It seems as of nothing can stop the break neck expansion of MSC Cruises these days.
With the newly stretched MSC Armonia now back in service and cruising around the Canary Islands, near sister MSC Sinfonia has taken her place at the Fincantieri shipyard for her own ‘chop and stretch’ extension.
The ship is to be followed by her two near siblings, MSC Opera and MSC Lirica, both of which will be similarly stretched and enhanced before the end of the year. This will round out the ambitious, so called ‘Renaissance’ programme.
The scale of this four ship operation, carried out over the course of a calendar year, has no equal in the history of the cruise industry. It is a quite staggering achievement and, incredibly, it has been massively overlooked by the industry.
Meanwhile, reports are circulating that the Italian line will exercise a series of option already bruited.
A third ship will come from the Fincantieri yard to join the two mega ships already under construction there. Meanwhile, the two ships under construction at STX France may be complemented with another pair, of similar design.
If these reports are, indeed, true, then that will give MSC Cruises a mind boggling total of seven new ships under construction.
The sum total of these new builds, plus the increased capacity of the extended quartet, should be to expand the company’s passenger volume to around 3.4 million passengers a year from 2022, around double the current, already impressive level.
Ever since it’s modest introduction with a trio of second hand ships in the mid 1990’s, MSC Cruises has expanded massively in both style and scope. The line is currently led by the splendid, 133,000 ton Fantasia class vessels. The on board experience is essentially Italian, with many passengers also coming from France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
In summer, the fleet offers a wide array of itineraries in Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, and also the Adriatic. Winter sees additional deployments to the Caribbean and South America, the Canary Islands, the United Arab Emirates, and even South Africa.
Stay tuned for updates.