MSC Cruises has 21 ships currently in service in 2023, with one more being launched this year which will bring the total number of ships in the fleet to 22.
With so many ships, it can be tricky to know which one to choose. When you see a particular cruise advertised, it’s good to know if it’s on one of the newer, bigger ships or an older, smaller one. This can help you to work out if the cruise you want to book is good value for money.
Even regular cruisers can get mixed up about which ship is which, so I’ve created this handy guide to MSC Cruises ships, with tables to order the MSC ships by size, year and class.
MSC Ships By Size
The following table shows MSC Cruises ships ordered by size, largest to smallest…
|Ship||Gross Tonnage||Passengers||Length (Metres)||Decks||Guest Decks|
|MSC World Europa||215,863||6,762||333||21||16|
Gross tonnage is a measurement of the overall internal volume of a ship. It’s one of the best ways to measure the size of a cruise ship.
The passenger number is based on how many passengers each cruise ship can accommodate at maximum occupancy. That would mean that all the extra beds are in use.
In reality, ships don’t cruise at maximum occupancy because sometimes you will have just two people in a cabin and so they won’t use the sofa bed or Pullman beds.
How big are MSC cruise ships?
MSC Cruises’ ships range in size from 248 metres long to 333 metres long. Each ship can accommodate between 2,520 and 6,762 passengers over 13 to 21 decks.
Compared to other mainstream cruise lines, MSC Cruises’ ships are quite average in size, with some mega-ships, some large ships and a few medium-sized ships.
MSC Cruises has no small ships. However, in 2023, the MSC Group will launch a new cruise line called Explora Journeys. This will feature only small, luxury ships, the first of which will be Explora I.
Which MSC Cruises ship is the biggest?
The biggest MSC Cruises ship is the newest ship, MSC World Europa, which launched in November 2022. This new World-class mega-ship can accommodate up to 6,762 guests with 21 decks.
MSC World Europa was used as a World Cup Cruise Ship Hotel in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The Yacht Club area of the ship provided accommodation for the family members of the players while the rest of the ship offered luxury accommodation for fans.
MSC World Europa is the sixth biggest cruise ship in the world, behind Royal Caribbean’s five Oasis-class ships. A close runner-up, MSC World Europa is only around 5% smaller than these record-breaking mega-ships.
Prior to the launch of MSC World Europa, MSC Cruises’ largest ships were MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa.
These virtually identical sister ships are 331 metres long and can accommodate up to 6,334 passengers. They each have 19 decks, 15 of which are accessible to passengers.
Are bigger cruise ships better?
Which size of ship is the best is a matter of personal preference and each has its advantages. For some people, bigger is always better, whereas other people will only choose to cruise on small or medium-sized ships.
Bigger ships tend to be newer and have more features and attractions on board, this can also mean that cruise tickets cost more.
Smaller ships have their advantages in that they tend to offer more port-intensive itineraries as they can access some ports which larger ships cannot.
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MSC Ships By Year
The following table shows MSC Cruises ships from newest to oldest…
|MSC World America (coming soon)||2024*|
|MSC Euribia (coming soon)||2023*|
|MSC World Europa||2022|
Which is the newest MSC Cruises ship?
The newest MSC Cruises ship currently in service is MSC World Europa. This was used as a World Cup hotel ship in Qatar, prior to its maiden voyage in December 2022. MSC World Europa is the first in MSC’s new LNG-powered World Class of ships.
Future MSC Cruises ships
Several new MSC cruise ships are currently being built. The Meraviglia-class MSC Euribia will set sail in June 2023.
In 2025, we can expect to see a sister-ship to MSC World Europa with the name of MSC World America. Third and fourth World-class ships will follow in 2026 and 2027.
MSC Ships By Class
In the MSC Cruises fleet, the ships are grouped into classes. Each ship in a class is very similar, with a few small differences on board.
The following table shows MSC Cruises ships grouped by class…
|MSC World America*||World class|
|MSC World Europa||World class|
|MSC Euribia*||Meraviglia Plus class|
|MSC Virtuosa||Meraviglia Plus class|
|MSC Grandiosa||Meraviglia Plus class|
|MSC Bellissima||Meraviglia class|
|MSC Meraviglia||Meraviglia class|
|MSC Seascape||Seaside EVO class|
|MSC Seashore||Seaside EVO class|
|MSC Seaview||Seaside class|
|MSC Seaside||Seaside class|
|MSC Preziosa||Fantasia class|
|MSC Divina||Fantasia class|
|MSC Splendida||Fantasia class|
|MSC Fantasia||Fantasia class|
|MSC Magnifica||Musica class|
|MSC Poesia||Musica class|
|MSC Orchestra||Musica class|
|MSC Musica||Musica class|
|MSC Opera||Lirica class|
|MSC Lirica||Lirica class|
|MSC Sinfonia||Lirica class|
|MSC Armonia||Lirica class|
Seaside EVO class
MSC Cruises had a new class of ship for 2021, the Seaside EVO-class. Beginning with the launch of MSC Seashore in August 2021, Seaside EVO- class ships are slightly larger than Seaside-class ships.
Ultra Luxury class
In the spring of 2023, MSC will launch the first of a new class of small, ultra-luxury cruise ships. These six new ships, built over five years, will be the smallest in the fleet at around a third the size of MSC Grandiosa. These won’t be part of the MSC Cruises fleet, instead, they will fall under a new sister brand called Explora Journeys.
MSC’s Ultra Luxury Class ships will be aimed at guests who enjoy the MSC Yacht Club, offering a premium experience for wealthy guests who want the best of the best. They will be named Explora I to Explora VI.
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MSC Cruises has ships of various sizes, with the largest ships being almost three times the size of the smallest ones in terms of volume (gross tonnage). As with all cruise lines, ships have got bigger over the years and the newest ships tend to be larger.
If you prefer smaller, more intimate ships, then look out for the MSC Group’s new ultra-luxury ships in the Explora Journeys brand. The first one will launch in 2023, offering a boutique, small-ship experience for discerning cruisers.
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