PARIS — MSC Cruises has signed a letter of intent with STX France for the construction of up to four new LNG-powered cruise ships that will be more than 200,000 in gross register tonnage. The four ships, the first one of which will be delivered in 2022, will be based on a new advanced next-generation prototype and will form what will be known as the ‘World Class’ of MSC Cruises’ ships.
The new orders would reflect an additional nearly $4.5 billion investment, which will bring the total value of the company’s 10-plus years investment plan to nearly $10.2 billion.
“Today’s announcement is further proof, if needed, of our view that this industry presents significant opportunities for additional growth going forward for both our brand and product, as well as of our firm commitment to be best-positioned to capture them to the fullest,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman. “For this reason, our 10-plus year investment plan now encompasses up to eleven new MSC Cruises ships, coming into service between 2017 and 2026. It is also a reflection of our constant commitment to innovation, as we will partner with STX France to design yet again a completely new prototype – already the sixth in our history. In fact, in yet another industry-first, the new MSC Cruises’ World Class prototype will feature – amongst other highly innovative elements – a record-breaking, futuristically-conceived design that will make the ship a truly unique place to be at sea, whilst maximizing the open air space available to guests.”
The four ships provided under the letter of intent – two firm orders and two further options – will be delivered in 2022, 2024, 2025 and in 2026. They will feature a GRT in excess of 200,000 tonnes, more than 2,700 staterooms and approximately 5,400 lower berths occupancy capacity.
MSC Cruises’ investment plan includes orders with STX France for two Meraviglia and two further Meraviglia-Plus Class ships as well as orders with Fincantieri in Italy for up to three next-generation Seaside Class ships. Additionally, the plan encompassed the $227 million Renaissance Program, in which four ships out of 12 of the company’s fleet, already the most modern at sea, were enhanced and enlarged at the Fincantieri shipyards.