Archive for the ‘MSC (Mediterranean Shipping company)’ Category

Introducing: MSC Grandiosa

November 18, 2017

Meraviglia (Image courtesy MSC)

MSC Cruises’ newest ship will be called MSC Grandiosa. She will be the first in the line’s ‘Meraviglia Plus Class’

The name was announced at the ship’s recent steel cutting ceremony at the STX France shipyard, marking the official start of the vessel’s construction.

Grandiosa is one of four ships currently under construction for MSC, which is scheduled to launch 11 new vessels between 2017 and 2020 as part of a €9 billion plan which will double MSC’s fleet.

Others ships currently being built include North America-focused ship MSC Seaside, which launches next month. She will be based in Miami and christened there. Seaside’s sister ship, MSC Seaview, will follow next year.

The fourth is MSC Bellissima, a 181,000-ton, 6,334-passenger identical twin to MSC Meraviglia, which launched in June. Bellissima is also being built at STX France, where its coin ceremony and keel laying were held today, immediately following Grandiosa’s steel cutting.

Highlights planned for Grandiosa and Bellissima feature on-board fine-art museums, indoor promenades with virtual skies overhead, extensive water parks, indoor amusement park areas and new entertainment, including Cirque du Soleil performances. MSC also revealed that Bellissima will have a French bistro on-board.

(MSC)

Malcolm says: As yet I’m not sure what the ‘plus’ means in this case. In many cases,  it means a slightly bigger version of a ship’s design – such as NCL’s ‘Breakaway Plus’ class which has an extra deck of cabins and some extra public spaces.

I have heard some great things about MSC’s new ships (the hardware) but I am still hearing about issues with the on-board organisation, crowd control and customer Services (the software). You can build big new ships, but they do not successfully operate themselves.

MSC Seaside ship interiors: HERE

MSC Meraviglia reviews: HERE

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LNG – The Future Fuel For Cruise Ships

September 23, 2017

Costa Smeralda, 184,000gt LNG Ship (Coutesy Costa)

In June 2015, the Carnival Corporation announced that they have finalised a multi-billion dollar contract with shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Fincantieri, to build seven next-generation cruise ships, between 2019 and 2022.

The new ships will be for the Carnival, AIDA, Costa and P&O brands and will all feature a new “green cruising” design.

The ships will be the first in the cruise industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). They will use LNG in dual-powered hybrid engines to power the ship both in port and on the open sea. LNG will be stored on-board and used to generate 100 percent power at sea. Using LNG to power the ships in port and at sea will eliminate emissions of soot particles and sulphur oxides.

In April 2016, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)  Cruises has announced that it has signed a letter of intent with STX France for the construction of up to four new LNG-powered cruise ships, called the ‘World Class’. These will be more than 200,000 gross tonnes. and will be able to carry 5,400 passengers at double occupancy. 

MSC’s World Class (Courtesy MSC)

The first of the four MSC ‘Wold’ class ships will be delivered in 2022.

In October 2016, Royal Caribbean International announced that its two newest class of ships, ‘Icon’, will be powered by LNG . The vessels will be delivered in 2022 and 2024.

What is LNG?

Using LNG to power ships is not a completely new idea. However to date, LNG use has been restricted to smaller vessels operating rather short runs. This is due to the large size of fuel tanks required and the few bunkering facilities available. However it is a new idea for cruise ships and certainly for a megaship design.

LNG is superior to pipeline gas in quality. This is because LNG is purer, has more methane as well as other energy content, and also because of its chemical structure since it has a stable composition. Its combustion generates no unburned residues, particulates or soot, and releases less greenhouse gas than traditional marine gas oil (MGO). Future maritime emissions regulations, especially in sensitive environments are likely to demand this. Perhaps the most appealing aspect about LNG is that under the right operating conditions it can reduce fuel costs.

In addition, using  LNG can double the maintenance intervals, because the gas is so clean,  ship owners may get  25,000 hours between maintenance intervals, maybe more, opposed to 12,500 hours with standard fuel.

Viking Grace, LNG Ferry

Viking Grace, LNG Ferry

Here is an interesting example: VIKING GRACE is a European passenger ferry (2013, 57,000gt, STX, Finland) powered by LNG. Gas take up more space than fuel-oil. In fact six times more space. Therefore large tanks for the gas are located on deck, of the ferry, to save space in the hull (See image above).

