Caissa Touristic Group, China’s leading outbound tourism service provider, and Geneva, Switzerland-based MSC Cruises have entered into a strategic partnership. As part of the agreement, from May 2016, MSC Lirica will homeport in Shanghai to serve the Chinese home market. The strategic cooperation agreement between the two companies will be the longest-running and financially most significant between a cruise line and a tour operator in the history of cruising in China.
MSC Cruises and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, have signed a new partnership agreement that will benefit MSC Cruises’ guests travelling to Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The partnership with Etihad Airways reflects MSC Cruises’ long-standing commitment to its guests and is testament to the company’s wish to always make its all-around offering a best-in-class experience, both at sea and in the air.
MSC Cruises has suspended remaining 2015 calls in Ukraine and Egypt, replacing them with a number of choice Mediterranean alternatives. MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera, MSC Fantasia and MSC Musica will, from autumn 2015 to winter 2016, incorporate Bulgaria, the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete, as well as Cyprus and Israel into their sailings. The move has been taken in response to market demand and the on-going political unrest in Ukraine and Egypt.
MSC Cruises announced earlier it will deploy MSC Divina from Miami year-round in 2016. The decision will allow a global audience to benefit from added itineraries and increased availability of the unique MSC Cruises experience in the Caribbean. The stunning 3,502-guest MSC Divina had been set to return to Miami for its winter Caribbean season in November 2015 before returning to Europe again in April 2016.
MSC Cruises has revealed MSC Sinfonia has left Genoa, Italy, to resume service following ground-breaking enlargement and enhancement work at Fincantieri’s shipyard, in Palermo, Italy. MSC Sinfonia entered dry-dock in January and returns to duty ten weeks later with renewed amenities and enriched on-board spaces for cruise guests.
In the wake of the terror attack at the Bordo National Museum, in Tunis, MSC Cruises has decided to suspend all remaining Tunisian calls in the 2015 summer programme in the interests of guest and crew member safety. Itineraries affected by the change will impact four of MSC Cruises’ ships.
MSC Cruises has strengthened its sales team with the appointment of Chiara Brooker to the newly created role of sales manager (trade operations). Brooker will oversee all aspects of agent liaison, including trade incentives and events, sales campaigns, fam trips and ship visits, as well as taking responsibility for the new B2B booking system MSC Book. She begins at the cruise line on March 2nd.
Holidaymakers will have even more opportunity to soak up some sunshine next winter following MSC Cruises’ decision to add more sailings to its Arabian programme. MSC Musica will offer 16 eight-day/seven-night cruises from Dubai for winter 2015/2016 – four more sailings than were operated this winter aboard sister ship MSC Orchestra.
MSC Cruises, the world’s fourth largest cruise line and market leader in the Mediterranean, has further strengthened its Geneva-based global management team with the appointment of Luca Biondolillo to the newly created role of chief communications officer. Biondolillo, 48, will join the business on March 2nd and report to chief executive Gianni Onorato.
MSC Cruises has been named Official Cruise Carrier of Expo 2015, the universal exposition that since 1851 has celebrated human achievement and debated the big questions facing humanity. Under the partnership, MSC Cruises, the market leader in the Mediterranean, South Africa and Brazil, will proudly display the Expo Milano 2015 logo on the hull of MSC Fantasia, which will sail in the Med throughout 2015.
MSC Cruises has launched a new, interactive, mobile app for iOS and Android devices that allows vacationers to easily explore the fleet’s 12 ultramodern ships and the multiple destinations visited around the world.