Mediterranean Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, has signed an order with Fincantieri, confirming the development of two new cruise ships under a project that’s been named ‘Seaside’.
The deal, which includes an option for a third, is worth around €700million per ship, meaning the whole contract could be worth up to €2.1billion.
The vessels on order are added to the deal MSC Cruises has already signed with French shipyard STX for two ships with an option for two more.
It will be the first time a cruise line has ever simultaneously developed two classes of ship.
The order now means that MSC could potentially add seven new vessels to its fleet from both yards.
Speaking to Cruise Adviser, MSC’s executive director, Giles Hawke said: “Today’s announcement is massive for MSC Cruises. We are already the third biggest cruise line in the world and these new ships will take our global fleet to 16 – perhaps even 19 ships.
“We will also be able to service more international markets. That means that in 2016 or 2017 we will be looking to bring a Fantasia-class vessel back to the UK.”
The vessels announced today have been named under the ‘Seaside’ project title, alluding to the ship’s new architectural style and “a new generation of cruise ships”.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises said: “From the moment we started talking with Fincantieri, we had in mind to design and build two completely new ships, revolutionary in their structure, unlike anything that exists on the market today.”
“Seaside is a futuristic prototype because of its structure, shape and versatility. We are getting ready for the new and compelling challenge that the construction of these ships represents. It will be a real revolution in the world’s cruise market, an excellent product for its unique and innovative architectural features and cutting-edge technology.”