MSC Cruises announces order for two more giant ships

 
 
MSC Cruises announced it had signed a contract with ship builder Fincantieri for two new ships. The “Seaside” prototype includes a sea-level promenade with shops and restaurants.
MSC Cruises announced it had signed a contract with ship builder Fincantieri for two new ships. The “Seaside” prototype includes a sea-level promenade with shops and restaurants.
MSC Cruises

hsampson@MiamiHerald.com

Two months after announcing it had ordered two new giant ships, European cruise line MSC Cruises announced Thursday that it is adding another two vessels to its rapidly expanding fleet — with the option for a third in the class.

The latest contract, for the “Seaside” prototype, is with Italian ship builder Fincantieri. Each of the just-announced 154,000-ton ships, which will be able to accommodate 4,140 passengers at double occupancy, will cost more than $955 million. They are scheduled for delivery in November 2017 and May 2018; the company said it would deploy the vessels in the Mediterranean, South America and the Caribbean.

The Geneva-based cruise operator announced in March that it had signed a letter of intent with shipyard STX France to order two new 4,500-passenger ships with the option of ordering two more. Those 167,000-ton vessels are expected to be completed in 2017 and 2019. If MSC has all four of the ships in that class built, the cost would amount to roughly $4 billion.

In a statement, MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said Thursday’s announcement was the last part of a new “industrial plan that will allow us to double the capacity of our fleet by 2022.”

HANNAH SAMPSON

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