MSC Cruises, the world’s fourth largest cruise shipping group, said the up to four World Class cruise liners of 200,000 gross tons plus it intends to build at STX France would be powered by LNG.
“They will be the richest yet in terms of amenities and features for guests and families; have a cutting edge design; feature the latest and the best state-of-the-art smart technology and use the most advanced environmentally-friendly technology available with LNG-propelled engines. But most importantly it will be a ship for all seasons and all regions,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises, in a statement.
“The four ships provided under the LOI (letter of intent)– two firm orders and two further options – will be delivered in 2022, 2024, 2025 and in 2026,” the company said in the statement.
The ships would feature 2,700 cabins and have about 5,400 lower beds.
MSC Cruises, the world’s fourth largest cruise shipping group, said it signs a letter of intent with STX France for the construction of up to four 200,000 gross ton plus ships that will be based on a new, next-generation prototype and will be known as the “World Class” of MSC Cruises’ ships.
The announcement of the four new “World Class” ships is in addition to the seven new builds that MSC Cruises already has on order with (four) Meraviglia and Meraviglia-Plus class ships at STX France and (three) Seaside class ships at Fincantieri – meaning a total of 11 new cruise ships on order between 2017 and 2026 and an investment plan worth a total of $10.2 billion.
“MSC Cruises is the first cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude - demonstrating our commitment to growth and expanding our existing global footprint,” the company said in a statement.
MSC Cruises, the world’s fourth largest cruise shipping group, is reported to have ordered four newbuildings at STX France for a total price of €4 billion, Le Figaro newspaper said on its website. Francois Hollande, the French president, should confirm the order this afternoon following a meeting with the senior executives of MSC Cruises, the report said.
Stena RoRo, the ferry tonnage provider in the Gothenburg based Stena sphere of companies, says it has placed an order for four large ropax ferries with the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China, with an option for another four units.
They will have a lane metre capacity of 3,000 and they will be able to carry 1,000 passengers. Deliveries are scheduled to take place in 2019 and 2020 and they will be employed on Stena Line’s services in northern Europe. Stena Line is also part of the privately owned Stena sphere of companies.
”During the course of the past 24 months our engineering staff has managed to develop a design that is not only 50% larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels, but more importantly, incorporates the emission reduction and efficiency initiatives that have been developed throughout the Stena Group during the past years,” said Carl-Johan Hagman, Managing Director of Stena Line, in a statement.
“These ships will be the most fuel efficient ferries in the world and will set a new industry standard when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competitiveness, positioning Stena Line to support its customers in the next decades,” he continued, adding that the new ships would be 50% larger than comparable existing tonnage.
Deltamarin, the Finnish consultant naval architects that are part of the AVIC group, said they would work in the project not only as a designer but also as a provider of comprehensive project management services to support AVIC SHIP and AVIC Weihai Shipyard in the vessel construction.
“Deltamarin’s engineering package includes approval design, support in procurement handling and detail design. Deltamarin Floating Construction will carry out the construction management in close co-operation with AVIC, and supplement the construction team with long passenger ship building experience,” the company said in a statement.
“The project management services also include master planning, procurement of the project materials and material management, project information management and site supervision. Deltamarin developed the concept of the vessel at an earlier stage in close collaboration with the owner Stena,” Deltamarin continued.
The Guangzhou shipyard in China is currently building two large ropax ferries without overnight capacity for Rederi AB Gotland, another Swedish ferry company, which already operates two such vessels built at the same shipyard.
Otherwise, Chinese yards have not built major passenger vessels to western owners and the Stena order can be viewed as a step towards higher value added business, such as passenger tonnage, at a time when dry bulk and container vessel owners, two major customer groups of Chinese yards, are struggling with unprecedented overcapacity and consequent deep losses.
Following the historical agreement of March 2015 and the memorandum of agreement of last December, Fincantieri, leader in cruise ship design and construction, and Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise company, have finalized the contracts for the construction of five next-generation passenger ships.
The historical contracts finalized today envisage one further unit compared to the memorandum of agreement of December and mark the most important goal reached by the two Groups in the last years, having a total value which exceeds 3 billion euros.
Crucial, once more, for the finalization of the agreement, the supporting of the export credit system lead by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (Cdp). This support represents for Fincantieri, like for every Italian exporter, an essential element for the efficiency of the “Italian system”.
Two of the new ships will be built for the Costa Crociere brand Costa Asia, other two for Princess Cruises and one for P&O Cruises Australia. They will all be built at the shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera between 2019-2020, and will operate on the emerging cruise markets, among which China, Australia and others, once entered in their respective fleets.
The announcement was made on board of Koningsdam, the new ship of Holland America Line’s fleet, other brand of the Carnival Group, delivered to the shipowner on March 31, and presented today at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera.
The contracts were signed by Micky Arison, Chairman of Carnival Corporation, and Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, in the presence of Graziano Delrio, Minister of Infrastructures and Transport, personally delegated by the Prime Minister’s Office, to represent the Italian Government.
Also attending the ceremony were several authorities and, among others, Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, Stein Kruse, CEO of Holland America Group, which comprises the Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia and Seabourn brands, Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group, which includes AIDA Cruises and Costa Crociere, and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line.
The new units will be specifically designed and developed for each brand and the guests they will serve. The ships for Costa Asia and P&O Australia will be 135,500-ton vessels with the capacity to carry 4,200 passengers on board.
The ships for Princess Cruises will be 143,700-ton and 3,560-passenger ships and will be the brand’s fourth and fifth vessel of the Royal Princess class, after Royal, Regal and Majestic, all built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, the last of which due to delivery in 2017.
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “This result, which is by far one of the most important ever achieved by an Italian industry, makes us proud of the strong commitment made over all these years, which helped to make Fincantieri an excellence acknowledged worldwide for product diversification and quality, with an unparalleled workload in terms of time, which ensures full development and a long-term strategic perspective. Today - concluded Bono – we further strengthen the relationship with our friends in Carnival, a partnership that has enabled both groups to grow over the years and which is further reinforced by an unprecedented strategic agreement. Thanks to it we look at the future in order to develop new projects together and meet the new challenges that the market will present us”.
Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, commented: “Today has been especially exciting for our company, our partners and our guests, as we celebrated the arrival of our amazing ms Koningsdam ship and officially signed agreements with Fincantieri to build five new cruise ships for the future. Supporting our goal to exceed guest expectations on every cruise – continued Donald - these new ships will create a whole new level of excitement and opportunity to deliver experiences that our guests will not only remember for the rest of their lives, but will also share with others. Using our strategic fleet enhancement plan to delight our guests is an important part of our measured growth strategy, which includes replacing less efficient ships with newer, larger and more efficient vessels over a very specific period of time.”
The cooperation between Fincantieri and Carnival Corporation has a remarkable strategic value not only for the shipbuilding industry but for the entire national economy. The contracts announced today, indeed, outline long-term activities from one of the major foreign investors in Italy: the American group, thanks to the partnership with Fincantieri, invested in our country – also counting today’s announcement – almost 30 billion euros. In fact, Fincantieri has built 72 cruise ships since 1990, 60 of which for Carnival’s different brands, while other 24 ships are currently being designed or built in the Group’s yards, 11 of which for the shipowners of the American group.