MSC Cruises has increased its order for new megaships by signing an agreement with Italian ship-building company Fincantieri for an additional two ships with an option for a third, the value of the project €2.1 billion ($AUD3.2 billion).
The two new ships, to be built at €700 million each, will strengthen the cruise line’s global standing and lead the way for a new generation of cruise ships to be “completely different from an architectural point of view”.
In signing the new deal, Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, said: "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.”
The first of the new megaships will be delivered in November 2017, the second in May 2018.
Measuring 323 metres long by 41 metres wide with a height of 70 metres, each new ship will have a gross tonnage of 154,000 tonnes, catering for up to 5300 passengers in 2070 cabins.
This latest development follows MSC Cruises’ recent signing of a two-ship order with STX France, with deliveries in 2017 and 2019. In addition, Fincantieri has begun work on “stretching” the first of four ships in the Lirica class (MSC Armonia) thus increasing each of these ship’s capacity by 200 cabins.
Lynne Clarke, managing director of MSC Cruises Australia and New Zealand, said the latest order was further proof of the cruise line’s positive steps towards capturing a larger share of the growing global cruise market.
“This comes as exciting news not only for us but for our Australian and New Zealand customers,” she said. “We are entering a new era in cruising.”
The signing took place at the Palazzo Chigi in Rome between MSC Cruises and Fincantieri.
There for the signing were the Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises Pierfrancesco Vago, the CEO of MSC Cruises Gianni Onorato, and the CEO of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono.
"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.”
The Seaside prototype presents unique features such as a sea-level promenade that circumnavigates the sides of the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants. In addition, Seaside will also feature a splendid and 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 25% and advanced safety systems that go beyond what is required by international regulation.
Details: MSC Cruises, phone 1300 028502 or visit www.msccruises.com.au