However the renderings of  Carnival’s newbuilds do not appear to have LNG storage tanks on the deck.

(Source unknown)

(Source unknown)

LNG cruise ship ‘concepts’ have been around a long time. The renderings below are a design by Wärtsilä, the marine engine company.

(Image courtesy of Wärtsilä)

(Image courtesy of Wärtsilä)

Interestingly the concept ship uses drive shaft technology, rather than pods. The LNG tans are located internally, below the funnel area.

2-ship-innards

( Wärtsilä)

The engines on-board the new Carnival ships will not exclusively be powered by LNG, but will be ‘dual fuel’ being capable of burring both LNG and liquid fuel, and combinations of both at the same time. burning exclusively LNG could be saved for environmentally sensitive areas. This would reduce the fuel storage space required.

Malcolm

The World’s Biggest Ship?

September 16, 2017

The ‘World’ class & the ‘Oasis’ class

The title of the ‘World’s biggest cruise ship’ is open for debate.

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class ships (Oasis, Allure, Harmony and Symphony, plus a fourth as yet unnamed vessel) are widely acknowledge to be the biggest, based on gross tonnage (volume) of around 225,000-230,000 gt.

In comparison MSC’s two new ‘World Class’ vessels (2022 and 2024, + 2 more options in 2025 & 2026) will only be a mere 200,000 gross tonnes.

Although the ‘Oasis’ class are about 104 feet longer than the ‘World’ Class, the beam is identical.

However the ‘World’ class will carry up to 6,850 passengers, a record, being 70 passengers more than RCI’s ‘Symphony of the Seas’.

Some press have called MSC’s ‘World Class’ the world’s biggest ship, because of higher passenger capacity. Whatever your viewpoint, the ‘World Class’ will clearly be very big and very busy ships.

I guess half my readers would love to try a ‘World’ class ship and the other half would not touch one with a barge-pole.

The choice is yours.

.

Oasis class review & slide-show: HERE

Meraviglia: What Jane Did NOT tell you!

September 9, 2017

(Courtesy Channel 5)

UK singer/personality Jane McDonald, has her second ‘Cursing’ series currently on UK TV.

Episode two featured Jane in the Mediterranean cruising on MSC’s new ‘Meraviglia’.

Now although I love Jane and enjoy her programme, it never gives proper reviews of the chosen ships. The show is a great piece of entertainment, rather than being a well balanced appraisal.

Some early passenger reviews of Meraviglia’, which have appeared on-line, have been quite negative about the experience on-board the ship. In fact I also read a very recent review (September, 2017) which highlighted the same issues as many June reviews did.

Not surprisingly, these issues were never mentioned or shown on Jane’s TV show.

(MSC )

MSC’s Meraviglia (‘Wonder’ in English) is their most exciting and biggest class of ship to date. She entered service in June 2017.

Meraviglia is 171,598 gross tonnes and carries up to 5,714 passengers. She is part of a rapid expansion of MSC’s fleet comprising of three new classes of ship: ‘Meraviglia’, ‘Seaside’ and ‘The Word Class’.  Meraviglia was the first of these ships to be delivered.

MSC’s origins are Italian, but they strive to offer a multi-national product.

Some commentators have been critical of the MSC experience on-board their smaller ships, in the past.  This poses two questions: Do MSC need to  raise their game to deliver a higher quality experience?  Can they achieve this on their biggest ship yet?

In short is Meraviglia really ‘Wonderful’?

Guest contributor, Tony Barraclough (UK), took  Meraviglia’s maiden voyage.

In fact Tony did a back-to-back itinerary: Le Havre to Genoa, then Genoa to Barcelona. He occupied two different grades of cabin and has written two reviews.

Tony has done ten MSC cruises, as well as ten cruises with other cruise lines, so he knows what he is talking about.

He has kindly given me permission to share his reviews with you.

MSC Meraviglia reviews: HERE

MSC Seaview Floated Out

August 24, 2017

 

Seaview (Courtesy MSC)

MSC Cruises has celebrated the float out of MSC Seaview.

