Ever-expanding MSC Cruises recently announced that it has signed a letter of intent with STX France to build two mega-sized cruise ships, with an option for two more, to complement its 12-vessel fleet. “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.”
Both ships are scheduled for delivery respectively in 2017 and 2019. They will measure 1033 feet long and 141 feet wide, with a 167,699 gross tonnage weight. The ships will house 2,250 cabins for passengers, nearly 820 crew cabins, and accommodate 5,700 passengers and 1,536 crew members.
“The new prototype will be the biggest cruise ship ever built by a European ship owner and the most versatile and flexible of the world: not only will it be able to call in most of the ports and destinations on earth, without compromise, but it will have extraordinary features that will make it the perfect choice at sea, in summer and in winter. The two new ships will reaffirm MSC Cruises’ dedication to outstanding and genuine dining options and out-of-this-world entertainment with new panoramic spaces, a bigger theatre and a spectacular amusement park connected to an outdoor aqua park as well as a two-deck ’inside promenade’,” explained Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises.
New features will include specially designed cabins for families and an extended MSC Yacht Club, the entirely self-contained private club on the prestigious foredecks that will now be completed with a vast solarium, a private lounge and restaurant and duplex suites.
MSC Cruises is a privately-held, family-owned, Italian cruise line with a fleet of 12 ships that includes the MSC Armonia, MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia, MSC Lirica, MSC Magnifica, MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Opera, MSC Poesia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Sinfonia and MSC Splendida.
Year-round itineraries take place in the Mediterranean and seasonally in the Caribbean, Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the French Antilles, South America, South and West Africa, The United Arab Emirates and the Red Sea. Starting November, 2013, MSC Divina began sailing the Caribbean year-round from PortMiami. For more information, visit www.msccruisesusa.com.