MSC Cruises to Debut Seaside Class in 2017
MSC Cruises announced that the first of its next generation Seaside class of ships, set to debut in November 2017, will be named MSC Seaside and sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean.
Following the first ship's delivery from the shipyard, MSC Seaside will make her way to Miami for MSC Cruises' first ever christening ceremony in the U.S. to take place in late 2017.
"The Seaside class of ships is part of MSC Cruises' $5.3 billion fleet expansion plan that will allow the company to double its capacity by 2022," said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, noting that the announcement is the company’s first related to the company's newbuilds.
With a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons and the ability to accommodate up to 4,140 guests at double occupancy, MSC Seaside will be the largest cruise ship ever built by Fincantieri shipyards. The ship will offer a vast range of itineraries from Miami to the Caribbean.
"MSC Cruises has the unique opportunity to provide North American guests with a 'Mediterranean Style Cruise' experience that no other line is able to offer, and guests from around the world a unique setting as it sails to the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean," Onorato added. "Since bringing MSC Divina to Miami in November 2013, we've seen significant demand from consumers in the product, excellent support from our travel agent partners and the growing need for additional MSC Cruises' ships in the market."
As part of a first look at what MSC Seaside will offer on board, the company also unveiled that the ship will boast an aqua park at sea with five water slides and other attractions. The park is being built by WhiteWater West Industries of Canada. The ship will also feature a ropes course adventure trail.
MSC Cruises operates a fleet of 12 modern ships cruising year-round in the Mediterranean and seasonally in the French Antilles, northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, South Africa, South America, as well as in Dubai, the Emirates and Oman. The company currently sails seasonally in the Caribbean but will sail year-round in the region as of 2017.
The company, which grew by 800 percent since 2004, carried 1.67 million guests in 2014 and reported strong financial results with a turnover of $1.5 billion. In addition, MSC Cruises said it is forecasting an additional 10 percent growth for 2015.
In 2014, as part of its $5.3 billion expansion plan, MSC Cruises ordered two ships from Italy's Fincantieri, and has an option for one more ship. MSC Seaside has a planned delivery for November 2017 and the second ship in the class will be delivered May 2018.
MSC Cruises also announced that its Miami-based cruise operations will benefit from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami.