MSC Cruises has announced that it has placed an order for two new ships from Aker Yards at St. Nazaire, France.
The announcement was made at a press conference today in Milan, attended by Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises worldwide, and Domenico Pellegrino, general manager of MSC Cruises, as well as Jacques Hardelay, general manager of Aker Yards France.
The new ships are due for delivery in 2011 and 2012 will be named MSC Meraviglia and MSC Favolosa, respectively. They will be the fifth and sixth sister ships in the Musica class. Both 2,550-passenger ships will weigh in at 93,000 tons and have 1,275 staterooms.
MSC Meraviglia and MSC Favolosa will bump the fleet total to 14 ships. The two ships will complete the development plan that MSC has put forth, which includes an investment of more than $7.7 billion between 2003 and 2009.
"The new orders are the result of a careful evaluation of trends in the cruise industry in recent years," said Domenico Pellegrino, general manager of MSC Cruises. "Over the first months of 2008, the cruise market grew by 13 percent while, in the same period, the company recorded an increase equal to 32 percent in terms of passengers. This result was achieved also thanks to the confidence that the sales channel has been showing us year after year. Based on these figures, we indeed foresee a rosy future for both the cruise sector and MSC Cruises."
MSC will take delivery of MSC Fantasia this December and MSC Splendida in June 2009. MSC Magnifica is slated for delivery in 2010.