JUNE 14, 2018 — MSC Cruises and STX France have signed an order for the construction of a fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship. Due to be delivered in 2023, this vessel will be equipped with a new generation of dual-fuel engines designed to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). She will also feature other innovative environmental technologies, including an advanced wastewater treatment system compliant with the world's most stringent regulatory standards, including IMO Resolution MEPC.227 for the Baltic Sea.
The agreement for the additional Meraviglia-Plus ship represents an additional investment of €900 million (about $1.06 billion).
The order was made at a ceremony held today at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard in the presence of Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy and Finance.
For the first time in its history, three cruise ships belonging to a single cruise brand are under simultaneous construction at the shipyard and today's ceremony marked three milestones: the steel cutting ceremony for the fourth Meraviglia class vessel, which MSC Cruises revealed will be named MSC Virtuosa; the coin ceremony for MSC Grandiosa; and the float-out of MSC Bellissima.
Before opening the valves to flood the dry dock for the MSC Bellissima float out Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises' Executive Chairman, said: "With the announcement of yet another new vessel, the 13th under our 10-year investment plan, we are affirming our commitment to sustainable growth for our company. I say this while three more next-generation MSC Cruises are now simultaneously under construction.
Mr Vago added, "Our fifth Meraviglia class cruise ship will bring a new generation of cutting-edge environmental technology to the market, benefiting from a new generation of LNG-powered engines. This will help us further reduce our environmental footprint and advance in our journey of constant improvement. She will be joined at sea by up to four world class LNG-powered ships, as part of our overall commitment to environmental stewardship through this and other next-generation technologies and solutions deployed fleet-wide."