London, May 22, 2014 – MSC Cruises has today signed a contract with Italian shipyard Fincantieri confirming the construction of two more new cruise ships, with an option for one more vessel.
The new prototype project, named ‘Seaside’, will be the largest cruise ships ever built by Fincantieri and will feature a revolutionary architectural style leading the way for a new generation of cruise ships.
The two new ships will cost €700 million each, with the first scheduled for delivery in November 2017 and the second arriving in May 2018. The deal follows MSC Cruises’ letter of intent with STX France, signed in March this year for another two ships (and two optioned).
“From the moment we started talking with Fincantieri, we had in mind to design and build two completely new ships, revolutionary in their structure, unlike anything that exists on the market today” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises.
“Seaside is a futuristic prototype because of its structure, shape and versatility. We are getting ready for the new and compelling challenge that the construction of these ships represents. It will be a real revolution in the world’s cruise market, an excellent product for its unique and innovative architectural features and cutting-edge technology.”
With a length of 323 metres, a width of 41 metres and a height of 70 metres, the new ships will have a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons and will accommodate up to 5,300 passengers plus 1,413 crew members. The ships will boast 2,070 guest cabins, 759 for crew members, and 43,500 square metres of public areas available. Innovative in design and versatility, the new ships will be able to dock in any port around the world.
The contract was signed between Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises chief executive Gianni Onorato, and Fincantieri chief executive Giuseppe Bono.
“Today, MSC Cruises adds the last piece to its new industrial plan that will allow us to double the capacity of our fleet by 2022. With the arrival of the new ships we will reach a capacity of about 80,000 passengers a day” said MSC Cruises chief executive Gianni Onorato.
The ‘Seaside’ prototype presents unique features such as a sea-level promenade that circumnavigates the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants. In addition, Seaside will also feature a spacious theatre, a terraced balcony and panoramic lifts with sea views.
Furthermore, the ship will boast numerous technological innovations that will, among other things, further reduce fuel consumption by 25%.
The total value of MSC Cruises’ new orders with Fincantieri and STX France total almost €5 billion.
Giles Hawke Comments
Speaking to TTG Digital following the announcement that a €2.1 billion deal has been signed to build two new ships with the option of a third, Giles Hawke, MSC Cruises executive director for UK, Ireland and Australia, said the new ships will feature a number of innovations.
He added these will include wind deflectors to stop customers from being troubled by strong winds while the ship is cruising while a promenade deck skirting the ship and almost at sea level will further improve the quality of the cruise.
Meanwhile the fact that the ships are shorter and wider, they will be 323 metres long and 41 metres wide, will allow them to visit smaller ports.
With 2,070 cabins spread over 43,500 square metres of public space the ships will have space for 5,300 passengers.
Hawke said: “It’s substantially different to what anyone else has got. Pier Franchesco has talked about creating the iPhone of the cruise industry, this is it.
“It’s all based around an outdoor living experience called Project Seaside. It (then promenade deck) is almost at sea level and there will be outdoor shopping and bars
“We’re working on creating the right wind deflectors so they (customers) can sit outside while the ship is moving.
“It puts us up there as a substantial major player against any other cruise line in the world.
Hawke said: “By 2020 we will have double our fleet versus what we have today.”
(Source: TTG Digital)
Malcolm Says: Wow, this IS exciting news for big ship fans (but a nightmare for small ship lovers.)
MSC have now announced four big newbuilds, two called ‘Vista’ (STX) and the two above, ‘Seaside’ (Fincantieri). MSC are set to become the third biggest cruise line by capacity. I like the sound of Seaside’s NCL type ‘Waterfront’ feature and Vista’s RCL style ‘Royal Promenade’.
I note that Seaside has her funnel (and probably much associated machinery) in the middle, which reminds me of the great ocean liners of the past.
MSC Seaside Interiors slide-shows HERE