MSC Group’s cruise division MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique have officially commenced the construction of MSC’s second World Class ship with the cutting of first steel.

The new ship, which will be named MSC World America, is expected to start operations in 2025.

It is claimed to be MSC Cruises’ first liquefied natural gas (LNG) driven ship to operate in North America.

As the second MSC Cruises World Class ship, the new vessel will have similar features to MSC World Europa. However, the design and guest experience will be specifically tailored to meet the expectations of guests from North America.

With more than 2,600 cabins and 420,000ft² of public space, MSC World America will measure 22 decks tall and more than 150ft wide.

MSC Cruises president Rubén Rodríguez said: “MSC World America is a testament to our ambitious growth plans in the US and the Caribbean and further solidifies MSC Cruises as a major player in the North American market with another of our largest, most glamorous ships coming to the region.

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“In addition to delivering a state-of-the-art cruise experience, MSC World America exemplifies our commitment to sustainability with its advanced environmental technology.

“The ship will continue to elevate our guest experience in the Caribbean, and we look forward to raising the bar on what travellers can expect, whether they’re loyal cruisers or enjoying their first vacation at sea.”

The MSC Cruises fleet is expected to expand to 23 vessels by 2025, with options for six additional vessels by 2030.