MSC Cruises has recently announced Southampton Port as its new base for all 2011 Ex UK sailings, which will operate from May to September and sail passengers on MSC Opera to Northern and Western Europe.
Giulio Libutti, MSC Cruises’ UK and Ireland Managing Director comments, “Ex UK cruising is becoming ever more desirable and popular and we are delighted to be working with Southampton Port in 2011.
“Southampton Port is well suited to our new planned itineraries cruising to the north of France, Spain and Portugal. The infrastructure and amenities at the port and in the city make Southampton a desirable and attractive port for us, with great transport links offered by road, rail and air, which will better service our passengers.”
“The move also allows us to better penetrate Southampton’s local markets, as well as the whole of the South West, which is saturated with established cruisers and an increasing number of first time cruisers.”
Doug Morrison, ABP Port of Southampton Director said, “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming MSC Cruises to the port in February to show case their new vessel MSC Magnifica. This, together with the exciting announcement of their decision to sail from Southampton in 2011, is wonderful news for the city and the surrounding area.
“In recent years we have invested over £41 million in our cruise terminals to ensure all passengers using the Port experience a high quality and efficient service. MSC passengers will benefit from our bespoke facilities, and we hope will enjoy the plethora of attractions in the region.”
More intimate in size than some of her larger sister ships in the MSC Cruises’ fleet, MSC Opera boasts a range of amenities and services onboard which will keep the whole family entertained throughout its cruise. MSC Opera can accommodate 2,000 passengers, has 856 cabins and weighs 60,000 tons. Facilities include 2 pools and 2 SPA baths, a theatre, discotheque, casino, library, beauty salon, gymnasium, restaurants and bars, boutiques, a jogging track, shuffleboard, solarium and an MSC Aurea SPA.
Families are well catered for with children cruising for free with MSC Cruises (paying flights, transfers and port taxes where applicable) and there is plenty for kids – both big and small to do from children’s clubs, a video games room, children’s play areas and mini golf. There is even a children’s menu for ‘fussy’ eaters.
Ex UK cruising makes for a hassle-free getaway; UK passengers can take as much luggage as they can carry and buy gifts while holidaying, without the worry of strict baggage allowances, often associated with flying.
MSC Opera will call at Southampton Port for a total of 13 cruises with a choice of 8 and 10 night itineraries. Passengers can follow the routes taken by Vikings, discover the unique atmosphere of Scandinavia’s finest cities or sail through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean.
From the Baltic beauty of the St. Petersburg to the Fjords and glaciers of Norway, every destination is an invigorating treat.