Global Ambitions

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises.

“In three years we will double our capacity and in 10 years we will triple it,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises.

In 2018 MSC will operate a fleet of 14 ships with an average size of 2,892 guests at double occupancy and is expected to be the largest operator by capacity in Europe. It has ambitious expansion plans in North America and China and is the market leader in South America and South Africa. By 2028 the company will have 24 ships in service, with an average size of 3,734 passengers.

“Our objective is to deliver a holiday experience which is unique to our customers and to tourism in general,” Vago told Cruise Industry News. “It’s also to expand the concept of cruising to the world,” Vago added.

Between now and 2026, MSC will take deliveries of ships on the Seaside, Meraviglia, Meraviglia Plus, Seaside EVO and the LNG-powered World Class platforms.

Vago described MSC as a global brand, with a premium level product offering at a contemporary price.

“Our common denominator is that we are a Mediterranean brand with the capability to fine-tune the experience to the area of operation,” Vago said. “We can fine-tune the product delivery.”

While its peers have a house of brands competing in the cruise market, MSC has a single brand with large ships.

“MSC has traditionally believed in organic growth,” Vago said.

But that doesn’t mean they may not one day explore other market segments as customers grow with the brand.

The MSC Seaside

In Europe, Vago said the company has realized their ambition to conquer the market, also entering the business later than all their competitors.

That strategy is now expanding to the rest of the world, he said, and the plans will follow demand.

In China, the MSC Splendida is replacing the Lirica on a seasonal basis, upping summer capacity out of Shanghai. In South America, the new Seaview will sail from Brazil for winter 2018-2019.

In North America, the new Seaside is year-round, to be joined by the 2017-built Meraviglia come 2019.

“We have customers travelling to the Caribbean and we needed to introduce new ships, with a different platform,” Vago said. “We had the need to put more cabins and a new offering into the North American market if we wanted to evolve our brand there.

“We had one ship (in North America) and she was filled with customers from Europe. We did not have the opportunity to grow,” he continued. “There is an opportunity for MSC to grow in North America but we needed to create both the hardware and the software for the market. That is the vision behind the building of a very new platform and prototype, the MSC Seaside.

“The Seaside is a spirit of our leadership in many ways. We are setting the pace for innovation and we will see many reflections of this platform for years to come.”

The Seaview, a sister ship, will be delivered this summer. The Seaside EVO platform, essentially an enlarged version with more staterooms, will be launched in 2021, with a second ship scheduled for a 2023 delivery from Fincantieri.

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Construction Starts for Spectrum of the Seas

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Spectrum of the Sea steel cutting.

Royal Caribbean International cut steel to mark the start of construction for the Spectrum of the Seas (Quantum Ultra), which will be delivered from Meyer Werft in 2019 and head for the Asia market.

“Set to debut in 2019, Spectrum will be the next evolution of the cruise line’s groundbreaking and high-tech Quantum class of ships placing the ship in a new class of her own. The revolutionary Quantum Ultra ship will specifically be designed for guests in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and will feature cutting-edge and unprecedented experiences and amenities,” the company said. 

“Today is a very special day in the development of our new Quantum Ultra ship, Spectrum of the Seas. We are now one step closer to delighting our guests in Asia Pacific with this remarkable ship,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Spectrum will be another giant leap forward in vessel design and guest experiences that will provide travelers with ample opportunities to create unforgettable memories.” 

Norwegian Joy on the way to Shanghai!

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Norwegian Joy cruise’s down the river Ems

The Norwegian Joy begins its journey to China with the passage through the Ems

28 March 2017 . For the Norwegian Joy, the first cruise ship designed by the international shipping company Norwegian Cruise Line, designed specifically for the Chinese market, the Ems Passage has begun a journey to its Chinese home port Shanghai. On Sunday, March 26, the second ship of the Breakaway-Plus class left the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg and began its 14-hour ride over the Ems.

 The transfer of the 333 meter long and 41 meter wide Norwegian Joy represents another important milestone on the way to the transfer to the shipping company on April 27th.

 “We are very pleased that Norwegian Joy has officially started its journey to China,” said David Herrera, President of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings China. “As the first ship built specifically for the Chinese market, the Norwegian Joy will offer our guests a first-class cruise experience, and we can not wait to welcome them to the fleet in June.”

 The journey of the 168,800-ton vessel began around 9:00 pm when the Norwegian Joy passed the ship’s dock sluices with the stern, leaving only 1.2 meters of space on either side of the ship. The team of the ship was under the guidance of experienced shipyards and river controllers, as well as several navigation officers who were responsible for the bow and stern maneuvers. In addition, members of local authorities and other partners were involved in supporting the maneuvers.

 After the lock, the Norwegian Joy continued the passage with the stern ahead, which ensures optimum maneuverability. Prior to reaching its provisional destination Eemshaven in the Netherlands on Monday evening, 27 March, the ship passed further bottlenecks, including the Fries Bridge in Weener, the Jann-Berghaus bridge in Leer and the Ems barrage in Gandersum. Upon arrival in Eemshaven, the Norwegian Joy will take on board other equipment and crew before the trial runs start at sea.

 About the Norwegian Joy

The Norwegian Joy, currently under construction at Meyer Werft, is the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to be designed specifically for the Chinese market. The name Norwegian Joy emphasizes the possibilities and experiences that the ship offers to guests, the promise to feel like in “paradise on the sea”. The new ship of the Breakaway-Plus class will accommodate 3,850 guests and will be commissioned in the summer of 2017 in China.

 The Norwegian Joy is designed to provide guests with an unparalleled cruise experience, equipped with onboard equipment tailored to the specific needs of Chinese holidaymakers. The vessel has a variety of VIP cabins and suites, including The Haven by Norwegian ® , the exclusive cruise ship-to-ship luxury cruise ship from Norwegian Cruise Line, which also includes a completely new 180-degree view deck, As well as the Concierge category, which offers guests VIP services and larger balcony cabins. There are also cabins specially designed for families, a variety of cabins with connecting doors that are particularly suitable for larger families, as well as a large selection of mini suites, balcony, outdoor and indoor cabins, many of which have a virtual balcony.

 The Norwegian Joy offers exciting and innovative board activities, including the first two-level kart track, an open-air laser-day arena, racing car simulators and interactive video walls in the Galaxy Pavilion, and two water slides reaching over several decks. In addition, the Norwegian Joy will have a park-like recreational area and the largest shopping center in the fleet, from extraordinary duty-free shops to shops with world-famous luxury brands.