MSC Cruises is to strengthen its presence in Cuba by home-porting a second ship in Havana from the winter 2016-17 season.
In a move that will quickly double the number of MSC Cruises Caribbean itineraries centred on Cuba, MSC Armonia will join MSC Opera in Havana, from November 2016, for the entire winter season.
MSC Armonia will offer guests the choice of two different seven-night itineraries, adding new must-see Central American and Caribbean destinations to the MSC Cruises portfolio.
Following two days and one night in the Cuban capital, the first itinerary will take guests from Havana to the white sand beaches, pristine bays and spectacular coral reefs of Isla de Roatán (Honduras), before heading for the wood and brick colonial charm of Belize City (Belize).
Then it’s on to Costa Maya (Mexico) and an exclusive Caribbean beach experience on Isla de la Juventud (Cuba), before returning to Havana.
The second itinerary will start with two and half days and two nights in Havana, then set sail for Montego Bay (Jamaica), Georgetown (Cayman Islands) and Cozumel, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, before circling back to the Cuban capital.
Guests will have the opportunity to combine both itineraries into one spectacular 14-night cruise.
In July this year MSC Cruises announced that it would become the first global cruise line to homeport in Havana, with MSC Opera sailing from the city from December 2015.
Its itineraries feature two-and-a-half days in the Cuban capital before calls in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico.
MSC Opera will offer the same programme for its second Cuban season from December 2016.
With Havana’s cruise terminal situated at the foot of the UNESCO-listed Ciudad Vieja [Old Havana] guests have the perfect base from which to explore the fascinating historical sights of Cuba’s capital during their stay.
MSC Cruises chief executive Gianni Onorato said: “With no less than nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a long-held tradition of hospitality, Cuba has all the makings of a top world cruise destination.
“MSC Cruises is honoured to be able to support the further development of this huge potential, and we’re very thankful to the Cuban authorities for their on-going cooperation in this regard.”