Norton Rose Fulbright advises lenders on ECA-backed financing for two new LNG-powered ‘Worl​​​d Class​​’ cruise vessels for MSC Cruises

Global Press release - Business April 2024

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Banco Santander and a syndicate of lenders on an export credit-backed cruise financing for two new passenger cruise vessels, World Class 3 and World Class 4, for MSC Cruises.

The firm was instructed by Banco Santander, who acted in numerous capacities, with Caixabank and Banco Santander acting as joint lead arrangers. 

The LNG-powered ‘World Class’ vessels, the largest in the MSC Cruises fleet, will be built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France and will be delivered to MSC Cruises in 2026 and 2027, respectively. Each vessel will be fitted with innovative and technological solutions designed to maximise efficiency and lower its carbon footprint, including LNG propulsion systems and shore power connectivity.

Lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright’s London, Paris and Milan offices advised on all aspects of the pre and post-delivery financing to fund the construction and purchase of the two vessels.

The London team was led by Global Co-Head of Shipping Simon Hartley and counsel Matthew Bambury, with support from associate Rebecca Daniels and trainee solicitor Sarah Harvey. Partner, Kirstin Russell, and senior associate, Jessica Sorah, assisted on related English law aspects of the transaction. Global Co-Head of Transport Christine Ezcutari led the team advising on French law matters, supported by senior associate Ayaka Millet and associates Lorraine Viard and Emilie Jacques. Partner Gennaro Mazzuoccolo led the Italian team and was supported by associate Chiara Conti.

Simon Hartley said:

“We were delighted to be able to support our client, Santander, on this important and complex financing, involving multiple jurisdictions. The cruise sector has had a robust start to the year and we are anticipating a strong pipeline of deal activity throughout the rest of 2024 and into 2025.”

Norton Rose Fulbright’s shipping team offers the full range of legal services needed by today’s shipping companies. Its specialist shipping lawyers advise on areas ranging from complex structured finance, export credit finance and anti-competitive actions to ship conversion disputes, offshore disputes, the latest environmental regulation and the impact of blockchain and the digitalisation of the whole industry.

For further information please contact:

Katie Mark, Senior Public Relations Manager

Tel: +44 20 7444 2498