Geneva-based MSC Cruises, the largest privately-owned global line in the world and leader in the Mediterranean, yesterday (June 22) cut the first steel for MSC Seaside - its new generation of ship, representing "a key pillar" in a 7-ship investment plan for €5.1 billion euro, that will double the capacity of the company by 2022. The ceremony was held at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcodne, Italy.
MSC Seaside will be sailing year-round Caribbean cruises out of Miami. MSC Cruises’ Miami-based operations (including from autumn 2015 the 139.072-ton MSC Divina), will benefit from the newly expanded and renovated berth and terminal at PortMiami, which signifies the ambitions of the company in North American market.
The new 154,000-ton cruise ship will be the biggest ever built by Fincantieri, with capacity for up to 5,179 passengers. MSC Seaside is set for launch in November 2017, and will be named the following month in Miami, Florida - the first time an MSC Cruises’ vessel is christened in the USA.
To reflect the high demand for such an unique product, sales for voyages on MSC Seaside start two years ahead of her inaugural season, in November 2015.
MSC Seaside will benefit from a leading-edge technology and a 360° seafront promenade. The ship will boast the most originally-designed and interactive aqua park at sea with attractions for all ages and five water slides.
The new ship will have cluster cabins for groups and families, luxury suites with jacuzzis and hanging gardens. The Seaside will also feature an enhanced Yacht Club with private lounge, pool and solarium. The public spaces will offer breathtaking views with panoramic exterior lifts and a 2-deck glass-walled atrium.
MSC Seaside is the first of two identical cruise ships on order from Fincantieri, Italy. The second vessel will enter into service in 2018. There is also an option for an additional Seaside-gen ship to be delivered by 2021.
MSC Seaside will be between the most technologically-advanced cruise ships on the market, setting new standards for eco-friendliness with Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) systems, garbage treatment plants, scrubbers to reduce emissions, optimized hull lines, antifouling paints, propellers and rudders to reduce fuel consumption, as well as LED lighting for lower energy demand and fuel consumption together with advanced heat recovery plants. The ship is also fully compliant with "Safe Return to Port" requirement.
MSC Cruises, which has grown by 800% since 2004, reported a turnover of €1.5 billion in 2014 when it carried 1.67 million guests. In addition, the line is forecasting additional 10% growth in 2015.