MSC Cruises places €2.1bn order with Fincantieri

MSC Cruises has today signed a contract with Italian shipyard Fincantieri confirming the construction of two new cruise ships, with an option for one more vessel.

The new prototype project, named ‘Seaside’, will be the largest cruise ships ever built by Fincantieri and will feature a revolutionary architectural style leading the way for a new generation of cruise ships.

The two new ships will cost €700 million each, with the first scheduled for delivery in November 2017 and the second arriving in May 2018.

The deal follows MSC Cruises’ letter of intent with STX France, signed in March this year for another two ships (and two optioned).

“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, MSC Cruises.

“Seaside is a futuristic prototype because of its structure, shape and versatility. We are getting ready for the new and compelling challenge that the construction of these ships represents.

“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.”

With a length of 323 metres, a width of 41 metres and a height of 70 metres, the new ships will have a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons and will accommodate up to 5,300 passengers plus 1,413 crew members.

The ships will boast 2,070 guest cabins, 759 for crew members, and 43,500 square metres of public areas available. Innovative in design and versatility, the new ships will be able to dock in any port around the world. Construction will be and will be funded with the support of the insurance and financial company SACE.

The contract was signed between Vago, MSC Cruises chief executive Gianni Onorato, and Fincantieri chief executive Giuseppe Bono.

“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.

“With the arrival of the new ships we will reach a capacity of about 80,000 passengers a day” said Onorato.

The ‘Seaside’ prototype presents unique features such as a sea-level promenade that circumnavigates the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants.

In addition, Seaside will also feature a spacious theatre, a terraced balcony and panoramic lifts with sea views.

Furthermore, the ship will boast numerous technological innovations that will, among other things, further reduce fuel consumption by a quarter.

The total value of MSC Cruises’ new orders with Fincantieri and STX France total almost €5 billion.

MSC Cruises currently operates a fleet of 12 ships.

From August 2014 until November 2015 its four smallest Lirica-class ships will each be undergoing a ‘renaissance’ programme of lengthening and refurbishment worth a total of €200 million, also at the Fincantieri yard.