MSC Seaside

MSC Seaside is a Seaside-class cruise ship currently owned and operated by MSC Cruises. At 153,516 GT, she would become the largest cruise ship ever to be constructed by the Italian shipbuilder, Fincantieri, and the 14th largest cruise ship in the world, behind Norwegian Epic, upon her delivery in December 2017.[8] She is the lead vessel of the cruise line's Seaside-class and has sailed year-round to the Caribbean from PortMiami since her debut.[9]

MSC Seaside leaving PortMiami
Name: MSC Seaside
Owner: MSC Cruises
Operator: MSC Cruises
Port of registry: Valletta,  Malta
Route: Caribbean
Ordered: 25 May 2014[1]
Builder: Fincantieri (Monfalcone, Italy)
Cost: €700 million[1]
Yard number: 6256[2]
Laid down: 4 March 2016[3]
Launched: 26 November 2016[4]
Sponsored by: Sophia Loren
Christened: 21 December 2017[5]
Completed: 29 November 2017[6]
Acquired: 29 November 2017[7]
In service: 2017–present
Status: In service
General characteristics
Type: Seaside-class cruise ship
Tonnage: 153,516 GT[2]
Length: 323 m (1,060 ft)[2]
Beam: 41 m (135 ft)[2]
Draft: 8.55 m (28.1 ft)[2]
Depth: 12.1 m (40 ft)[8]
Decks: 18
Installed power: 62,400 kW (83,700 hp) (Total power)[2]
  • 2 × 14,400 kW (19,300 hp) Wärtsilä 12V46F[2]
  • 2 × 16,800 kW (22,500 hp) Wärtsilä 12V46F[2]
  • 21.3 knots (24.5 mph) (Service speed)[8]
  • 23 knots (26 mph) (Maximum speed)[2]
  • 4,132 passengers (double occupancy)[8]
  • 5,119 passengers (maximum capacity)[8]
Crew: 1,413[8]


Planning and construction

On 22 May 2014, MSC Cruises announced that they had ordered two new 154,000 GT cruise ships from Fincantieri.[1] The new order was based on the Seaside prototype, with each ship costing €700 million each.[1]

On 17 March 2015, MSC Cruises announced that the new ship would be named MSC Seaside, lending her name to the class of the sister ships that would follow.[10] It was also announced that she would be sailing year-round from PortMiami to the Caribbean.[10]

Construction officially began on MSC Seaside with the celebration of the first steel-cutting on 22 June 2015 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.[11] On 4 March 2016, her keel-laying was performed, in which the first 550-ton block of the ship was laid, marking the beginning of the hull's assembly.[3] Her coin ceremony was celebrated on 21 April 2016.[12] The ship was floated out of the shipyard on 26 November 2016.[4] She performed her first set of sea trials for 72 hours in late-August 2017 before finishing her final outfitting.[13]

Delivery and christening

MSC Seaside was delivered to MSC Cruises on 29 November 2017 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone.[7] Her madrina, Asya Aponte, the granddaughter of Gianluigi Aponte, MSC's founder and chairman, performed the honors at the delivery ceremony when she cut the ribbon to let the bottle of champagne strike the hull.[7] The ship then departed the shipyard for Trieste and officially entered service on 1 December 2017 upon leaving Trieste for her 22-night maiden voyage, a transatlantic to PortMiami for her christening.[7][14]

MSC Seaside was christened on 21 December 2017 by her godmother, Sophia Loren, at PortMiami's Terminal B, making her the first MSC cruise ship to be christened in North America.[5] The ceremony was hosted by Mario Lopez and featured performances by Andrea Bocelli and Ricky Martin.[5]

Design and engineering

The overall architecture of MSC Seaside is based on Fincantieri's Project Mille.[15][16] Project Mille's prototype featured the diesel generators at midship, a wider hull, a narrower superstructure, and a relocation of heavy-weight public areas to lower decks to lower the ship's center of gravity.[17][18] MSC Seaside's current design reflects these features by including a midship engine room and funnels, a wider boardwalk promenade along both sides of the ship, and a wider aft promenade deck that houses a large pool complementing those located on the top decks.[19] Other features included on MSC Seaside is a water park custom-designed by WhiteWater West on the top deck and the MSC Yacht Club luxury area spanning five decks, which hosts passengers paying a premium for enhanced accommodations and amenities.[19]


MSC Seaside has 18 decks and a length of 323 metres (1,060 ft), a draft of 8.8 metres (29 ft), a depth of 12.1 metres (40 ft), and a beam of 41 metres (135 ft).[8] The maximum passenger capacity is 5,119, with a crew complement of 1,413.[8] She is also powered by a diesel-electric genset system, with four Wärtsilä engines driving GE Marine electrical equipment.[8] Main propulsion is via two propellers, each driven by a 20 megawatts (27,000 hp) electric motor; four forward and three aft 3.1 megawatts (4,200 hp) thrusters allow for close-quarters maneuvering.[8] The system gives the vessel a service speed of 21.3 knots (24.5 mph).[8]

Service history


MSC Seaside departed for her 14-night inaugural cruise on 23 December 2017 from Miami, which visited Antigua and Barbuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel in Mexico.[5] Since then, she has been deployed to the Caribbean from PortMiami year-round.[9]

Incidents and accidents

On 17 November 2018, seven crew members were arrested at PortMiami after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found 7 kilograms of cocaine and a total of $100,000 in their cabins and in their possession. According to officers, the crew members were recruited by a fellow crew member to smuggle cocaine from Jamaica to the United States.[20][21]


  1. Backwell, George (2014-05-25). "MSC Cruises Order Two 154,000 gt Cruise Ships". MarineLink.
  3. Kalosh, Anne (2016-03-04). "Fincantieri's Monfalcone lays MSC Seaside keel". Seatrade Cruise News.
  4. "MSC Seaside Floated Out at Fincantieri". Cruise Industry News. 26 November 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  5. Stieghorst, Tom (2017-12-21). "MSC Seaside christened in all-star affair". Travel Weekly.
  6. "MSC Seaside (9745366)". Leonardo Info. Registro Italiano Navale. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  7. "MSC Cruises Takes Delivery of MSC Seaside, Announces 2 More Ships in New Class". Cruise Critic. 2017-11-29.
  8. "Evolution in cruise ship design from Italy". The Motorship. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  9. Tobin, Rebecca (2019-10-08). "MSC Cruises goes in big on the U.S. market". Travel Weekly.
  10. "MSC Cruises announces first "Seaside" class ship to sail from PortMiami". Miami-Dade County. 2015-03-17.
  11. "MSC Cruises Cuts Steel On New Ship, MSC Seaside". Travel Agent Central. 2015-06-22.
  12. "Coin Ceremony for MSC Seaside at Fincantieri". Cruise Industry News. 2016-04-21.
  13. "First Look: MSC Seaside Sea Trials". 2017-08-29.
  15. Leppert, Jason (2017-04-05). "What's Trending in Future Cruise Ship Architecture?". Travel Pulse.
  17. "Summer 2013: Technical: Project Mille". 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  18. "Fincantieri New Ship Proposal Leaks". 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  19. Stieghorst, Tom (2017-02-06). "Despite its size, MSC Seaside's design connects guests with the ocean". Travel Weekly.
  20. Mngadi, Mxolisi (2018-12-10). "Dodgy transactions lead to arrests of 4 SA women for cocaine smuggling in the US". News24.
  21. Dolven, Taylor (2018-11-26). "Seven cruise ship crew members tried to smuggle cocaine into PortMiami, feds say". Miami Herald.

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