Two New MSC Cruise Ships Reach Major Construction Milestones

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MSC Cruises’ goals of growing its fleet are coming to fruition. The cruise line, along with the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France, are celebrating construction milestones for MSC’s new World-class ships: MSC World America and MSC World Asia. 

The milestones were commemorated during a special press conference at the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. 

MSC World America Floats Out 

MSC World America, the second of MSC Cruises’ World-class ships, officially floated out at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The ceremony, which took place on April 7, is a huge construction milestone – as it’s the first time the 215,863-gross ton vessel has touched the water and no longer needs to be in a dry dock. 

“MSC World America is another example of the incredible professional partnership between us and the Chantiers de l’Atlantique with whom we have designed five distinct and innovative prototypes – the most recent being the ground-breaking World Class platform,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises. 

“With each and every ship we strive to improve and enhance not only the environmental technology but also new features that enrich the experience for the guest as we design for the future holiday experience,” added Vago. 

The future flagship of MSC’s World-Class fleet will now enter the final phase of construction, which will also be completed in France. The next big milestone for the ship will be the sea trials, where crew, shipyard officials, insurance company representatives, and other appropriate officials will supervise as the vessel completes various maneuvers at sea to be certified as sea-worthy. 

Also during the final phases of construction, workers will also put the finishing touches on the decorations and decor. MSC Cruises has already shared that the new mega-ship will be divided into seven unique districts, which include both family-friendly and adult-only spaces, and a comedy club, which is something no other MSC ship has.

MSC World America Float Out
MSC World America Float Out

MSC Cruises is targeting an April 2025 launch for the 6,762-passenger ship, giving workers about a year to complete work. The ship’s naming ceremony is scheduled for April 9, 2025, at MSC Cruises’ dedicated terminal at PortMiami, which is also the world’s largest cruise terminal.  

The naming ceremony will be followed by a short sailing to Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the cruise line’s private island destination and nature sanctuary in the Bahamas. As of the time of publication, that sailing is not available for booking and it will likely only be open to VIPs, members of the press, and travel agents, as is common practice in the travel industry.

But rest assured, anyone who wants to sail on MSC World America will get the chance to when she begins offering 7-day cruises throughout the Caribbean from her Miami homeport at the end of April 2025. 

Constructions Officially Begins on MSC World Asia

MSC World Asia, which is meant to become the third World-Class ship when it’s delivered in 2026, is officially in the works at France’s Chantiers de l’Atlantique. The ship has just had its steel-cutting ceremony, which is essentially the cruise ship equivalent of a groundbreaking ceremony on land and signals the start of production.

Up next will be the ship’s keel-laying ceremony, which is when the bottom of the ship is lowered into the dry dock. Typically, gold coins are also laid in the keel for good luck.

MSC World Asia Steel Cutting Ceremony
MSC World Asia Steel Cutting Ceremony

Read Also: LNG Cruise Ship: Top Pros and Cons

While not many details are known about MSC World Asia just yet, she is expected to be able to accommodate over 5,400 guests and be 215,863-gross tons. It’s also unknown where she will sail on her inaugural itineraries, but the cruise line has made it clear that the ship’s design and unique experiences will be influenced by the continent she’s named after.

MSC’s World-Class: Big And Green Cruise Ships

Once complete, MSC’s World-class fleet will be the second largest class of cruise ships in the world, after Royal Caribbean’s Icon-class. MSC World Europa, the first ship in the fleet, entered service in December of 2022. MSC World America and MSC World Asia will join the fleet in the next few years, before an unnamed fourth ship is expected to complete the set of four in 2027. 

Although each ship in the new World-Class will be unique in the way they pay homage to the continents they are named for, they will all share a signature plumb bow, 22 decks of fun, 420,000 square feet of public space, more than 2,600 cabins and suites, and MSC Cruises’ largest ever Yacht Clubs.

MSC World Europa Cruise Ship
MSC World Europa Cruise Ship (Photo Courtesy: MSC Cruises)

But not only are these some of the biggest ships sailing the high seas, they are also among the most environmentally friendly, too. MSC Cruises has been a pioneer in introducing sustainability within the cruise industry, and is well on its way to meeting the International Maritime Organization’s objective of a 40% carbon reduction by 2030. The cruise line is also committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. 

All of the World-class ships are powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), which offers immediate greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to more conventional fuel sources. The ships will also be ready to use renewable fuel sources like Bio and Synthetic LNG as soon as they become commercially available.

Additionally, the new ships will also be fitted with shore power connectivity, which allows their engines to be switched off while calling on ports that provide shore power. 

Currently, MSC World Europa and MSC World America deliver some of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry, according to the International Maritime Organization’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). As technology continues to evolve rapidly, MSC Cruises plans to make MSC World Asia even more energy-efficient than its sister ships. 

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