MSC Cruises has taken part in the inauguration of the new cruise terminal at Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi, officially marking the beginning of the winter 2015/16 season with MSC Musica homeporting there for the duration of the season. MSC Musica will take guests from Dubai or Abu Dhabi on a series of seven-night cruises in a one of the most fascinating and diverse regions in the world.
As part of ongoing enhancements to their Executive Partner Membership Program, Cruise Lines International Association is launching the Summit At Sea, a unique new networking and educational opportunity. The event, which will be hosted on-board MSC’s Preziosa, January 8th-11th, 2016, is exclusively offered to CLIA’s Executive Partner and Cruise Line Members.
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 Cruises has completed its Renaissance Programme, delivering four renewed ships that will spearhead the company’s push into new markets and further strengthen its position in those where it is the leader. MSC Cruises chief executive Gianni Onorato told a press conference aboard MSC Lirica – the final ship to complete the Renaissance transformation – that the project reinforced the elements that so distinguish the MSC Cruises experience.
MSC Cruises and Barrhead Travel are giving Scottish guests the opportunity to fly straight to the Mediterranean sunshine in 2016, thanks to new regional departures from Glasgow. Scottish travel agency giant Barrhead Travel will operate its first dedicated Glasgow – Genoa service right through the summer next year, with flights perfectly timed for cruisers joining MSC Fantasia on its seven-night Western Med sailings from the Italian city.
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.