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

MSC To Build Four Ultra-Luxury Cruise Ships

October 18, 2018

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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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A New Cruise Terminal For MSC’s ‘World’ Class vessels.

July 12, 2018

More big ship news:

MSC Cruises and Miami-Dade county announced the signing of an agreement for extended preferential berthing rights as well as of a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of a new Cruise Terminal at PortMiami. This will be built to accommodate MSC’s 200,000-ton World Class vessels.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, commented: “The new agreement and expanded partnership with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County is another key step forward in the business growth of MSC Cruises, as we continue to strengthen our global footprint, with a strategic focus on North America.”

In 2017, MSC Cruises worked with PortMiami on the completion of Terminal F, home to MSC Seaside, the first MSC Cruises ship to be built specifically for North American market and the Caribbean.

The new terminal is projected to be completed by October 2022.

(MSC)

Bellissima For China

April 24, 2018

(Courtesy MSC)

MSC Cruises has just announced that the new MSC Bellissima will be based in China and Asia-Pacific starting in 2020.

The ship will reposition to Shanghai in spring of 2020, MSC announced, at an event coinciding the MSC Splendida’s arrival into the Chinese market this week.

The 4,500-guest Bellissima will be delivered from STX France in March 2019 and will spend its inaugural season in Europe before moving to Asia. In China, it will become the largest ship homeporting in the local market.

(MSC)

Bellissima Will Be Christened In Southampton

March 22, 2018

(Courtesy MSC)

MSC Bellissima will be named in Southampton on March 2, 2019.

Antonio Paradiso, managing director UK and Ireland, said he believed the move would see the 5,700-guest Bellissima become the largest ship ever to be christened in the UK.

The Meraviglia-class vessel will sail its maiden voyage from Southampton to Genoa two days later. The last MSC vessel to be named in the UK was MSC Poesia in Dover in 2008.

Bellissima will become MSC Cruises’ fourth mega-ship to come into service in less than three years since 2017 as part of a 12-ship, ten-year €10.5 billion investment programme.

MSC also revealed that Bellissima will debut an onboard “digital personal assistant” system for passengers, which Onorato said would take the line’s MSC For Me technology programme “to the next level”.

The “conversational, voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence innovation” will see a speaker beacon placed in each cabin, offering information such as weather updates and excursion timings and, with its next phase, provide guests with tailored suggestions including dinner reservations.

It has been developed by MSC and Samsung subsidiary Harman, responsible for a number of voice-enabled technology created for Amazon, Google and Microsoft, and will be available on all future new ships.

(MSC)

MSC Increasing Presence In United Arab Emirates

January 22, 2018

(Courtesy MSC)

Increasing Their presence in the United Arab Emirates, MSC Cruises will base MSC Lirica in Dubai at the end of this year and, for the first time, offer calls to India.

MSC Lirica will reposition to its new homeport in November, joining MSC Splendida and featuring 11 and 14 nights.

New ports of call for MSC are India’s Mumbai, Goa and Mangalore.

Itineraries will include Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Bahrain; select voyages will include overnights in Dubai, Muscat and Mumbai.

(MSC)

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.

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Click to enlarge (MSC)

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

(MSC)

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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.

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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