Under the deal, Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), a subsidiary of MSC Group, will receive the delivery of the first and third vessel, while Onorato Armatori will receive the second and fourth. The agreement includes option for four additional vessels, two vessels each. The first vessel will come into service in 2020.

The luxury roll-on/roll-off passenger cruise ferries are 229.50 meters in length and 32 meters wide with 534 cabins for up to 2,500 people, and can travel at a speed of 23.5 knots. They will feature environmentally friendly technology, such as LNG engines, to make maritime transport more efficient in the Mediterranean.

“With this signature we have taken another important step towards the creation of a RO-PAX 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 was quoted as saying.