MSC Cruises has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with STX France for the construction of up to four over 200,000 GRT LNG-powered ships.

The four ships, the first one of which would be delivered in 2022, will be based on a new next-generation prototype and will form what will be known as the “World Class” of MSC Cruises' ships.

Investment Plan

MSC Cruises' investment plan spans a horizon of over ten years, from 2014 through 2026, and includes a total of up to eleven next-generation ships. The new orders would reflect an additional nearly € 4 billion investment, which will bring the total value of the Company’s investment plan to nearly € 9 billion. The eleven ships are to come into service between 2017 and 2026.

The other seven ships included in the investment plan are two Meraviglia and two further Meraviglia-Plus Class ships (ordered with STX France) as well as orders with Fincantieri in Italy for up to three next-generation Seaside Class ships.

Additionally, the plan encompassed the € 200 million Renaissance Programme of four of twelve of the company’s fleet, which was also carried out by Fincantieri.

STX France

In the past, STX designed four different classes for MSC Cruises: Opera, Musica, Fantasia and Meraviglia, each with four ships. By 2026, a total of twenty ships will have been designed and built by STX France in Saint-Nazaire.

World Class

The four ships provided under the LOI – two firm orders and two further options – will be delivered in 2022, 2024, 2025 and in 2026. They will feature a GRT in excess of 200,000 tonnes, more than 2700 cabins and approximately 5400 lower berths occupancy capacity.

Picture: MSC Magnifica in Amsterdam (by Olle Benjamin Lammers – originally posted to Flickr as Maiden Voyage – MSC Magnifica, CC BY-SA 2.0).