MSC Cruises expanding World-class, and more

 MSC's first World class ship is due in 2022.
MSC’s first World-class ship is due in 2022. MSC Europa.

 MSC Cruises ordered two more cruise ships in its World-class and agreed to develop two additional ship classes. One will have at least four vessels and the other could use wind power.

The two firm ships orders and memorandum of understanding to build the two new prototypes represent a combined value of about $7 billion.

An agreement for the ships and prototypes was made with French shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

MSC placed orders for its third and fourth World-class ships, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), to be delivered in 2025 and 2027.

The new four-ship class will also be LNG-powered, MSC said, while another prototype will incorporate emerging technologies such as wind power.

MSC executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said that the investments “confirm this industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability.”

The four new vessels will represent a capital investment exceeding $4.4 billion, MSC said, adding to the $2.2 billion for the two additional World Class ships.

The Chantiers shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, is currently building the first two ships in the line’s World-class. The first of those 5,264-passenger, 205,000-gross-ton vessels, due to enter service in 2022, will be the largest ship operated by a European cruise line.

MSC Cruises and NFL players promote coral preservation

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MSC Europa – MSC World Class future LNG cruise ship.

 MSC Cruises, Miami’s Super Bowl Host Committee and 54 NFL players have partnered to raise awareness about the need to protect and preserve coral reefs.

The MSC Foundation, a private nonprofit wing of MSC Group, launched the #SuperCoralPlay along with the pro football players, including Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry and retired NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez.

At a Miami event, MSC Cruises USA chairman Rick Sasso said that “we all need to do more” to protect the environment.

“The #SuperCoralPlay is the perfect way to create a change and engage as many people as possible,” he said.

https://youtu.be/NTisSzDZKRE  or click the image below to watch the video.

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As part of the campaign, MSC’s recently opened private island in the Bahamas, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, will become a centre for applied research on super coral, a hardy coral species that can withstand high ocean temperatures.

The project will bring together experts in marine biology and coral conservation from the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University, among other partners, to have students and faculty do marine restoration research and activities around Ocean Cay. Graduate students from the universities will live on the island for a semester as they participate in the research as part of a fellowship.

The campaign coincides with this year’s Super Bowl being held in Miami and includes a music video featuring the NFL players on MSC’s private island, highlighting the issues facing coral and the steps individuals and businesses can take to help.

MSC Cruises seals joint venture deal for Tunisian port operator

MSC Splendida in La Goulette taken in 2010, Photo credit Dave Jones

A joint venture involving MSC Cruises has finalised the takeover of the operator of the cruise port for Tunis.

The European cruise line teamed up with independent cruise ports owner Global Ports Holding last year to bid to run La Goulette.

The deal to acquire Goulette Shipping Cruise, the company that runs the cruise terminal at the Tunisian port, has now been completed for an undisclosed sum.

The concession to operate the cruise port was awarded to Goulette Shipping Cruise in 2006 on a 30-year basis, with a right to extend the term for an additional 20 years.

Cruise ship calls into the port declined for four years after the terrorist attack on the Bardo Museum in the Tunisian capital in 2015, which killed 22 tourists.

Regular stops in the port resumed in November with at least ten ships expected this year and more forecast in 2021.

Global Ports Holding said La Goulette handled around 900,000 passengers in 2010 and an average if 441,000 a year between 2011-14.

However, the company admitted that “passenger volumes have been low in recent years”.