MSC Cruises Plans to Build World’s Largest LNG-Powered Cruise Ships for $4.5 Billion

Laurent Castaing (R), President of French shipyard STX France, shakes hands with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Chairman Gianluigi Aponte (L) as French President Francois Hollande (C) looks on after signing a letter of intention for the order of four more ships from STX France in a 3.6 billion euro ($4.1 billion) investment, during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Laurent Castaing (R), President of French shipyard STX France, shakes hands with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Chairman Gianluigi Aponte (L) as French President Francois Hollande (C) looks on after signing a letter of intention for the order of four more ships from STX France, April 6, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Swiss-based MSC Cruises has revealed major plans to build up to four new LNG-powered cruise ships exceeding more than 200,000 gross tons.

The announcement was made as the company, the largest privately-owned cruise line in the world, signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the construction of the ships with STX France at the company’s shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

The four ships provided under the LOI include two firm orders and two options with delivery planned in 2022, 2024, 2025 and 2026. MSC Cruises confirmed that the new order would represent a nearly $4.5 billion investment, which would bring the company’s 10-year investment plan to an “unprecedented” $10.2 billion and eleven next-generation newbuilds by 2026.

The vessel’s, to be known as the “World Class”, will be based on a new next-generation LNG-powered prototype featuring a GRT in excess of 200,000 tonnes, more than 2,700 staterooms and approximately 5,400 lower berths occupancy, making them the biggest LNG-powered cruise ships planned to date and the most environmentally friendly.

A ceremony for the signing of the letter of intent was held at the Élysée Palace in France and attended by French President Francois Hollande François Hollande, as well as MSC Group’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Gianluigi Aponte, and STX France’s CEO Laurent Castaing.

“Today’s announcement is further proof, if needed, of our view that this industry presents significant opportunities for additional growth going forward for both our brand and product, as well as of our firm commitment to be best-positioned to capture them to the fullest,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman. “For this reason, our ten-plus year investment plan now encompasses up to eleven new MSC Cruises ships, coming into service between 2017 and 2026. It is also a reflection of our constant commitment to innovation, as we will partner with STX France to design yet again a completely new prototype – already the sixth in our history.”

Including the four ships announced Wednesday, a total of 20 ships will have been designed and built by STX France in Saint-Nazaire for MSC Cruises.

MSC Splendida (Fantasia Class)

“We have just signed an unprecedented agreement with MSC Cruises which will give us a vision of our industrial capacity for the next ten years! We have had a good relationship with MSC Cruises for many years now, and this new agreement strengthens this further,” commented Laurent Castaing, STX Frances Chief Executive Officer. “We have already designed four different classes for MSC Cruises – Lirica, Musica, Fantasia and Meraviglia – each with four ships, and now we are working together on this new generation of “World Class” ships.”

MSC Cruises informs that in addition to the four ships just ordered, its current investment plan includes orders with STX France for two Meraviglia and two further Meraviglia-Plus Class ships as well as orders with Fincantieri in Italy for up to three next-generation Seaside Class ships. The plan also includes the $227 million Renaissance Program, in which four ships out of 12 of the company’s fleet were enhanced and enlarged at the Fincantieri shipyards.

MSC Cruises’ announcement follows some big cruise industry news over the weekend as Carnival Corp. finalized its contracts with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build five new cruise ships costing more than $3.4 billion. Delivery of those ships are scheduled for 2019 and 2020.

In June 2015, Carnival became the first to order ocean-going cruise ships powered by liquefied natural gas, the world’s cleanest fossil fuel, with its order for four ships. Those ships will be built by Meyer Werft and split between their yards in Papenburg, Germany and Turku, Finland. Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, currently has a total of 16 new ships scheduled to be delivered across several of its portfolio of brands between 2016 and 2020.

Advertisements

MSC SEASIDE, “THE SHIP THAT FOLLOWS THE SUN”, WILL OFFER YEAR-ROUND CRUISES FROM MIAMI STARTING IN DECEMBER 2017

MSC SEASIDE, “THE SHIP THAT FOLLOWS THE SUN”, WILL OFFER YEAR-ROUND CRUISES FROM MIAMI STARTING IN DECEMBER 2017

Monfalcone, Italy, 22 June – Geneva-based MSC Cruises S.A., the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line and market leader in the Mediterranean, and industry-leading shipyard Fincantieri, today cut the first steel for its new generation of ship, MSC Seaside.

In a ceremony held at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and Chief Executive Officer, Gianni Onorato, along with Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Bono launched the cutting of the first steel of MSC Seaside.

MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “Today, we have witnessed the beginning of the work on an extraordinary new ship, MSC Seaside. It is a ship that revolutionizes industry standards, with an audacious and innovative design that brings guests and sea closer. It is also testament to MSC Cruises’ constant focus on innovation, as it is the fifth prototype ship we designed.”

Moreover, MSC Seaside represents a key pillar in a €5.1 billion euro, seven-ship investment plan that will double our capacity by 2022. It also steps up our investment in Italy and marks our return to partnership with Fincantieri, which is something that makes me particularly proud. In fact, the building of the new Seaside ships as well as our other current project with Fincantieri – the €200 million Renaissance Programme – are just one example of how a global organization like MSC, of which MSC Cruises is part, plays a key role in the Italian economy.”



Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “This ceremony is unique for our Group and the Monfalcone shipyard. MSC Seaside will be the biggest ship ever built in our shipyards, as well as the first we have ever constructed for MSC Cruises, whose strength – like ours – lies in being a truly global player in its industry. In MSC Seaside we have developed a brand new and highly ambitious project, and we look forward to building it. In two years we will celebrate with MSC Cruises a magnificent ship of which we will all be deeply proud.”

MSC Seaside will be based year-round in Miami to sail a wide range of Caribbean itineraries. In addition, MSC Cruises’ Miami-based cruise operations – which include from autumn 2015 the stunning 139.072 GRT MSC Divina – will benefit from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami, signifying the Company’s strong ambitions in the North American market and to providing guests with a best-in-class quality of services.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises CEO said: “For MSC Seaside, we chose a name that speaks of our vision for cruising in warm oceans and hot weathers, the proximity with the sea, the joy of travelling, discovering the wonders of sunny climates in a unique setting. We also call it “the ship that follows the sun” and it will offer a truly remarkable experience for families, sun worshippers and adventurers.”

“Moreover, MSC Seaside will spearhead our campaign to expand our presence in North America. MSC Cruises has the unique opportunity to provide North American guests with an outstanding ‘Mediterranean Style Cruise’ experience, and guests from around the world a unique setting as it will sail to the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean.”

With a gross tonnage of 154,000 GRT and the capacity for up to 5,179 guests, this new cruise ship will be the largest ever built by Fincantieri. The ship is set to debut in November 2017, and will be christened the following month in Miami – the first time an MSC Cruises’ ship is christened in the USA. Sales for cruises on MSC Seaside will start in November 2015, two years ahead of its inaugural season, to reflect the high demand for this unique product.



Large, spacious and designed for the utmost comfort, MSC Seaside will benefit from a bold design and leading-edge technology while boasting a 360° seafront promenade. In addition, the ship will be characterized by the most interactive and originally-designed aqua park at sea with five water slides and attractions for all ages.

The ship will feature cluster cabins for families and groups, luxury suites with private jacuzzis and hanging gardens. MSC Seaside will also boast an enhanced MSC Yacht Club with private solarium, lounge and pool. The public spaces of the ship will feature breathtaking views with a two-deck glass-walled atrium and panoramic exterior lifts. This ship will set a new standard in cruise holidays by seamlessly blending wide family offerings with distinct elegance, with a wide choice of indoor/outdoor dining and bars and beautifully designed entertainment spaces.

MSC Seaside will be one of the most technologically-advanced ships on the market and represents the Company’s focused efforts on providing memorable cruising experiences to its guests. In this endeavour, it partners with multiple global brands that also stand for excellence in their fields. Proof of that can be seen in significant partnerships with global brands Lego and Chicco that further exemplify the Company’s commitment to creating unforgettable holidays for children and families. Another noteworthy partnership was struck with Italian restaurant brand Eataly, which adds high-end Italian cuisine based on exceptional ingredients to the fleet’s rich Mediterranean and international dining offering. An additional key partnership with Samsung saw the development of a pioneering virtual cruise ship experience to enable travel agents to use immersive technology to showcase our unique product to would-be clients.

MSC Seaside is the first of two identical ships on order from Fincantieri, the second of which will be entered in to service in 2018. In addition, MSC Cruises has an option for an additional Seaside generation ship to be delivered by 2021.

MSC Seaside and her sister ship will set new standards for eco-friendliness, featuring Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) systems to remove pollutants and hazardous substances from waste water, garbage treatment plants for highly efficient solid waste management, scrubbers to reduce emissions, antifouling paints, optimized hull lines, propellers and rudders to reduce drag and fuel consumption, but also LED lighting meaning lower energy demand and significantly lower fuel consumption as well as advanced heat recovery plants to feed fresh water, laundry, swimming pools and hot water. In addition, the ship is fully compliant with the Safe Return to Port requirement.

The company, which grew by 800% since 2004, carried 1.67 million guests in 2014 and reported strong financial results with a turnover of €1.5 billion. In addition, MSC Cruises is forecasting an additional 10% growth for 2015.

In other news, also two years ahead of its inaugural cruise, today marks the beginning of sales for cruises on MSC Meraviglia, MSC Cruises other new generation of ship. Set to debut in the summer of 2017, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Cruises’ most agile and innovative ship to-date, will homeport in three cities during its inaugural summer season in the Mediterranean: Barcelona, Genoa and Marseille. 

Royal Caribbean Release Update On Third Oasis Class Ship

Third Oasis Class

Royal Caribbean have released new photos from the French shipyard where the third oasis class vessel is being constructed.

The unnamed cruise ship is currently being constructed at the STX shipyard in St. Nazaire, France. It will be the same class as Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas but at a slightly larger 227,700 gross tons. take a look at the photos below released by the cruise line:

Not much information has been released yet but we do know that the ship will make its debut in April 2016 so expect more details to be released by Royal Caribbean over the coming months. The ship will feature seven distinct themed areas just like her sister ships. Also we’re pretty sure Royal Caribbean will offer something innovative and new to the cruise industry. Cruise Hive will keep readers informed as new details are released but until then feel free to post in the comments below about what you would like to see featured on the Third oasis class ship.