Ship owner MSC Cruises and shipbuilder STX France signed a new memorandum of understanding firming up the order of two 200,000 GRT, LNG-powered mega cruise ships, with options for two additional vessels. The four ships will become MSC Cruises’ World Class.
The signing took place at the MSC Meraviglia delivery ceremony in the presence of Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy.
In connection with the signing, MSC Cruises and STX France today also unveiled several key features of the World Class. Among other innovations, they will be equipped with a completely new generation of LNG-powered engines as well as a new generation waste water treatment system.
The vessels, which will be delivered in 2022 and 2024 – the options are for 2025 and 2026 – will have a length of 330 meters and 47 meters of beam. The ships will feature 2,760 cabins and a maximum occupancy of 6,850 guests, the highest passenger capacity in the global cruise fleet, MSC Cruises said.
Speaking at the MSC Meraviglia Flag Ceremony, Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said, “As we unveil MSC Meraviglia, a new vessel that marks the start of the next phase of our growth, we are delighted to confirm another key component of our ten-year investment plan: the World Class. These new vessels will further expand our partnership with STX France all the way to 2026, with up to seven additional innovative ships to be built during this period.”
STX France's CEO Laurent Castaing commented, “Once again, MSC Cruises has chosen to put their trust in our capacity to support their growth and expansion as well as in our ability to conceive, develop and build the world’s most modern and technologically-advanced cruise ships. By adding the new World Class to the four previous ship classes that we have delivered over the past 15 years, the number of vessels in their fleet built by STX France in Saint-Nazaire is set to reach 20. Our exceptional industrial partnership continues to benefit an entire region.”
The World Class’ “Y” shape structure will enable panoramic sea views and increase the proportion of balcony cabins. The ships’ G bow (vertically positioned at a 90 degree angle) has been designed to improve stability, hydrodynamics as well as to enhance guest comfort. Other guest-centric innovations include family-friendly villages, a panoramic aft and a glass pool lounge.