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Unveiling the Unforgettable Onboard Experiences of MSC Cruises
If you’re searching for a remarkable vacation experience that combines luxury, adventure, and relaxation, look no further than MSC Cruises. With a fleet of stunning ships and a reputation for excellence, MSC Cruises offers unforgettable onboard experiences that cater to every traveler’s desires. From world-class dining to thrilling entertainment options and rejuvenating spa treatments, let’s explore what makes an MSC Cruise an experience of a lifetime.
Indulge in Culinary Delights
One of the highlights of any MSC Cruise is the exceptional culinary offerings available onboard. With a variety of dining options ranging from casual buffets to specialty restaurants helmed by renowned chefs, guests are treated to an array of flavors from around the world.
The main dining rooms on MSC Cruises offer an elegant setting with attentive service and a diverse menu that caters to all tastes. Whether you prefer traditional Italian cuisine or international dishes prepared with meticulous care, there is something for everyone.
For those seeking a more intimate dining experience, specialty restaurants onboard MSC Cruises take gastronomy to new heights. From succulent steaks to fresh seafood and innovative fusion dishes, these restaurants offer an unforgettable culinary journey that will delight even the most discerning palate.
Experience World-Class Entertainment
MSC Cruises takes entertainment seriously, ensuring that guests are captivated from morning till night. The ships boast state-of-the-art theaters featuring Broadway-style shows and live performances that rival those found in major cities around the world.
From mesmerizing acrobatic displays to musical extravaganzas and comedy acts that will have you in stitches, there is never a dull moment on an MSC Cruise. The cruise line also offers interactive game shows, dance classes, themed parties, and live music performances throughout the ship for guests to enjoy at their leisure.
Relaxation and Rejuvenation
A vacation should be about unwinding and rejuvenating, and MSC Cruises understands the importance of offering guests a chance to escape the stresses of everyday life. Onboard, you’ll find a range of luxurious amenities designed to promote relaxation and well-being.
Indulge in a pampering session at the onboard spa, where you can choose from an extensive menu of treatments that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized. From soothing massages to invigorating facials and body scrubs, the highly skilled therapists will ensure your spa experience is nothing short of exceptional.
For those seeking tranquility, MSC Cruises’ adult-only areas provide a peaceful oasis away from the hustle and bustle of other onboard activities. Relax by the poolside or unwind in one of the many comfortable loungers while taking in breathtaking views of the open sea.
Exciting Shore Excursions
While life on board an MSC Cruise is undeniably incredible, exploring the destinations on your itinerary is equally thrilling. MSC Cruises offers a wide range of shore excursions tailored to suit every interest and activity level.
Whether you prefer cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, or simply relaxing on pristine beaches, there is an excursion for everyone. Explore ancient ruins, take part in thrilling water sports activities, discover local cuisine through culinary tours, or simply immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture – the possibilities are endless.
With MSC Cruises’ knowledgeable guides leading the way, you can rest assured that each shore excursion will be well-organized and provide an unforgettable experience that complements your time onboard.
In conclusion, an MSC Cruise offers much more than just a vacation; it provides an unforgettable journey filled with exceptional dining experiences, world-class entertainment options, moments of relaxation and rejuvenation at sea or in port destinations. Whether you’re traveling as a couple looking for romance or embarking on a family adventure packed with fun-filled activities for all ages – MSC Cruises has something for everyone. So why wait? Start planning your next unforgettable cruise experience with MSC Cruises today.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Our Cruise Ships
As we continue to grow and improve our fleet, there’s a huge range of unique features for our guests to explore on every MSC cruise ship. Blending classic elegance and cutting-edge innovation, our cruise ships offer the utmost in comfort, dining, innovation, entertainment, and onboard experience. Our newest, best cruise ships are also pushing the boundaries of sustainable tourism, with special technologies that focus on the welfare of mitigating the environmental impact. Browse, explore, and choose a ship from the MSC Cruises fleet today, and discover a spectacular way to sail the seas.
MSC technology at the service of the art of hospitality
MSC for Me has been designed to meet our guests needs today and in the future and enhances every aspect the MSC holiday experience. Through the most innovative technology solutions MSC for Me interconnects guests, crew and ship so your time on board is literally in your hands.
Available for guests travelling on MSC Euribia, MSC Seascape, MSC World Europa, MSC Seashore, MSC Virtuosa, MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview. The MSC for Me programme is also available on MSC Splendida and on MSC Magnifica, however it has reduced programme features.
