July 22, 2010
MSC firms up order for new cruise ship from STX France
MSC Cruises and STX France have finalized the order for a new Fantasia class cruise ship. A letter of intent was signed March 1, but it has apparently taken until now to get the financing together.
A statement from the two companies issued today says that an important factor in the success of the project was the financial backing provided by French financial institutions, and especially by Coface, the French Export Credit Agency, making it possible for the vessel to be delivered as required by MSC Cruises by the end of spring 2012.
That means that the ship, which is to be called the Fantastica, will be delivered ahead of the Fantastica-based cruise ship ordered earlier this month by Libya's state owned GNMTC (General National Maritime Tranportation Company), which is set for delivery from the shipyard in December 2012. There had been suspicions that the MSC order had collapsed and that GNMTC had picked up the building slot. That is evidently not so.
"We are very pleased that this important contract with MSC is now confirmed," said Jacques Hardelay, General Manager of STX France, "and we look forward to continuing the long-standing relationship between the teams of MSC Cruises and STX France for the successful delivery of this magnificent vessel".
Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises, added: "We are delighted at the confirmation of this important investment, a sign of the success of our ambitious growth strategy, and we would like to thank all those who have made it possible. Together with STX France, we are now keen to focus our energies on further enhancing MSC Cruises' leading positioning within the world's cruise industry. MSC Fantastica will build on the success of the 'Fantasia' prototype, appreciated by more and more guests as unique its class thanks to innovate features like the MSC Yacht Club, the ship within a ship offering unprecedented levels of privacy and personalized service."