MSC Cruises USA has signed a letter of intent for a new 140,000-ton, 3,502-passenger ship, the MSC Favolosa, to be built at STX Europe’s yard in St. Nazaire.
The Favolosa will have 1,751 staterooms, measure 1,094 feet long by 125 feet wide and cruise at up to 24 knots, MSC said in a news release. It will be slightly bigger than its sister ships, MSC’s Fantasia and Splendida.
The Favolosa, will have two additional elevators to improve passenger flow, and a redesign of decks and restaurants to offer a higher ratio of space per guest, MSC said. The MSC Yacht Club, which MSC calls a “ship within a ship,” will be enlarged and redesigned, as will the Aft Lounge, an adults-only area surrounding the Aft Infinity Pool, casino and the disco.
The cruise line said it was targeting the highest environmental standards with more efficient evaporators, chillers, a new generation of propulsion motors, and an additional bow thruster to improve maneuverability.
“With this order, MSC Cruises again signals the record-breaking extent of its ambition,” CEO Pierfrancesco Vago said. “The new ship will bring our capacity to nearly 1.5 million guests in 2013, confirming both the success of our strategy and our confidence in further growth.”
The announcement is another boost for the cruise ship building industry, which had seen a dearth of new plans during the recession.
Vago referenced that in the press release, saying, “This order is also a demonstration of our faith in the STX Europe shipyard, which we are delighted to be able to support in these challenging times.”
Miami-based Carnival Corp. & PLC (NYSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) broke the ordering logjam on Feb. 17, when it announced plans for a 139,000-ton, 3,600-passenger for its Princess Cruise Lines.
On Thursday, MSC took delivery of its newest ship at St. Nazaire – the MSC Magnifica.
Vago said in a news release that “MSC Magnifica’s delivery brings the fleet to 11. Our capacity has increased 10 times in just seven years to reach 1.2 million passengers this year – an unprecedented rate of growth.”
MSC Cruises USA has a headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and is the North American sales and marketing agent of MSC Crociere of Naples, Italy. The company is owned by Chairman Gianluigi Aponte.