Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Group and Italy’s Onorato Shipping Group (Moby Lines) have signed a contract with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) on the construction of up to eight luxury Ropax ships.
The deal includes four firm ships plus two more options for two additional ships (4+2+2).
The ships will be built by Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) and China Shipbuilding Trading Co. (CSTC), which are part of CSSC.
The LNG-ready roll-on/roll-off passenger cruise ferries feature 229.50 meters in length, 3,765 lane meters, 32 meters in width and will have 534 cabins for up to 2,500 people.
The first and third ships from the batch are set to be delivered to MSC’s Italian subsidiary Grandi Navi Veloci, which is engaged in ferry business, while Onorato Shipping will take delivery of the remaining two. The vessels will be able to reach a speed of about 23.5 knots and have been classified by RINA.
The first vessel will come into service in 2020.
“With this signature, we have taken another important step towards the creation of a ROPAX class of ships, something inconceivable until a short time ago, something that is avant-garde and projected towards the future. These two new vessels will not only be the biggest RO-PAX ever built but will also have comfort and technology that will be difficult to copy and we are sure that they will represent the benchmark for the entire sector,” Achille Onorato of Onorato Armatori said.
The contract was signed on February 11 in Beijing, China.