Switzerland-based shipping company MSC Cruises and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri signed today the final contracts for the construction of four luxury cruise ships.

This announcement follows a memorandum of agreement inked between the two parties in October 2018.

The contracts, subject to shipowner financing, have a total value exceeding EUR 2 billion (USD 2.2 billion).

“With this now firm order, MSC is entering a new segment that bears significant potential globally,” Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC’s Cruises Division, said.

“Today’s announcement confirms our group’s ability and strength to convert the soft backlog into backlog. We are proud to have achieved this important goal in less than five months from the preliminary agreement,” Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer, commented.

All four vessels will have gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 tons and will feature the latest maritime and environmental technologies available.

Under the agreement, the first of the four ships will be delivered by spring 2023. The remaining three will come into service one per year over the following three years through 2026.

MSC is the cruises division of MSC Group, the world’s second largest transportation and logistics business. Since starting to work with Fincantieri in 2014, MSC also ordered four ships for its MSC Cruises brand, for EUR 3.2 billion.

The first two of these vessels, MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, are already in service. The next two vessels will be delivered in 2021 and 2023, with MSC Seashore already under construction at Fincantieri’s yard in Monfalcone.

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