Coming soon on MSC World America.
SHIPS BUILT FOR THE FUTURE
An eco-friendly cruise company , with innovative energy-saving and water-recycling systems installed on our ships
We have great respect for the world’s oceans and we while we sail an increasing number of guests across the globe, we continuously aim to reduce our impact on the environment per passenger. Through the use of modern technologies and materials, we are effectively lowering the environmental impact of our cruises per passenger. From experiencing with alternative energy sources (bio-LNG, fuel cell) , to efficiency-enhancing technology, to our advanced onboard recycling systems, we strongly believe that leadership comes with increased responsibility towards the environment.
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MSC Cruises Fleet
MSC cruise line ship fleet information. Cruisedeckplans.com shows the different classes of ships in the MSC fleet. On this page you can also compare features and dining options for each MSC ship. You will find daily service charge information, size in tons and number of cabins for each ship. You can CLICK ON any ship to go to the ship page for that ship. Check out our unique stateroom capacity trend chart showing the changes in the size of the MSC cruise line ship fleet over the past few years. Check out our Master Ship List . You can filter and sort by cruise line or ship.
CLICK on a ship below to go to the ship decks and cabins page. MSC Cruises has 23 ships in the fleet. You can filter the MSC fleet by ship class using the box below. Typically MSC Cruises will build or buy several ships sharing similar features. They define the different types of ships as classes. Ships of the same class may be almost identical to each other.
CLASS: Armonia Tons 66k Built 2001 Cabins 975
CLASS: Meraviglia Tons 168k Built 2019 Cabins 2244
CLASS: Fantasia Tons 139k Built 2012 Cabins 1751
CLASS: Meraviglia-Plus Tons 184k Built 2023 Cabins 2419
CLASS: Fantasia Tons 138k Built 2008 Cabins 1637
CLASS: Meraviglia-Plus Tons 181k Built 2019 Cabins 2405
CLASS: Armonia Tons 66k Built 2003 Cabins 988
CLASS: Musica Tons 95k Built 2010 Cabins 1253
CLASS: Meraviglia Tons 168k Built 2017 Cabins 2244
CLASS: Musica Tons 92k Built 2006 Cabins 1275
CLASS: Armonia Tons 66k Built 2004 Cabins 1071
CLASS: Musica Tons 92k Built 2007 Cabins 1275
CLASS: Musica Tons 93k Built 2008 Cabins 1275
CLASS: Fantasia Tons 139k Built 2013 Cabins 1751
CLASS: Seaside Tons 169k Built 2022 Cabins 2270
CLASS: Seaside Tons 169k Built 2021 Cabins 2270
CLASS: Seaside Tons 154k Built 2017 Cabins 2067
CLASS: Seaside Tons 154k Built 2018 Cabins 2067
CLASS: Armonia Tons 66k Built 2002 Cabins 975
CLASS: Fantasia Tons 138k Built 2009 Cabins 1637
CLASS: Meraviglia-Plus Tons 181k Built 2021 Cabins 2405
MSC World America
CLASS: World Tons 216k Built 2025 Cabins 2631
MSC World Europa
CLASS: World Tons 216k Built 2022 Cabins 2631
About MSC Cruises
MSC Italian Cruises uniquely blends maritime traditions, culture and famous Mediterranean cuisine to deliver the ultimate cruise experience while displaying a real commitment to the finest hospitality afloat. In essence, MSC Italian Cruises has made true Italian service the heart of its business and its key point of differentiation in the cruise industry. MSC Cruises is a privately-owned and family-run company. From a fleet of three classic vessels in 2003, we have grown into a truly global cruise line. The Mediterranean heritage that is MSC Cruises is evident in the construction philosophy and elegant design of each of the ships in our contemporary fleet, reflecting the highest standards of quality. Our meticulously maintained classic vessel is perfect for those fond of the cruise ships of yesteryear, reflecting our Mediterranean heritage in a more intimate setting. Regardless of which MSC Cruise ship you sail, you will experience a level of service and attention that is unparalleled.
SELLING POINTS: MSC is a rapidly growing line that is geared towards families. The ships are well designed and loaded with activities for everyone. MSC offers the Yacht Club experience, with many perks, for those who want to travel in luxury. MSC has adopted a simple cabin classification system that makes it easier to decide what category to book.
Stateroom Capacity Trend Chart
Watch growth and decline rates. Rapid growth may lead to quality and service issues.
The following is a listing of some of the features that MSC Cruises offers.
