MSC Cruises has confirmed an order to build two more World Class vessels and signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a further two ship classes which use green technologies.

The agreements with Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, are worth in excess of €6.5 billion and were signed at a ceremony at the Matignon Palace, the French Prime Minster’s official residence.

The two World Class ships confirmed today will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). They will be the third and fourth in the class and will be delivered in 2025 and 2027.

Chantiers de l’Atlantique will also develop a new prototype class of LNG-powered ship. Four new vessels in this ship class will be built between 2025 and 2030.

The shipyard signed a second memorandum of understanding to build another new ship class which could use wind power or other ‘green’ technologies in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s environmental goals for 2030 and 2050.

The line has not revealed how many ships will be built in this class.

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Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, said: “The three agreements signed today extend our investment plan up to 2030.

“They stem from an exceptional partnership, with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, that has already delivered 15 highly-innovative innovative cruise ships over the past two decades and will see many more vessels come to life at Saint-Nazaire’s docks in the next 10 years.

“They also confirm this industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability, in this case helping the French national industry further position itself as a world leader in the development of next-generation technologies and other solutions.”

Chantiers de l’Atlantique general manager Laurent Castaing said: “We are really proud and happy to have built such an outstanding relationship with MSC Cruises, based on mutual trust and driven by the spirit of innovation.

“We are both committed to shaping the cruise of tomorrow and to developing ship concepts which go far beyond current environmental standards.

“Our companies have already been working together for twenty years and these new projects allow us to look enthusiastically to the future.”

From 2023, MSC will also launch four 500-cabin luxury vessels – costing more than €2 billion. The ships will be built at Italian shipyard Fincantieri.