MSC Cruises will confirm a double newbuild order with Fincantieri as soon as Thursday, May 22, according to multiple sources in Italy speaking with Cruise Industry News.
The two ships are suggested to be in the 152,000-ton range, according to one person familiar with the project that was not authorized to speak on the record.
MSC recently signed a two ship order with STX France, with deliveries in 2017 and 2019 (and two options), while at the time Fincantieri was still working with the line on potential newbuild projects on top of the Lirica-class stretching.
The 152,000-ton, 310-meter long, 40-meter wide ships will the biggest built by Fincantieri to date, and the value of the order is around 1.4 billion euro. The first delivery could be as soon as 2017, and the contract could have a two-ship option.
Adding at least four more new megaships before 2020 would easily make MSC the third biggest operator, and position it closer to moving in on Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International in annual passenger capacity.
Fincantieri is also expected to announce a two-ship order for Oceania shortly.
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