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.

New MSC Ships Get Wartsila Power

MSC World Class
MSC World Class

Wartsila will supply Chantiers de l‘Atlantique comprehensive package of integrated solutions designed for the first two MSC World-class cruise ships, which will operate on LNG fuel.

The orders with Wartsila were placed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Q3 2018 and Q1 2019.

These will be the first two cruise ships to run on LNG with Wartsila 46DF engines and with Wartsila LNGPac systems.

“The focus of our solutions is on reducing energy and fuel consumption in order to promote efficiency. At the same time, our nitrogen oxide reduction and LNG solutions enhance environmental sustainability, which together with the higher efficiency, is very much in line with Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine strategy,” said Stefan Nysjö, Vice President, Marine Power Solutions, Wärtsilä.

“We are very familiar with Wärtsilä’s products and they have always provided us with excellent support in newbuild projects. These two new cruise ships will represent the latest thinking in minimising the environmental impact and reducing fuel consumption, which is in line with our Ecorizon plan, and Wartsila is playing a major role in this,” added Yves Pelpel, Technical Director, Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

Each ship will get five 14-cylinder Wartsila 46DF dual-fuel engines fitted with nitrogen oxide reduction (NOR) units, two Wartsila LNGPac fuel storage and supply systems, seven Wartsila thrusters, and two Wartsila fixed pitch propellers.

The Wartsila 46DF engines are IMO Tier III compliant in gas mode and are compliant in marine diesel oil (MDO) mode in combination with the NOR units.

The Wartsila equipment is scheduled for delivery in mid-2020 for the first ship, and in mid-2022 for the second.

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”.