The ceremony, held at the Fincantieri shipyard on 23/8/17,  in Italy, officially marked the first time that the vessel has been waterborne since beginning construction.

At 323 metres long with a GRT of 154,000 tonnes, MSC Seaview will feature a maximum capacity of 5,179 guests. She will be the second of two sister ships in the MSC Cruises’ Seaside generation to be built by FINCANTIERI. Her sister ship MSC Seaside is set to enter service later this year in December 2017 and is scheduled to be christened in Miami, where she will homeport.

MSC Seaview will sail her inaugural 2018 summer season in the Mediterranean, followed by a winter in Brazil for 2018-2019.

(MSC)

Big New Ships

August 18, 2017

Above: Celebrity Edge see HERE

Above: NCL Leonardo see HERE

Above: MSC Seaside see HERE

Above: MSC Meraviglia see HERE

Above: P&O 185,000 gt ship see HERE

Send In The Clones

July 19, 2017

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Ships Of State

In the era of the great Ocean Liners, each country that had the resources and know-how designed and built themselves unique ships. These were ‘ships of state’, each representing their country.

For example the UK had the likes of the Titanic and later the Cunard Queen’s ‘Mary’ and ‘Elizabeth’. France had their wonderful ‘Normadie’ and ‘France’. American had their ‘America’ and ‘United states’. Each ship represented their respective countries engineering achievements, excellent design and the finest decor and artwork.

SS United states (Top) and SS America, United States Line (Source unknown)

Today cruise ship are much more generic and the design can actually be shared across different cruise brands. In fact the only differences in some cases, may be the funnels, livery and internal decor.

‘Made to measure’ or  ‘off the peg’?

Surprisingly the Norwegian Cruise lines next class of cruise ship, called ‘Project Leonardo’, is not a new a class of ship designed by themselves, but by the Italian shipyard Fincantieri.

I guess the advantage of this approach is that it must save development costs and time as the shipyard has already done the hard work.   However the disadvantage is that the shipyard can share this design with other buyers and it appears that they already have!

On closer inspection NCL’s ‘Project Leonardo’ looks remarkably similar to MSC’s ‘Seasisde’ also designed by Fincantieri.

However I believe Leonardo is shorter than Seaside, so will have a smaller gross tonnage and carry less passengers. Seaside is 154,000 gross tonnes and carry  4,140 (lower berth) passengers. Leonardo will be 140, 00 gross tonnes and carry around 3,300 passengers.

Seaside has a glass covered pool in front of her funnel, Leonardo appears to have a non-covered one in this location (for the Haven?) This may leaves just one sun-deck pool aft?

The big attraction of this ship design is the very large promenade deck, which is probably more expansive than NCL’s excellent ‘Waterfront’ feature found on-board their Breakaway and Breakaway+ classes.

I do find it a little sad when different cruise brands share a ship design. It just lacks originality.

I was going to say that Leanardo will be quite different internally to Seaside, as she will be designed to accommodate NCL’s ‘Freestyle’ dining system with multiple dining rooms.

However looking at Seaside’s deck plans (HERE) there are three full decks and two half decks of restaurants and other public rooms. I guess little will need changing apart from the décor and branding. I guess that was part of the appeal of using Fincantieri’s existing design.

os-pictures-norwegian-cruise-line-project-leon-010

(Courtesy NCL)

Malcolm

*(Why is the project called ‘Leonardo’, anybody?)

MSC ‘World Class’ Movie

June 16, 2017

MSC/STX official movie:

Here is how two of the biggest ships in the world measure up:

Stats Harmony Of The Seas MSC World Class
Year built 2016 2022
Builder Saint-Nazaire (STX France) Saint-Nazaire (STX France)
Building cost USD 1,35 billion USD 1,125 billion
Owner Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd MSC Cruises
Class Oasis World
Speed 23 kn TBA
Length (LOA) 362 m / 1188 ft 330 m / 1083 ft
Beam (width) 46 m / 151 ft 47 m / 154 ft
Gross Tonnage 227000 gt 200000 gt
Passengers 6780 6850
Crew 2193 TBA
Decks 17 TBA
Cabins 2747 2760

Meraviglia+ Duo To Showcase Original Masterpieces

MSC Cruises is set to showcase masterpieces of classic art, such as original works by Renaissance and Impressionist artists, in an on-board Museum of Culture, on the pair of Meraviglia-Plus ships delivering in 2019 and 2020.

