MSC Cruises and STX France today signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the construction of two new cruise ships with an option for two more.
The first two cruise ships are due for delivery respectively in 2017 and 2019. The ships will be 1033 feet long and 141 feet wide, with a gross tonnage of about 167,600 tons, boasting 2,250 cabins for guests, nearly 820 crew cabins, and accommodating 5,700 passengers and 1,536 crew members.
“The new prototype will be the biggest cruise ship ever built by a European ship owner and the most versatile and flexible of the world: not only will it be able to call in most of the ports and destinations on earth, without compromise, but it will have extraordinary features that will make it the perfect choice at sea, in summer and in winter,” explained Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises.
The new prototype is the result of a long development process, conducted in the framework of STX’s ECORIZON ® programme, leading to the creation of a new generation of ships that are cleaner, more efficient and more technological.
New ships will be water emission free, with the hull and propulsion systems optimised for better energy efficiency. The installation of scrubbers will allow for fumes to be neutralised and CO2 emissions to be in accordance with the latest evolutions of international maritime regulations.
“Launch of this prototype and the building of these two new ships confirm our commitment to further growth and to further development. MSC Cruises will expand its capacity by 31%; we will incredibly enrich our offer on board and we will broaden our horizons to ensure we meet the growing global demand in every region,” said MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago.
“The latest commercial negotiation was particularly challenging in the light of today’s global competitive landscape in the shipbuilding industry. I would like to point out that the competitiveness agreement signed with our trade unions has been decisive to reach this LOI signature,” said Laurent Castaing, STX France General Manager.
The contract signed is worth 16 million working hours for STX France and its subcontractors, 9 million for the prototype and 7 million for the second unit.
Construction is due to start in spring 2015 at the Saint-Nazaire yard.
msccruisesusa, March 20, 2014