MSC Cruises is again making headlines with more expansion plans.
The cruise line this week announced that it has signed two additional sets of contracts with the Chantier de l’Atlantique shipbuilders in Saint-Nazaire, France. The first is a new, firm contract for its third and fourth LNG-powered MSC World Class ships to be delivered 2025 and 2027. The second is for the prototype of a new class of ship.
The contracts total US$7.2 billion and extend MSC’s expansion plans through 2030.
All four of the World Class ships, which were initially announced in 2016, will come into service at 205,700 gross tons and a passenger capacity of 6,761. Their size will be close to that of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class of ships — about 225,000 gross tons — and will be larger than MSC Grandiosa, the lead ship from MSC’s Meraviglia Plus class of ships.
With its LNG-power, the World Class vessels will be able to sail with decreases of sulphur emissions and particulate matter by 99%, NOx emissions by 85%, and CO2 emissions by 20%.
Not much has been announced about the other, new class, except that it will “explore opportunities that wind power and other advanced technologies could bring,” MSC 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 ten years,” MSC’s Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said in a statement.