MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique have announced the signing of firm contracts for MSC Cruises’ third and fourth LNG-powered MSC World Class ships, to be delivered in 2025 and 2027.
The companies also extended their partnership over the next decade with two additional projects. That includes a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of yet a new prototype class of LNG-powered cruise ships to operate under the MSC Cruises brand. The four vessels in this new class would represent a capital investment exceeding €4 billion.
A second MoU sees MSC Cruises partnering with Chantiers de l’Atlantique in the development of yet another innovative prototype ship class concept with which they will explore opportunities that wind power and other advanced technologies.
The three agreements signed today represent an investment in excess of €6.5 billion in the French economy.
The first of the initial two ships in the class is currently under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire and is due to enter service in 2022. With 205,000 gross tonne, she will become the biggest vessel operated by a European cruise line as well as the first LNG-powered cruise ship built in France.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said, “The three agreements signed today extend our investment plan up to 2030. They stem from an exceptional partnership, with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, that has already delivered 15 highly-innovative innovative cruise ships over the past two decades and will see many more vessels come to life at Saint-Nazaire’s docks in the next ten years.”
“They also confirm this industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability, in this case helping the French national industry further position itself as a world leader in the development of next-generation technologies and other solutions.”
MSC Cruises is strongly committed to achieving a zero-impact future by investing in the accelerated development of new energy solutions and environmental technologies that will allow that. On 1 January 2020 MSC Cruises became the first major cruise line to achieve carbon-neutral fleet operations.
A ceremony to mark the occasion was held at the Matignon Palace, Paris, the French Prime Minister’s official residence. The event was attended by Édouard Philippe, Prime Minister of France; Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s Founder and Executive Chairman; Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman; and Laurent Castaing, Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s General Manager.