CRUISEDECKPLANS.COM Use the input buttons above to go to the main page for a Cruise Ship or Cruise Line.
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List of MSC Cruises ships by age, size & dates
MSC Cruises is the world's largest privately-owned cruise line and currently operates a fleet of 19 ships - with 3 new ships planned to enter service by June 2023. With a variety of ship sizes, MSC Cruises offers something for everyone, ranging from the MSC Sinfonia (2,546 passengers) - their first ship in operation - to their latest ship; the MSC Seashore, which entered into service in 2021 (5,877 passengers). MSC Cruises operates in some of the most popular cruise destinations around the world, including the Mediterranean, South America, and South Africa. MSC Cruises prides itself on providing a true Mediterranean experience aboard its ships.
ON THIS PAGE WE ARE LISTING THE SHIPS:
- In alphabetical order
- From newest to oldest (year built)
- With MSC Yacht Club
- With MSC for Me
- By registration (flag)
MSC Ships by alphabetical order
Armonia means harmony in English and the MSC Armonia indeed has this in buckets. Minimalist fittings and beautiful clean lines, as well as colours that are soothing and tranquil, will leave you feeling that you have escaped to your happy place.
Renovated: 2014 | Occupancy: 2,679
Be awed by the beautiful MSC Bellissima. Aboard the ship, there is ample public space, but this does not mean that she is not packed with plenty of entertainment options, bars, restaurants, spa and more! There is a walkway that spans across two decks, the highlight of which is the massive dome covering the ceiling - 480 square meters of LED screens. For the active, choose from pools, sportsplex, gym, bowling or F1 Simulators.
Launched : 2019 | Occupancy: 5,686
From the sublime to the divine, MSC Divina does not disappoint with her elegance and comfort. As the godmother of MSC Cruises, Sophia Loren was the inspiration for this vessel, as evidenced by the sumptuous suite named after her. Take a dip in the Infinity Pool or watch a show in the Broadway-sized Pantheon Theatre.
Launched: 2012 | Occupancy: 4,345
MSC Fantasia is modern, yet stylish with that Italian flair for which MSC Cruises is known. Where else can you walk on a Swarovski Crystal floor? With plenty of entertainment for both the under 18s and the adults, including a 4D cinema, F1 simulator and the Aqua Park, there will never be a dull moment.
Launched : 2008 | Occupancy: 4,363
Launched in November 2019, MSC Grandiosa is packed with features - speciality restaurants, the Jean-Phillipe Chocolat and Cafe, race water slides, Himalayan rope bridge suspended above the ship, Virtual Reality Maze and more. This ship is one of the most environmentally friendly at sea, ticking the box for greener travel.
Launched: 2019 | Occupancy: 6,334
One of the MSC ships refurbished in the 2015 Renaissance Programme, the MSC Lirica offers traditional cruise ship comfort, with wood, marble, and brass finishes throughout the vessel. There is plenty of space to spread out and find a spot in the sun to enjoy a cocktail or a quiet coffee. Cool down in the pool or Doremi Spray Park before heading to the Broadway Theatre to enjoy a show.
Refurbished : 2015 | Occupancy: 2,679
MSC Magnifica is refined yet opulent in feel - truly magnificent, just like her name. She is part of the Musica Class of MSC cruise ships. Enjoy the swimming facilities, including an indoor pool with a retractable roof, allowing you to enjoy it whether rain or shine. Relax in one of the 4 jacuzzis or in the Solarium. Perhaps you fancy dancing the night away in the T32 Disco or taking your chances with Lady Luck in the Atlantic City Casino.
Launched: 2010 | Occupancy: 3,223
MSC Meraviglia was the first ship in the MSC fleet to be launched with MSC for Me - an app that can be downloaded onto any smartphone. This was one of the many firsts - including the first ship in the fleet to have a water slide that went out over the side of the ship; the first ship in the fleet to offer exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows in a purpose-built theatre; and able to dock at any cruise port in the world, meaning a wider variety of destinations is possible.
Launched : 2017 | Occupancy: 5,655
With the elegance and class of any fine lady, the MSC Musica will not disappoint. There is a spectacular waterfall in the foyer, which spans three decks and right in front of which is a transparent piano, poised on a suspended, crystal floor. The plush Teatro La Scala, seating over 1200 people, will enable you to settle in and enjoy a show. Kaito Sushi Bar is the ship's specialty Japanese restaurant.
