STX France inks LOI with MSC Cruises

MARCH 27, 2014 — Shipbuilder STX France and MSC Cruises have signed a letter of intent covering the  construction of two new cruise ships, with an option for two more. The two ships will join MSC Cruises' fleet, currently counting 12 ships, all built in the Saint-Nazaire shipyards.

The two ships are due for delivery in 2017 and 2019.

Each will be 315 m long and 43 m wide, with a gross tonnage of about 167,600 tons, offering 2,250 cabins for guests, nearly 820 crew cabins, and accommodating 5,700 passengers and 1,536 crew members.  

"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," said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. "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 ships have been designed within the framework of STX's ECORIZON program and will be water-emission free, while the hull and propulsion systems will be optimized for better energy efficiency. Exhaust gas scrubbers will be installed.

Building is due to start in spring 2015.  

The contract will be binding when the financial package is secured. No price for the ships was revealed.