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MSC Cruises Extends Fleet Expansion Plan up to 2030

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In a special ceremony held at the French Matignon Palace, MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique announced an extension of their partnership over the next decade and the future plans that will come from it.

The companies have signed off for the construction of MSC Cruises’ third and fourth LNG-powered MSC World Class ships, which should be completed by 2025 and 2027 respectively.

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The first of these four planned ships will be the first LNG-powered cruise ship built in France and will be the biggest ship operated by a European cruise line. It is under construction and is due to set sail in 2022.

In addition, MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique also signed two memorandums of understanding (MoU). The first MoU approves the development of a new prototype class of LNG-powered cruise ships under the MSC Cruises brand. The second MoU has the cruise line partnering with the shipyard to develop another prototype that explores the use of wind power.

MSC Cruises is committed to incorporating as many new energy solutions and environmental technologies to their fleets as possible, becoming the first major cruise line to achieve carbon-neutral fleet operations as of January 1, 2020.

However, these three contracts not only represent an advancement in eco-friendly technology aboard cruise ships, but they also represent an investment in excess of EUR 6.5 billion (or $7.2 billion USD) in the French economy.

According to the Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, Pierfrancesco Vago, “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 cruise ships over the past two decades and will see many more vessels come to life at Saint-Nazaire’s docks in the next ten 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.”

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Cruises

US Citizens Advised Against Taking Asian Cruises For Now

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Amidst the quarantines and concerns over the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, tourists have been seeking confirmation whether traveling by cruise is safe or not. Recently, the State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns U.S. citizens against traveling by cruise to or within Asia.

According to the CDC, it is recommended “that travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages to or within Asia. For most travelers, cruise ship travel is voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date.”

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

The advice stems from the numerous quarantines and restrictions due to the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, including the two cruise ship quarantines and a ship not allowed to disembark for several days earlier this month. Most cruise lines that sell to U.S. residents have already redeployed their ships that had been sailing in Asia.

The State Department said the outbreak is “a dynamic situation and U.S. citizens traveling by ship may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities.”

The State Department also went on to say that, despite the U.S. government evacuating hundreds of its citizens from Asia over the previous weeks, “repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.”

While it is encouraged for cruise-goers to avoid traveling Asian itineraries, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that cruising in other areas of the world is a “manageable risk.

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