Launched: 2006 | Occupancy: 2,550
MSC Opera was extended and refurbished under the Renaissance Program. There are new facilities that have been added, such as the spray park, as well as a host of extra balcony cabins and an enlarged restaurant - giving even more space to turn out culinary delights. Fans of opera will smile at the fact that each deck is named after a famous opera.
Launched : 2015 | Occupancy: 2,679
Like a well-tuned ensemble, the MSC Orchestra has the perfect combination of elegant interior design, quiet places to unwind, facilities for the active, (like 5 gorgeous pools and a gym), as well as wonderful restaurant options - choose from Dim Sum at the Shanghai Chinese Restaurant, top-notch pizza at La Piazzetta or Four Seasons Italian dining.
Launched : 2007 | Occupancy: 3,223
As her name suggests, the MSC Poesia is a poem to the ocean. For non-Italians, it is pronounced Poh-eh-zee-uh.) From the sumptuous spa where you can get a relaxing massage, to the Zen Garden and the theatre, decorated in the royal colour of purple, the ship is an ode to MSC Cruises' aim of providing something for everyone.
Launched : 2008 | Occupancy: 3,223
As with all of MSC Cruises' ships, the MSC Preziosa is comfortable with Italian flair ever-present. Stroll through the piazza, made with real stone, or take a thrill ride on Vertigo, the longest water slide at sea! One of the beautiful features of the Preziosa is the infinity pool, looking for all intents and purposes like it is part of the ocean. A great place to unwind and be mesmerized by the ocean.
Launched : 2013 | Occupancy: 4,345
The first EVO Class Ship, MSC Seashore is inspired by MSC Cruises' vision for cruising in sunny weather and warm waters. Mirroring the Mediterranean way of life by providing indoor/outdoor eateries. To be launched in Spring 2021.
Launched : 2021 | Occupancy: 5,331
As with all the Seaside Class ships, the MSC Seaside is designed to bring the ocean closer to the passengers. Explore the Waterfront Boardwalk that circles the ship, meaning you can take a stroll in the sun, enjoying the breeze, whilst still being able to access the restaurants and bars from the outside.
Launched : 2017 | Occupancy: 5,336
The MSC Seaview is known as "the ship that follows the sun", as she spends 6 months in each hemisphere, giving the illusion of eternal summer. Take your pick from 7 speciality restaurants or eat in one of the two buffets. Optionally, there is, of course, two main dining rooms, with excellent food displaying all of MSC Cruises' usual flair and panache.
Launched : 2018 | Occupancy: 5,336
Honoring many renowned European composers, MSC Sinfonia is a symphony of elegance, comfort, entertainment and delight. She will enthrall you from the moment you step into her cool interior, (before you begin to explore the pools, bars, eating areas, spa, kids clubs and more), right until the second you disembark.
With a host of different music venues, bars and restaurants on the MSC Splendida, you will feel spoiled for choice when deciding where to begin exploring. Tickle your taste buds with real McCoy Mediterranean specialties or spice it up with a Tex-Mex meal. Immerse yourself in a world-class production in The Strand Theatre, before having a flutter in the Royal Palm Casino or shaking those hips in Club 33.
Launched : 2009 | Occupancy: 4,363
MSC Virtuosa will be the new jewel in MSC Cruises' crown. Due to be launched in September 2020, delays due to COVID-19 mean that she will be launched in early 2021. With new specialty dining options - such as a tapas bar and an Indochine restaurant - as well as the first Robotic Arm bar at sea, there is plenty to look forward to on this beauty.
Launched : 2021 | Occupancy: 6,334
Which is MSC newest ship?
Currently, the newest MSC Cruises ship is the MSC Seashore which entered service in August 2021. The oldest MSC cruises ship is the MSC Armonia. She entered in service in 2001 under the name European Vision. She started sailing under the MSC Armonia banner in May 2004.
*the last time the ship was in dry dock
MSC Cruise Ships by size
The largest MSC Cruises ship are the MSC Meraviglia & MSC Grandiosa, at 181,541 gross tons. The smallest MSC Cruises ship is the MSC Lirica, at 66,132 gross tons.
MSC Ships by class
Four of MSC ships are among the world's 20 biggest vessels, but not all are supersized. The fleet is divided into 8 different classes by oldest to newest class:
Lirica Class (oldest): MSC Opera, MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia
Musica Class: MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Magnifica
Fantasica Class: MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina
Meraviglia Class: MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellissima
Seaside: MSC Seaview and MSC Seaside
Meraviglia Plus: MSC Virtuosa, MSC Grandiosa and the new MSC Euribia (June 2023)
Seaside Evo: MSC Seashore and MSC Seascape (Dec 2022)
MSC World: MSC World Europa (Dec 2022)
Which MSC Cruise ships have Yacht Club?
