MSC Revving Up The Battle Of Big Boats

In the cruise-ship world of big-bigger-biggest, MSC is getting into the game. The Italian-based cruise line — its acronym stands for Mediterranean Shipping Company — is adding two ships to the fleet over the next five years.

One of them will be the biggest ship…drum roll, please…ever built by a European shipowner.

Nobody's challenging Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the world's biggest cruise ships for going on four years, and it appears nobody has any plans to do so in the foreseeable future. But if reports about the size of the MSC ships are accurate, they'll be No. 3 and No. 4.

The Royal Caribbean twins carry about 6,000 passengers when full. The MSC ships, as-yet unnamed, are looking at capacities of 5,700 each. Given that most cruisers Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 10.06.34 PMstill come from North America, is MSC planning to place at least one of them in Caribbean waters in the winter? This year, the MSC Divina (a new ship) became the line's first vessel to spend the whole year in the Caribbean.

It should be added that reality is still some time away.

Starting at the end game, 2017 and 2019 are planned delivery dates. Before that can be verified, the hull must be started, and that won't happen until sometime next year. Before that can begin, financing must be secured for each of the $1-billion ships.

Oh yes, if all goes according to plan, MSC has an option on two more giants after that.

Quickly now…how many of you know that MSC Cruises already has 12 ships in its fleet?

Today at Oceania's upgrading 60 per cent of its fleet 

Norwegian Dawn
7 nights
May 30, 2014
Boston (return): Bermuda
Inside: $729
Cost per day: $104


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