Tuesday, November 29, 2005

MSC Adding Two More ...

Fantasia & Serenata Now Official: Italy-based MSC Cruises is adding two 133,500-ton vessels to its fleet, slated for delivery in 2008 and 2009, making the company the world's largest European cruise line. Announcement from Paris came as Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises, and Patrick Boisser, president of Alstom Marine, signed off on a nearly $1.2 billion construction contract. The newbuilds will increase the MSC Cruises fleet to 11 ships by 2009. MSC Fantasia, will join the MSC fleet in June 2008, and MSC Serenata will be delivered in March 2009, and the line is considering bringing one of the new ships to North America in winter. "This bold move significantly expands the presence MSC Cruises has in the Mediterranean and solidifies its position as the top European cruise company," says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA. Each will have 1,650 staterooms, of which 1,260 will have private balconies. Two newbuilds under construction are MSC Musica, debuting in spring 2006, and MSC Orchestra, arriving in 2007. MSC currently has seven ships MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Opera, MSC Melody, MSC Rhapsody, and MSC Monterey and sails the Mediterranean (year-round), Northern Europe, Caribbean, South America and South Africa.