The cruise company MSC Cruises posted order for construction of four modern and large cruise ships at STX Shipyard in Saint-Nazete, France. The total amount of the purchase order is 4.1 billion USD and estimated deliveries start from 2022. The both companies signed a letter of intent for the order at a ceremony at the Elysee palace in Paris, as LOI contract include two firm orders and two further options. The orders vessels will be LNG-driven with tonnage of over 200,000 GRT and capacity to carry 5,400 passengers at double occupancy. The cruise ships will be based on new advanced next-generation prototype and will offer high-class of luxury cruises, part from the World Class MSC vessels.
“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”, started his speech the MSC Cruises Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago. “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. In fact, in yet another industry-first, the new MSC Cruises’ World Class prototype will feature – amongst other highly innovative elements – a record-breaking, futuristically-conceived design that will make the ship a truly unique place to be at sea, whilst maximizing the open air space available to guests”, added he.
MSC Cruises now has up to 11 ships on order, of which eight are due to be built by STX France. The giant 9 billion EUR investment plan will almost double the company fleet. MSC Cruises is the fourth largest cruise company in the world, after Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines with a 5.2% share of all passengers carried in 2015.
“There is a huge potential in our main market, which is Europe”, said the CEO of MSC Cruises, Gianni Onorato. “We also want to expand operations in North America, where it currently has a relatively small part of the market, as well as tap into rising demand in China”, added he.
MSC Cruises is a Swiss-registered, global cruise line with headquarters in Geneva. It is part of the Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC), the world’s second biggest container shipping operator.