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GAME CHANGER: MSC Cruises orders for new “World Class” ships in £7bn ten-year expansion

MSC Cruises has signed a letter of intent with STX France for the construction of up to four 200,000-ton "World Class" ships, the first of which will be delivered in 2022.

The announcement was made at the Élysée Palace in the presence of French president François Hollande, as well as MSC Group’s founder and executive chairman, Gianluigi Aponte, and STX France’s CEO Laurent Castaing.

MSC Cruises new ship order
President Hollande with Gianluigi Aponte (centre) and Laurent Castaing (right) at the Élysée Palace ceremony

MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude, spanning a horizon of over ten years (from 2014 through to 2026) and for a total of up to 11 next-generation ships.

The new orders will reflect an additional £3.2bn investment, bringing the total value of the company’s 10-plus year investment plan to nearly £7bn.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, said the order was “is a reflection of our constant commitment to innovation as we will partner with STX France to design yet again a completely new type of ship. 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.”

He continued: “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 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 2,700 cabins and approx. 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 £160m Renaissance Programme of four of 12 of the company’s fleet, already the most modern at sea, which was also carried out by Fincantieri.

Posted on 14th April 2016 at 10:14 am in Cruise News | New Ships | Cruise Lines | Mediterranean Shipping Cruise Line (MSC) |

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