msc newbuild 1msc newbuild 1MSC Cruises have just announced that they orders two prototype ships from Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard. CIN, once again, was spot on calling this.

The ships appear to be the rumored Project Mille that Fincantieri talked about at Cruise Shipping Miami this year.

Here’s a refresher of the project.

The rest of the press release is below:

from MSC:

Today MSC Cruises signed a contract with Fincantieri for the construction of two new cruise ships, with an option for one more. The two ships will join MSC Cruises’ fleet, currently counting 12 ships.

The signature took place at the Palazzo Chigi in Rome between MSC Cruises and Fincantieri in the presence of the Executive Chairman of MSC CruisesPierfrancesco Vago, the CEO of MSC Cruises, Gianni Onorato, and the CEO of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono.

The new prototype will be named “Seaside” and will be the largest cruise ship ever built by Fincantieri. Its innovative features will make it unique in the shipbuilding industry. The two ships will lead the way for a new generation of cruise ships that will be completely different from an architectural point of view.

“From the moment we started talking with Fincantieri, we had in mind to design and build two completely new ships, revolutionary in their structure, unlike anything that exists on the market today” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises. “Seaside is a futuristic prototype because of its structure, shape and versatility. Working closely with Fincantieri we are getting ready for the new and compelling challenge that the construction of these ships represents. It will be a real revolution in the world’s cruise market, an excellent product for its unique and innovative architectural features and cutting-edge technology.”

The two new ships will cost €700 million each, and will be funded with the support of the insurance and financial company SACE. The two ships will be delivered to Gianluigi Aponte’s company at different times: the first in November 2017, the second in May 2018.

With a length of 323 metres, a width of 41 metres and a height of 70 metres, the new ships will have a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons and will accommodate up to 5,300 passengers plus 1,413 crew members. The ships will boast 2,070 guest cabins759 for crew members, and 43,500 square metres of public areas available. Innovative in design and versatility, the new ships will be able to dock in any port around the world.