On the 6th April 2016, MSC Cruises announced that the STX France shipyard would be building up to four new class cruise ships for them, called the “World Class”. (What a great play on words!)
These would be delivered between 2022 and 2026.
Interestingly MSC’s ship will be powered by Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) fuel, like Carnival’s proposed megaships for Aida, Costa and P&O and Royal Caribbean’s project ‘Icon’ ships.
MSC’s ‘World Class’ ships will exceed 200,000 gross tons, so they will be one of the biggest class of ships in the world, possibly only superseded by RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class ships, depending how big Genting’s ‘Global Class’ (2019) and RCI’s ‘Icon’ (2022) newbuilds are. All these newbuilds are currently listed at around 200,000 gt. (Carnival’s LNG ships will be a little smaller at around 185,000 gt).
No renderings have yet been released of MSC’s ‘World Class’.
In 2013 STX came up with a ship ‘concept’ called the ‘XP Tray’ which they revealed at the annual Miami ‘Seatrade’ show. It was an alternative design to Oasis, a mega-ship of around 200,000 gt powered by LNG fuel.
As you can see form the slide-show above, there are definitely similarities between the ‘concept’ and the basic facts that we know about the MSC’s ‘World Class’. (In fact there are also some similarities between the ‘concept’ and MSC’s new ‘Seaside’ class too).
Don’t Get Too Excited: Ship ‘concepts’ are a bit like fashion shows. The girls parade in some outrageous designs, but you will never see these exact designs on the street. Some ideas from the fashion collections may get adopted, but they are then watered-down for the commercial market.
Likewise, I have never seen a ‘real’ cruise ship which looked exactly like the original ‘concept’. Likewise MSC’s ‘World Class’ is unlikely to look exactly like the ‘XP Tray’, even if it is based on the concept, but only time will tell.
More details of the ‘World Class’: HERE