Today, the cruise industry is largely dominated by three giants – which collectively own some of the world’s most renowned cruise lines. These are Carnival Cruise Line (P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard), Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (Royal Caribbean, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises), and Norwegian Cruise Line (Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas). Beyond this, there is a total of 33 independent and privately owned cruise lines currently operating various itineraries around the world.
MSC Cruises is by far the largest of these lines, accounting for a huge 7.8% of the global cruise passenger capacity in 2015. Since the 1970’s, this award-winning Italian cruise line has grown from strength to strength and is today made up of a fleet of 12 ships, with plans in place to increase the fleet by another 11 ships before 2026.
It, therefore, comes as big news that MSC Cruises has this week announced that they will be operating cruises out of the UK in 2018 for the first time since pulling out in 2015. Last year, MSC Cruises decided to concentrate entirely on fly-cruise itineraries out of the UK, but this announcement will see the impressive 2,518-passenger MSC Magnifica operate itineraries out of Southampton from April to November in 2018.
The announcement confirmed at an event on board MSC Fantasia in Barcelona on Sunday. MSC Cruises’ UK Managing Director said: “I am proud to announce that MSC Cruises is returning to call the UK with one of our best ships and a unique offering: cruises with less time at sea in both Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. I have personally worked with our itineraries team to make this possible and look forward to launching this new product -- for which sales will open shortly on November 21.”
Among these sailings will be five new itineraries including a 14-night sailing to a range of destinations including Le Havre, Leixoes, Lisbon, Malaga, Amsterdam and Hamburg. One of the itineraries will take passengers into Norway, docking in Stavanger, Bergen, Olden and Alesund. There will also be a round-UK sailing which will take passengers to Newcastle, South Queensferry in Edinburgh, and Invergordon.
In addition to the announcement of new itineraries out of Southampton, MSC Cruises has also announced that the line will operate its first-ever world cruise in 2019. The itinerary, which will also be on board Magnifica, will see the ship embark on an 119-day journey out of Genoa, calling at 49 destinations in 32 countries across six continents.
MSC Cruises is one of the leading lines for Mediterranean itineraries, with a fleet of family-friendly vessels each offering a plethora of amenities and facilities on board. If you have been cruising for years and have a good knowledge of the various different lines, you may enjoy the business opportunity available with the Cruise Franchise. To find out more, contact us via the number above or complete an Online Enquiry Form.