See full ‘Seatrade article’: HERE

Introducing MSC’s World Class

June 1, 2017

World Class – click to enlarge (Courtesy MSC)

MSC Cruises has now confirmed their order for up to four LNG-powered cruise ships of 200,000gt at STX France and released the first rendering of their new design.

The total order is valued at €4.5bn.

The delivery schedule is 2022 and 2024, with the options in 2025 and 2026. Each ship will have 2,760 staterooms and accommodate up to 6,850 passengers—the highest capacity of any cruise ship.

Click to enlarge (MSC)

MSC Cruises said the Y-shaped profile will enable panoramic sea views and increase the proportion of balcony cabins. The ships’ G bow—vertically positioned at a 90-degree angle—has been designed to improve stability for passenger comfort and hydrodynamics for fuel efficiency.

Click to enlarge (MSC)

Other innovations include family-friendly ‘villages,’ a panoramic aft and a glass pool lounge.

(MSC)

Click to enlarge (MSC)

Malcolm says: Wow, she certainly looks original from the front, although the rear split superstructure is of course RCI Oasis style. The thought of 6,850 passengers will scare many people. That’s around 554 more passengers than RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class, the world’s biggest cruise ship, yet the ‘World Class’ will be some 25,000 gross tonnes (12.5 per cent) smaller. She sounds ‘busy’!

One of her innovations is a ‘square’ cabin design. We have yet to see the renderings of the cabins.

hjjhjhjhhjyyyyyyy

(MSC)

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MSC Want To Build Barcelona Terminal

May 26, 2017

82-5644a5fd8ea67

MSC Cruises wants to invest in a massive state-of-the-art cruise terminal at the port of Barcelona, according to Pierfrancesco Vago, the executive chairman.

There are no further details or a timescale as yet.

(MSC)

MSC Magnifica, 22 Sailings From Southampton

April 16, 2017

(Courtsey MSC)

The Mediterranean Shipping Company have announced that MSC Magnifica will be based in Southampton for a season in 2018.

The 95,128 gross tonne ship, carrying up to 3,605 passenger, will be sailing a mix of Mediterranean and Northern European voyages.

The sailings will also offer special British touches such as roast dinners, afternoon tea, John Smith’s beer, a curry night, a full English breakfast, and various condiments like Marmite and HP Sauce.

The 22 sailing dates will also be all inclusive of drinks and wi-fi on-board!

(MSC)

NCL’s Project Leonardo “Optimal Size”.

March 21, 2017

 

nclproject_2

(Courtesy NCL)

Norwegian Cruise Line has ordered at least four 140,000 tonne, 3,300-passenger Project ‘Leonardo’ ships from Fincantieri. These will be delivered from 2022 through to 2025.

This news represents a downsizing  from the recent Breakaway+ class ships at 163,000 gross tonnes, carrying 4,300 passengers.

Speaking on the company’s year-end earnings conference, President and CEO Frank del Rio called it an “optimal size”.

“The size of these vessels provides an optimal balance between deployment flexibility and earnings potential, allowing us to add new ports of call worldwide while maintaining a strong return profile with a payback of roughly five years, in line with our most recent newbuild,” said del Rio.

The ships will also allow Norwegian to redeploy existing vessels to other domestic and international homeports, where the company does not yet have a presence, according to del Rio.

(Cruise Industry News)

nclproject_3.jpg

(Courtesy NCL)

Malcolm says: Interestingly this new class of ship is based on a prototype developed by Fincantieri, and NOT by NCL, as in the past.  I guess the advantage of this approach truly guarantees a new design of ship. However the disadvantage is that the ship can share this design with other lines. ‘Project Leanoaro’ is clearly a slightly smaller version of MSC ‘Seaside’,  also designed by Fincantieri.

It’s curious  how one management team must have thought that 163,000 gt (Breakaway-Plus) is an ‘optimal size’, yet the next team think 140,000 gt is better. However many experienced cruise passengers have expressed their opinion that modern cruise ships are getting too big, although the new NCL ships are hardly small.

