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March 2014
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MSC Cruises Announces Two New Ships Will Be Built; Largest In Fleet

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March 20, 2014 – MSC Cruises has signed a letter of intent with STX France to build two new ships, with an option for two additional vessels.

“Growth and development have always been the characteristics that have defined MSC since the very beginning of our journey into the world of cruising. The 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 first vessel is planned for delivery in 2017, with the second ship debuting in 2019. The ships will be 1033 feet long, 141 feet wide, and have a gross tonnage of 167,600 tons. This puts them in the size range of the soon-to-debut Quantum Of The Seas from Royal Caribbean, and the Norwegian Escape of Norwegian Cruise Line, which will be the primary competitors as MSC moves forward with their plan to be a major player in the contemporary cruise market. MSC recently announced plans to aggressively expand their U.S. presence, doubling their sales force among other initiatives.

The MSC new builds will have 2,250 cabins, and accommodate 5,700 passengers and 1,536 crewmembers.

“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. The two new ships will reaffirm MSC Cruises’ dedication to outstanding and genuine dining options and out-of-this-world entertainment with new panoramic spaces, a bigger theatre and a spectacular amusement park connected to an outdoor aqua park as well as a two-deck ’inside promenade’,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises.

Features mentioned include specially designed cabins for families, and a larger MSC Yacht Club for guests in those exclusive suites. The new Yacht Club will have a solarium, a private lounge and restaurant, and duplex (two-story) suites.