Last updated: 11:43 AM ET, Thu July 02 2015

MSC Cruises Reaches Shipbuilding Milestones

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | MSC Cruises | Theresa Norton | June 22, 2015

MSC Cruises Reaches Shipbuilding Milestones

MSC Seaside rendering courtesy of MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises, which is in the middle of a $5.8 billion shipbuilding plan, officially began construction of a new generation of vessels with the steel-cutting of the MSC Seaside at an Italian shipyard.

The ambitious growth program, which will double the Italian line’s capacity by 2022, includes two and possibly three 154,000-ton, 4,140-passenger Seaside vessels.

When it enters service in December 2017, MSC Seaside will be based year-round in Miami, joining the MSC Divina, and signifying the company’s determination to grow in the North American market. In fact, the ship will also be christened in Miami, the first MSC Cruises ship to be named in the U.S.

“MSC Seaside will spearhead our campaign to expand our presence in North America,” CEO Gianni Onorato said. “MSC Cruises has the unique opportunity to provide North American guests with an outstanding ‘Mediterranean Style Cruise’ experience, and guests from around the world a unique setting as it will sail to the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean.”

A second Seaside-class vessel is scheduled to enter service in 2018. MSC Cruises also has an option for a third one that, if exercised, would be delivered by 2021.

Also on June 22, MSC Cruises opened sales for the inaugural summer 2017 season for MSC Meraviglia, its 167,600-ton, 4,500-guest Vista-class ship. Sales first opened to MSC Club members and will open to the general public on July 5.

MSC Meraviglia will spend its first summer sailing the Western Mediterranean with three ports of embarkation — Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.

MSC Seaside will have a bold design and cutting-edge technology. Among its design highlights is a 360-degree seafront promenade and a highly interactive aqua park with five water slides.

The ship will feature convertible, connected staterooms that can accommodate up to 10 people. The ship will have an enhanced MSC Yacht Club — the luxury ship-within-a-ship luxury enclave — with a private solarium, lounge and pool. The public spaces of the ship will have a two-deck, glass-walled atrium and panoramic exterior elevators.

The MSC Seaside ships will be environmentally friendly with Advanced Water Treatment systems to remove pollutants and hazardous substances from wastewater, highly efficient garbage treatment plants, scrubbers to reduce emissions, anti-fouling paints, and optimized hull lines, propellers and rudders to reduce drag and fuel consumption. In addition, the ships will have LED lighting, which lowers fuel consumption.

Meanwhile, MSC Meraviglia also will boast some stunning features, such as a 5,167-square-foot LED screen, which forms the entire ceiling of the ship’s interior promenade like a digital sky.

MSC Meraviglia will also have new categories of staterooms, including specially designed Family and Super Family staterooms, duplex staterooms and an extended MSC Yacht Club.

MSC Meraviglia is the first of two identical ships on order from STX France, the second of which will enter service in 2019. In addition, MSC Cruises has options for two further Vista project ships to be delivered by 2022.

MSC Cruises, which grew by 800 percent since 2004, carried 1.67 million guests in 2014 and is forecasting an additional 10 percent growth for 2015.


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