MSC Cruises has revealed plans to build extra World Class ships and develop new prototype vessels – some powered by liquified natural gas and others that could run on wind.
The line signed construction contracts for a third and fourth LNG-powered World Class ships with French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique today (20 January) at Matignon Palace, the French prime minister’s official residence.
The first of the initial two World Class ships in the series is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire and is due to enter service in 2022.
At a gross tonnage of 205,000, MSC’s first World Class ship will become the biggest vessel operated by a European cruise line, as well as the first LNG-powered cruise ship built in France.
The new additions will be delivered in 2025 and 2027.
MSC Cruises has also announced two further projects with Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop more LNG-powered cruise ships with the project focusing on developing emerging environmental technologies.
MSC, which currently has a fleet of 17 ships, said the creation of four vessels in this new class would represent a capital investment “exceeding €4 billion”.
A second MoU sees MSC partnering with Chantiers de l’Atlantique to develop another prototype ship class for which they will “explore opportunities that wind power and other advanced technologies could bring to passenger shipping”.
Today’s announcement would see an additional six vessels being added to its ranks.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “The three agreements signed today extend our investment plan up to 2030. They stem from an exceptional partnership, with Chantiers de l’Atlantique that has already delivered 15 highly-innovative cruise ships over the past two decades and will see many more vessels come to life at Saint-Nazaire’s docks in the next 10 years.
“They also confirm this industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability, in this case helping the French national industry further position itself as a world leader in the development of next-generation technologies and other solutions.”
MSC Cruises is the world's largest privately-owned cruise company. We're the number one cruise line in Europe and South America.