MSC Cruises Ships by Size, Age and Class (Updated 2022)

MSC Grandiosa
MSC Grandiosa

MSC Cruises has an active fleet of 19 ships currently. They plan to launch a further two more ships in 2022 (MSC Seascape and MSC World Europa) which will bring them to 22 ships – one of the largest cruise line fleets in the world.

Introduction to MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is a Swiss-Italian cruise line, founded back in 1989 in Naples, Italy.

A sibling company of the giant Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), MSC has strong roots connecting it with the sea dating back to 1675.

Since 1989, MSC Cruises has built a formidable fleet of cruise ships, with the last few years adding several brand new ships per year on average and an order book with many more to come.

Whilst the cruise shutdown of 2020 stopped MSC from sailing briefly, they were quick to continue the building of their new ships and did not sell off any of their current vessels.

This guide will help you work out which MSC Cruises’ ship is which!

MSC Ships by Size (from largest to smallest)

Ship NameTonnage (GRT)Passengers (Max)Length (Metres)Decks
MSC Virtuosa181,5416,33433119
MSC Grandiosa181,5416,33433119
MSC Bellissima171,5985,65531619
MSC Meraviglia171,5985,64231619
MSC Seashore169,4005,63233920
MSC Seaside153,5165,08432320
MSC Seaview153,5165,07932320
MSC Preziosa139,0724,34533318
MSC Divina139,0724,34533318
MSC Splendida137,9364,36333318
MSC Fantasia137,9364,36333318
MSC Magnifica95,1283,01329413
MSC Poesia92,6273,01329413
MSC Orchestra92,4093,01329413
MSC Musica92,4093,01329413
MSC Opera65,5912,57927513
MSC Lirica65,5912,54827513
MSC Sinfonia65,5422,54627513
MSC Armonia65,5422,52027513

What does ‘Tonnage (GRT)’ mean?

GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage) is a term used to calculate the volume inside a ship. It is a measure of cubic capacity and is calculated by the total volume from inside the hull and decks of the ship. 1 GRT = 100 cubic feet of space. In essence, the bigger the GRT – the more ‘space’ the ship has for passengers, cargo, etc.

How are ‘Passengers (Max)’ calculated?

You’ll see multiple numbers for passengers on ships – this is because many ships include extra beds in cabins (such as the sofa/couch can convert to a pull-out bed) – but the majority of cabins usually have 2 people in them. the ‘Max’ number is if every cabin used their additional pull-out bed, etc. This number is unlikely to be reached very frequently.

MSC Ships by Age (from newest to oldest)

Ship NameBuiltRefurbished
MSC EuribiaDue 2023-
MSC World EuropaDue Dec 2022-
MSC SeascapeDue Nov 2022-
MSC Seashore2021-
MSC Virtuosa2021-
MSC Grandiosa2019-
MSC Bellissima2019-
MSC Seaview2018-
MSC Seaside20172021
MSC Meraviglia20172022
MSC Preziosa20132018
MSC Divina20122021
MSC Magnifica20102019
MSC Splendida20092017
MSC Fantasia20082021
MSC Poesia20082021
MSC Orchestra20072021
MSC Musica20062016
MSC Opera20042015
MSC Lirica20032018
MSC Sinfonia20022018
MSC Armonia20012014

Are all MSC ships new builds?

Only two of MSC Cruises’ ships (MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia) are not new-builds for MSC Cruises. These two ships are ex-Festival Cruises ships (previously named European Vision and European Stars).

They were acquired when Festival Cruises went bankrupt and MSC Cruises purchased them for their operations.

MSC Cruises chose to use a modified version of the European-class ships and built MSC Lirica and her twin sister, MSC Opera.

MSC Ships by Class (from newest to oldest)

Ship NameClass
MSC World EuropaWorld class
MSC SeascapeSeaside EVO class
MSC SeashoreSeaside EVO class
MSC EuribiaMeraviglia Plus class
MSC VirtuosaMeraviglia Plus class
MSC GrandiosaMeraviglia Plus class
MSC BellissimaMeraviglia class
MSC MeravigliaMeraviglia class
MSC SeaviewSeaside class
MSC SeasideSeaside class
MSC PreziosaFantasia class
MSC DivinaFantasia class
MSC SplendidaFantasia class
MSC FantasiaFantasia class
MSC MagnificaMusica class
MSC PoesiaMusica class
MSC OrchestraMusica class
MSC MusicaMusica class
MSC OperaLirica class
MSC LiricaLirica class
MSC SinfoniaLirica class
MSC ArmoniaLirica class

What is the Meraviglia Plus class?

The Meraviglia Plus class was built after the success of MSC Meraviglia. The Plus class is an extended version of the ship (approx 15m longer) and has slightly larger facilities, including more cabins – giving an extra passenger capacity of 679 (MSC Grandiosa – 6,334 compared to MSC Meraviglia 5,642).

What is the Seaside EVO class?

The Seaside EVO class was built after the success of MSC Seaside. This class is 16m longer, offering bigger facilities throughout the ship and more cabins. This enables a higher passenger capacity over the existing Seaside class of 548 passengers (MSC Seashore 5,632 compared to MSC Seaside 5,084)

Additionally, newer classes of MSC ships are more environmentally advanced, offering enhanced wastewater treatment facilities and enhanced selective catalytic reductions (i.e reduced emissions).

MSC Cruise Ships Frequently Asked Questions

Currently, the biggest MSC cruise ship is actually a pair of sister ships: MSC Virtuosa and MSC Grandiosa – both 331 metres long and 191,200 GRT with a max passenger capacity of 6,344

Both MSC Sinfonia and MSC Armonia are the smallest MSC cruise ships in terms of GRT (Tonnage) but MSC Armonia actually carries 26 passengers less, at 2,520 max capacity.

The newest MSC cruise ship that has launched is MSC Seashore. She launched in August 2021.

The oldest (still at sea) MSC cruise ship is MSC Armonia. Whilst she entered service for MSC Cruises in 2004, she was actually built as European Vision for Festival Cruises back in 2001.

MSC Cruises currently have eight classes of ships. Two are hybrid classes (Seaside EVO and Meraviglia Plus) and the rest are unique classes.

Ask ten different people which is their favourite MSC ship and you’ll get ten different answers! But MSC Seaside and MSC Meraviglia have frequently come top of many polls and are widely accepted as two of the most popular MSC cruise ships.

MSC Cruises builds a lot of its newer ships at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique (St. Nazaire) shipyard in France. The Meraviglia and Meraviglia Plus class are some of the latest ships from there.

The Seaside and Seaside EVO ships were built by Fincantieri in Monfalcone, Italy – one of the biggest cruise shipbuilders based in the Mediterranean.

Nineteen ships as of August 2022

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing an MSC Cruise ship for your cruise there is a vast range of ships that are perfect whether you are travelling solo, as a couple or as a family.

Look out for our detailed guide on the different MSC classes shortly!

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