It depends what sort of experience that you are seeking. I personally think that mass-market ships can benefit from being very big – there is simply more room for for public rooms, facilities and innovations. The ‘Oasis’ class (the world’s biggest) is an amazing design.   However a ship of say 30,000 gt can provide you with a more intimate experience that a mega-ships cannot compete with.

I was expecting to see an 200,000 gt NCL design to be delivered within the next decade. It looks as if I’m wrong.

Project Leonardo slide show: HERE

The Worlds biggest class of cruise ship review: HERE

Norwegian Escape Review HERE

Norwegian Bliss – Observation Makes A Comeback HERE

Fincantieri Lays Keel for Seaview

February 2, 2017

Feb. 02, 2017:

Today MSC Cruises and Fincantieri marked a key milestone in the building of MSC Seaview with the celebration of the coin ceremony for the MSC Seaview.

MSC Seaview will come into service in June 2018, sailing the Western Mediterranean in her inaugural summer season. She will then continue her deployment in Brazil.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer added: “MSC Seaview will bring guests and the sea closer to each other, with a pioneering beach condo concept and other unique design and product elements that allow to make the most of the warmer weather. With one of the highest ratios of outdoor spaces at sea, guests will also enjoy an increased number of balcony cabins, sea views and outdoor public areas, with every element carefully planned to allow to make the most of the sea and the sunshine.”

(MSC)

Sister ship:

XXL – Is The New Standard

October 30, 2016
(Genting's Global Class)

(Genting’s Global Class)

Have you ever noticed how cruise lines tend to build similar sized ships?

O.K, there are exceptions where a luxury line will build a smaller ship. There are also exceptions when a cruise line will be building a ship bigger than anybody else’s (normally Royal Caribbean). However in general the big players are influenced by each other.

I can remember some 20 years ago (mid to late nineties), when many mega-ships were being built at around the 75,000 gross tons, in size. For example, RCI’s five ‘Vision’ class ships and NCL’s ‘Sun’ and ‘Spirt’ classes. Although Carnival (Destiny, 1995) and Princess (Grand Princess, 1998) pushed the boundaries with vessels over 100,000 gt.

In about 2005, many megaships built for NCL, RCI, P&O and Cunard etc. we’re around 90,000 gt. Although Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 had pushed the boundaries in 2002, to 148,000 gt .

Royal Caribbean’s 225,000 gt ‘Oasis of the Seas’, which entered service in 2008, was the world’s largest cruise ship. She was considerably larger than anything else. The ‘Oasis’ class (Oasis, Allure and Harmony) continues to dominate in size and probably will for some years to come.

The 180,000gt Costa LNG ship

The 180,000gt Costa LNG ship

However the goal-posts have moved once again. We now see a new wave of ships in the order book for 2019 onwards, which are 180-200,000 gt in size. These new mega-ships, or maybe they should be called ultra-ships, will each carry up to 6,600 passengers.

  • Carnival has announced that they have ordered seven 180,000gt mega-ships: two for Costa, two for Carnival, two for AIDA and one for P&O to be delivered between 2019 and 2022.
  • Genting Hong Kong announced they have ordered two new ships for Star Cruises in 2019 and 2020. These ships will be 201,000 gross tons.
  • MSC Cruises announced that they would be ordering up to four new class cruise ships, called the “World Class”. These would be around 200,000 gt and would be delivered between 2022 and 2026.

Carnival, Genting and MSC are clearly catching up to Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis’ class.

However this constant race for size, is not without its issues.

Older/smaller tonnage will be retired. Cruise ships rarely have a life longer than 30 years. This means that most of the cruise lines fleets, have ships growing in size. What was once a megaship (say 70,000gt) look like a ‘medium’ sized vessel now, maybe even a ‘small’ one.

Megaship are packed with facilities, including multiple dining rooms and multiple entertainment venues, even a few gimmicks throw in like a Park or Bumper cars. However bigger is not always best. These floating theme parks lack intimacy and a ‘connection’ with the sea. Arguably the world’s best cruise experiences, in terms of fine-dining and attentive service, are not to be found on-board mega-ships.

