MSC 'mega cruise ship' to carry world-record number of passengers

Cruise control

MSC's 'World Class' cruise ships, setting sail from 2022

Pól Ó Conghaile

MSC Cruises has firmed up an order on two cruise ships capable of carrying 6,850 passengers apiece, it says.

The 'World Class' cruise ships will feature 2,760 cabins and a maximum occupancy of 6,850 guests, the highest passenger capacity in the global cruise fleet.

The ships' futuristic “Y” shape structure will enable panoramic sea views and increase the proportion of balcony cabins, according to the cruise line.

Other innovations include family-friendly villages, a panoramic aft, and a glass pool lounge. They will be powered by new generation LNG-powered engines.

At 330m in length, the 200,000 GRT ships will not be the world's largest - that honour goes to Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, at 362m.

Harmony has a slightly smaller passenger capacity, however - at 6,780.

MSC signed its memorandum of understanding with shipbuilding company STX France this week, firming up the order of the tw,o 200,000 GRT 'mega cruise ships'.

MSC's new vessels will be delivered in 2022 and 2024, it says, with the options for a further two 'World Class' cruise ships in 2025 and 2026.

The signing, in Saint-Nazaire, took place in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, and Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy.

It comes as MSC prepares to christen its MSC Meraviglia, a new, 5,714-passenger vessel that will be the biggest to come into service in 2017.

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