MSC To Build Four Ultra-Luxury Cruise Ships

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(Above: An MSC Mega-ship)

MSC today announced an agreement to build four ultra-luxury cruise ships at Fincantieri.

The 1,000-guest, 500 cabin, 64,000-ton ships will enter service in 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026. The memorandum of agreement is for a total value in excess of two million euro, MSC said, and marks the company’s first dedicated luxury ships.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “It is off the back of the great success of our ship-within-a-ship luxury concept that our guests asked us to enter into the ultra-luxury segment, as a natural evolution of the MSC Yacht Club. These ships will be able to offer unique itineraries, thanks to their size, and the guest services will be taken to another level, including our personalized MSC Yacht Club butler service, available 24/7.”

By 2027, MSC will have 25 megaships in service and four ultra-luxury ship, up from 15 ships today. This will represent over 98,000 berths.

(MSC)

Malcolm says: Wow, MSC are expending VERY fast and are increasingly taking a bigger bite of the cherry. They are clearly targeting the mass-market (European and American) with their new ‘Meraviglia’ and ‘Seaside’ classes of ship. In 2022, their first 200,000gt ‘World Class’ ship will be their biggest yet and one of the world’s biggest cruise ship.

However are MSC expanding too fast?  I’ve yet to cruise with MSC, but everybody seems in agreement that their ‘Yacht Club’ (a ship within a ship)  is excellent.  However the reviews of their general cruise experience (non-Yacht Club cabins) are often not so positive. No one seems to doubt the quality of the MSC hardware, but the software (food, serve and entertainment etc.) is sometimes criticised by public reviewers. Although MSC’s fares can be VERY competitive.

These four new ships are targeting the luxury market. However is it wise using the same brand (MSC) for ‘standard’ and ‘luxury. They would be better following RCI/Celebrity/Azamara concept and re branding the new fleet accordingly.

However if MSC can reproduce their ‘Yacht Club’ experience, across the whole ship, they should do very well.

(According to Cruise Industry News estimates, with MSC Cruises entering the luxury market with dedicated 1,000-guest ships, the family-owned company will be the third biggest luxury operator by 2027.)

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