Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has started construction on MSC Cruises’ first new-generation ship, MSC Seaside, following the steel-cutting ceremony at its shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
Equipped with 2,070 guest cabins, the 323m-long and 41m-wide ship will have a 154,000 gross tonnage and accommodate up to 5,300 passengers and 1,413 crew members.
MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: "It is a ship that revolutionises industry standards, with an audacious and innovative design that brings guests and sea closer.
"Moreover, MSC Seaside represents a key pillar in a €5.1bn, seven-ship investment plan that will double our capacity by 2022."
The new vessel is scheduled to start operation in November 2017.
MSC Cruises 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."
Fincantieri received a €2.1bn contract from MSC to build two, new cruise ships in May last year.
The second vessel in the series is expected to be delivered in 2018, when MSC’s current fleet will increase to 14 vessels. In addition, the company has the option for an additional cruise ship to be delivered by 2021.
In March, GE Marine received a contract to power the new Seaside ships.
Under this contract, GE will deliver on-board technology that includes propulsion control, along with transformers, VFDs core components, slow-speed propulsion motors and distribution transformers.
Image: MSC Cruises’ Seaside ship with 2,070 guest cabins. Photo: courtesy of MSC Crociere SA.