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Monfalcone, Italy, 22 June – Geneva-based MSC Cruises S.A., the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line and market leader in the Mediterranean, and industry-leading shipyard Fincantieri, today cut the first steel for its new generation of ship, MSC Seaside.

In a ceremony held at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and Chief Executive Officer, Gianni Onorato, along with Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Bono launched the cutting of the first steel of MSC Seaside.  

MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “Today, we have witnessed the beginning of the work on an extraordinary new ship, MSC Seaside. It is a ship that revolutionizes industry standards, with an audacious and innovative design that brings guests and sea closer. It is also testament to MSC Cruises’ constant focus on innovation, as it is the fifth prototype ship we designed.”   

Moreover, MSC Seaside represents a key pillar in a €5.1 billion euro, seven-ship investment plan that will double our capacity by 2022. It also steps up our investment in Italy and marks our return to partnership with Fincantieri, which is something that makes me particularly proud. In fact, the building of the new Seaside ships as well as our other current project with Fincantieri – the €200 million Renaissance Programme – are just one example of how a global organization like MSC, of which MSC Cruises is part, plays a key role in the Italian economy.”    

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “This ceremony is unique for our Group and the Monfalcone shipyard. MSC Seaside will be the biggest ship ever built in our shipyards, as well as the first we have ever constructed for MSC Cruises, whose strength - like ours - lies in being a truly global player in its industry. In MSC Seaside we have developed a brand new and highly ambitious project, and we look forward to building it. In two years we will celebrate with MSC Cruises a magnificent ship of which we will all be deeply proud.” 

MSC Seaside will be based year-round in Miami to sail a wide range of Caribbean itineraries. In addition, MSC Cruises’ Miami-based cruise operations – which include from autumn 2015 the stunning 139.072 GRT MSC Divina - will benefit from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami, signifying the Company’s strong ambitions in the North American market and to providing guests with a best-in-class quality of services.  

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises CEO said: “For MSC Seaside, we chose a name that speaks of our vision for cruising in warm oceans and hot weathers, the proximity with the sea, the joy of travelling, discovering the wonders of sunny climates in a unique setting. We also call it “the ship that follows the sun” and it will offer a truly remarkable experience for families, sun worshippers and adventurers.”  

“Moreover, MSC Seaside will spearhead our campaign to expand our presence in North America. MSC Cruises has the unique opportunity to provide North American guests with an outstanding ‘Mediterranean Style Cruise’ experience, and guests from around the world a unique setting as it will sail to the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean.”  

With a gross tonnage of 154,000 GRT and the capacity for up to 5,179 guests, this new cruise ship will be the largest ever built by Fincantieri. The ship is set to debut in November 2017, and will be christened the following month in Miami – the first time an MSC Cruises’ ship is christened in the USA. Sales for cruises on MSC Seaside will start in November 2015, two years ahead of its inaugural season, to reflect the high demand for this unique product. 

Large, spacious and designed for the utmost comfort, MSC Seaside will benefit from a bold design and leading-edge technology while boasting a 360° seafront promenade. In addition, the ship will be characterized by the most interactive and originally-designed aqua park at sea with five water slides and attractions for all ages.  

The ship will feature cluster cabins for families and groups, luxury suites with private jacuzzis and hanging gardens. MSC Seaside will also boast an enhanced MSC Yacht Club with private solarium, lounge and pool. The public spaces of the ship will feature breathtaking views with a two-deck glass-walled atrium and panoramic exterior lifts. This ship will set a new standard in cruise holidays by seamlessly blending wide family offerings with distinct elegance, with a wide choice of indoor/outdoor dining and bars and beautifully designed entertainment spaces. 

MSC Seaside will be one of the most technologically-advanced ships on the market and represents the Company’s focused efforts on providing memorable cruising experiences to its guests. In this endeavour, it partners with multiple global brands that also stand for excellence in their fields. Proof of that can be seen in significant partnerships with global brands Lego and Chicco that further exemplify the Company’s commitment to creating unforgettable holidays for children and families. Another noteworthy partnership was struck with Italian restaurant brand Eataly, which adds high-end Italian cuisine based on exceptional ingredients to the fleet’s rich Mediterranean and international dining offering. An additional key partnership with Samsung saw the development of a pioneering virtual cruise ship experience to enable travel agents to use immersive technology to showcase our unique product to would-be clients. 

MSC Seaside is the first of two identical ships on order from Fincantieri, the second of which will be entered in to service in 2018. In addition, MSC Cruises has an option for an additional Seaside generation ship to be delivered by 2021. 

MSC Seaside and her sister ship will set new standards for eco-friendliness, featuring Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) systems to remove pollutants and hazardous substances from waste water, garbage treatment plants for highly efficient solid waste management, scrubbers to reduce emissions, antifouling paints, optimized hull lines, propellers and rudders to reduce drag and fuel consumption, but also LED lighting meaning lower energy demand and significantly lower fuel consumption as well as advanced heat recovery plants to feed fresh water, laundry, swimming pools and hot water. In addition, the ship is fully compliant with the Safe Return to Port requirement. 

The company, which grew by 800% 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 is forecasting an additional 10% growth for 2015.    

In other news, also two years ahead of its inaugural cruise, today marks the beginning of sales for cruises on MSC Meraviglia, MSC Cruises other new generation of ship. Set to debut in the summer of 2017, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Cruises’ most agile and innovative ship to-date, will homeport in three cities during its inaugural summer season in the Mediterranean: Barcelona, Genoa and Marseille. 

Link to download MSC Seaside renderings:

Link to download Gianni Onorato’s presentation: