Early this morning, executives from MSC Cruises and STX France met in Paris, France to sign a letter of intent for the construction of two, new prototype ships for MSC Cruises.
The contract, which allows for the option to build two additional ships, states the delivery of the first ship will be in 2017, followed by the second in 2019. The new ships will be the largest to be built by a European shipbuilder, measuring 1,033 feet long, 141 feet wide, and a tonnage of 167,700. The ships will accommodate approximately 5,700 guests in 2,260 staterooms.
“Growth and development have always been the characteristics that have defined MSC since the very beginning of our journey into the world of cruising. The launch of this prototype and the building of these two new ships confirm our commitment to further growth and to further development. MSC Cruises will expand its capacity by 31%; we will incredibly enrich our offer on board and we will broaden our horizons to ensure we meet the growing global demand in every region,” said MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago. “Once again our longstanding partnership with the STX yard has proved key for these plans.”
“We are really proud of building this new generation of ships for MSC Cruises, a long-time appreciated partner. We invested a lot of R&D and design efforts to make sure that MSC Cruises’ new flagship would truly be unmatched. The latest commercial negotiation was particularly challenging in the light of today’s global competitive landscape in the shipbuilding industry. I would like to point out that the competitiveness agreement signed with our trade unions has been decisive to reach this LOI signature,” said Laurent Castaing, STX France General Manager.
As of now, MSC has announced the new ships will feature an extended version of the popular MSC Yacht Club and staterooms specifically designed for families.
The first ship is expected to begin construction in spring 2015.