlike anything that exists on the market today,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises. “Seaside is a futuristic prototype because of its structure, shape and versatility. It will be a real revolution in the world’s cruise market, an excellent product for its unique and innovative architectural features and cutting-edge technology.”
Each 154,000 gt vessel will have 2,070 guest cabins and 759 crew cabins, enabling them to accommodate up to 5,300 passengers plus 1,413 crew members. Offering 43,500 sqm of public areas, the Seaside prototypes will have innovative new features including a sea-level promenade that circumnavigates the sides of the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants. Seaside will also feature a theatre; a terraced balcony; panoramic lifts with sea views; and various systems that aim to reduce fuel consumption by 25%, as well as advanced safety systems.
“Today is the start of an ambitious and new adventure with our friends from MSC, a group that prides itself on its quality and Mediterranean style,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “These ships, which represent a genuine design challenge, will be developed entirely by Fincantieri, confirming our technological supremacy over other shipbuilders globally.”