MSC’s new “Seaside” prototype. Courtesy of MSC Cruises USA.
MSC confirms last month’s rumor for an order of two massive newbuilds with an option for one more from Fincantieri as part of a program that will double the line’s capacity by 2022. The order was signed at the Palazzo Chigi in Rome in the presence of the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, by MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and CEO Gianni Onorato and Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono.
Dubbed “Seaside”, the ships will be the largest ever built by Fincantieri and will represent a completely new design for MSC. With a price tag of €700 million each, they will be funded with the support of the insurance and financial company SACE. Set for delivery in November 2017 and May 2018, they will be 1,060 feet long and 135 feet wide, with a gross tonnage of 154,000 to accommodate up to 5,300 passengers and 1,413 crew. The ships will have 2,070 guest cabins, 759 for crew members, and 468,230-square-feet of public areas. The Seaside prototype features thus far unique to MSC are a sea-level promenade that circumnavigates the sides of the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants and panoramic lifts with sea views. A press release claims that these new mega ships “will be able to dock in any port around the world.”
“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,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises. “Seaside is a futuristic prototype because of its structure, shape and versatility…”
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, declared, “This is a special day for us…These ships, which represent a genuine design challenge, will be developed entirely by Fincantieri, confirming our technological supremacy over other shipbuilders globally.”
“…With the arrival of the new ships we will reach a capacity of about 80,000 passengers a day,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “As of today we have launched an investment plan of over €5 billion that includes new builds, ordered in Italy and France, and the conversion of four ships already in the fleet.”
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
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