MSC Cruises is making waves again as it signs a letter of intent to build up to four new World-class ships. Two orders have already been locked in with the STX France shipyard, and another two options are pending – bringing the company’s total future ship orders and options up to eleven through 2026.
The World class represents a third new prototype design as the cruise line’s other Meraviglia- and Seaside-class ships are already under construction. The next design is set to measure in at over 200,000 tons and carry around 5,400 passengers in over 2,700 cabins. That would put the vessel squarely in between the largest and second largest ships in the world currently – Royal Caribbean International’s 225,282-ton Oasis-class and 168,666-ton Quantum-class, respectively.
“Today’s announcement is further proof, if needed, of our view that this industry presents significant opportunities for additional growth going forward for both our brand and product, as well as of our firm commitment to be best-positioned to capture them to the fullest,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises executive chairman. “For this reason, our ten-plus year investment plan now encompasses up to eleven new MSC Cruises ships, coming into service between 2017 and 2026. It is also a reflection of our constant commitment to innovation, as we will partner with STX France to design yet again a completely new prototype – already the sixth in our history. In fact, in yet another industry first, the new MSC Cruises’ World Class prototype will feature – amongst other highly innovative elements – a record-breaking, futuristically conceived design that will make the ship a truly unique place to be at sea, whilst maximizing the open air space available to guests.”
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