MSC Cruises announced the conclusion of the legal process that finalizes the order and confirms construction of a new ‘Fantasia’ class cruise ship,  MSC Fantastica, U32, by STX France making it the 12th ship in its fleet.

An important factor in the success of the project was the financial backing provided by French financial institutions, and especially by Coface, the French Export Credit Agency, making it possible for the vessel to be delivered as required by MSC Cruises by the end of spring 2012.

According to Jacques Hardelay, General Manager of STX France, he’s pleased with the contract being confirmed. “We look forward to continuing the long-standing relationship between the teams of MSC Cruises and STX France for the successful delivery of this magnificent vessel,” said Hardelay.

MSC Fantastica will build upon the success of the ‘Fantasia’ prototype, offering a unique experience for guests in its class thanks to innovative features such as the MSC Yacht Club, exclusive ship-within-a-ship area onboard, for unprecedented levels of privacy and personalized service.

Pierfrancesco Vago, worldwide chief-executive-officer for MSC Cruises, said, “We are delighted at the confirmation of this important investment--a sign of the success of our ambitious growth strategy. Together with STX France, we are focused on further enhancing MSC Cruises' leading positioning within the world’s cruise industry.