Megaships are also limited to what ports they can visit as they need long berths, deep water and extensive shore-side terminal facilities to deal with the thousands of passengers that they carry.

There is also much debate about the impact thousands of passenger arriving at a Caribbean island (for example) has on the local environment.

Irrespective of  any negative aspects, the big ships are still coming and the masses love them. They almost generate their own publicity. A new “Giant Ship” makes a great headline.  A new “Small Ship” does not.

As a result the existing smaller/older ships will be facing extinction. However there will always be some intimate ships on offer, but these are likely to get rarer and will become an increasingly expensive option to cruise on.

Malcolm

(There are reviews of some of the world’s biggest ships, menu right)

Further Details of MSC Seaside

April 25, 2016

21/04/2016:  MSC Cruises marked an important construction milestone in the building of MSC Seaside with the celebration of the traditional maritime coin ceremony held at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

MSC Seaside, set to come into service in December 2017, will sail year-round from Miami and is being designed with the North American market in mind.

More Details Revealed

Atrium

Atrium (Courtesy of MSC)

MSC Cruises has revealed further details of MSC Seaside including suspended glass floors, a wrap around outdoor promenade with bars and restaurants, ocean-view elevators  and the highest ratio of outdoor space of any ship at sea.

msc-seaside-sushi-bar

Outdoor Sushi Bar (Courtesy MSC)

The concept behind MSC Seaside is to “bring the sea closer to passengers”, and is being designed with an exclusive warn weather aesthetic. The beach-condo-inspired concept will focus on the outdoor space of cabins and suites, many al fresco eating options including 20 bars; outdoor spa and fitness facilities, such as luxury cabanas for spa treatments, two wellness cabins, which feature advanced Kinesis Technoygm fitness equipment; and the private MSC Yacht Club, which features a lounge and restaurant and a solarium.

Full Cruise Critic Article: HERE

Designing MSC Seaside

June 2, 2014

Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard revealed a new concept ship earlier in the year, dubbed Project Mille, signalling the future of cruise ships.

(Fincantieri project Millie)

(Fincantieri project Millie)

The purpose of this project is to explore a more modern configuration to the traditional design of passenger vessels. Since shaft and rudder based propulsion has quickly demised, there is no reason to have the diesel generators in the aft section anymore. This ship will have them amidships. By bringing then closer to the centre of gravity, this helps stability. You can note that the funnel has accordingly been brought amidships; right above the engines.

They also made the hull wider and the super structure narrower. Also in another attempt to reduce the weight above the hull. The Oasis class kind of have the opposite of this, but they also have two gaping holes in the superstructure (Central Park and the Boardwalk).

There are also other initiatives to lower the centre of gravity. There will be no large main swimming pool topside. It will be moved somewhere lower in the ship. The spa will also be moved down. By moving any other heavy-weight public area lower, architects are able to yield an entire additional deck of passenger cabins. As these cabins are located in the superstructure, they will be balcony cabins, which mean higher revenue yielding.

edit2

Mille offers 10 percent more cabins; 10 percent more open-deck space; 10 percent increase in efficiencies. (10% more cabins represents a very significant increase in revenue generating potential)

Fincantieri says that this design can be scaled accordingly from 60,000grt up to 150,000 grt. And 1,500 pax up to 4,000 pax.

(Source: Cruise Ind)

(MSC image)

(MSC image)

Malcolm says: MSC’s new project ‘Seaside’ mega-ship is clearly based on Fincantieri’s ‘Millie’ project.

Seaside has the distinctive centre funnel and narrower superstructure. The promenade is wide and is above the lifeboats until it drops down at the stern. The stern ‘prom’ is nearer the water level than usual, with a large pool. There is no large centre lido-deck, but an area aft of the funnel. The aft superstructure is narrower for stability.

 

MSC Spends €2.1bn on the Seaside

May 22, 2014
(MSC Image)

(MSC)

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.

(MSC Click to enlarge)

(MSC Click to enlarge)

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.

(MSC)

(MSC)

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.

(MSC click to enlarge)

(MSC click to enlarge)

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.

(MSC image)

(MSC image)

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.

 (Source: MSC)

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.

(MSC Image)

(MSC Image)

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)

msc big

(Click to Enlarge)

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