MSC Cruises would not confirm reports of a letter of intent having been signed with Chantiers De L'Atlantique for two new post-Panamax ships, for deliveries in 2008 and 2009. 

According to the yard, however, a 1,600-cabin prototype is on the drawing board with a passenger capacity of more than 4,000. 

Also, MSC General Director Domenico Pellegrino told Cruise Industry News that "looking ahead, he can envision larger ships," noting that bigger ships offer better financial performance.