MSC Yacht Club is an exclusive onboard experience available on several MSC Cruise ships. It features private areas, butler service, and upgraded accommodations.
The Yacht Club is available on the following MSC Cruise ships:
MSC Euribia (June 2023), MSC World Europa (Dec 2022), MSC Seascape (Dec 2022), MSC Seashore, MSC Virtuosa, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Bellissima, MSC Seaview, MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia
MSC Ships that do not have Yacht Club:
MSC Magnifica, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia
For more on the Yacht Club
On which ships is MSC for Me available?
In 2017, MSC Cruises launched MSC for Me, a digital smart ships programme and mobile app designed to enhance the Guest experience. It was first launched on MSC Meraviglia.
The app is available on MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, MSC Seashore, MSC Splendida, MSC Seaview, MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa.
MSC Cruises by registration (flag)?
The Panama Flag was first used by MSC for the Lirica, Fantasia and Lirica class ships.
MSC Virtuosa, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Bellissima, MSC Seaview, MSC Seaside and MSC Meraviglia are all under Malta flag. The MSC Seashore fly the flag of Italy
MSC Vista was MSC Euribia's previous name. She has since been renamed MSC Euribia and is set to launch in June 2023.
MSC currently has 19 ships sailing with 3 more due by June 2023
MSC Fantastica was renamed MSC Divina in honour of the fleet's godmother, the actress Sophia Loren.
MSC Yacht Club Royal suite 16007 on the MSC Divina is dedicated to Sophia Loren, with pictures of her movies in the cabin.
Top MSC South African cruises
Portuguese island, cruises to walvis bay, msc from cape town.
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About MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises brings the world to you with true Italian hospitality. Their beautiful ships combine European charm with Italian style and elegance. Exciting cruise itineraries will bring you into ports both near and far. Some sailings are highlighted by a fun-filled day at the line's private Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
Dining is always a special occasion and one to be savored. Elegant main dining rooms offer multi-course menus. Cuisine is created from fresh ingredients and a different regional specialty is available each evening. International favorites are served at the expansive buffet. MSC Cruises also has specialty restaurants, including those for sushi, Italian and Tex-Mex.
Activities abound onboard MSC's ships. Get your feet wet at the Aqua Park. The youth program will keep kids vacation dreams on track. Family fun includes WII competitions, bowling, 4-D Theater and simulated Formula I racing. As the sun goes down, the fun continues. World-class theater performances, some performed by Cirque du Soleil at Sea, captivate guests each evening. The boutiques feature a variety of beautiful merchandise. Energy levels are high in the bustling casino, dance into the wee hours to live bands and DJ spun music.
Accommodations are spacious, elegant and well-appointed. Step inside and discover large closets, mini-bar, safe, hair dryer, television and more. Choices range from inside, oceanview, verandah, and suites. Many choices feature a private balcony.
Luxury is elevated in MSC Yacht Club, found on many of the line's ships. This private enclave features magnificent accommodations, exclusive amenities, an opulent 24-hour concierge lobby, butler service, a private restaurant, lounge area and pool, complimentary wines and spirits and additional perks.
MSC Cruises gorgeous ships sail to delightful destinations throughout the world.
Featured MSC Cruises
- MSC Meraviglia
- MSC Fantasia
MSC Cruise Ship Profiles, Deck Plans and Public Areas
- MSC Armonia
- MSC Bellisima
- MSC Grandiosa
- MSC Magnifica
- MSC Orchestra
- MSC Preziosa
- MSC Seashore
- MSC Seaside
- MSC Seaview
- MSC Sinfonia
- MSC Splendida
- MSC Virtuosa
- MSC World Europa
MSC Cruises Highlights
Family Cruising Family vacations are a priceless way to reconnect and make a lifetime of memories with loved ones of all ages. The convenience and comfort of cruises makes this an unmatched option. With a broad range of activities and entertainment on board an MSC Cruise, your favorite travel companions are sure to discover all manner of exciting and enjoyable experiences ideal for everyone. MSC offers a wonderful Youth Program with many activities for kids , tweens and teens. On many sailings, you’ll benefit from their kids sail free pricing.
Yacht Club MSC boasts an exclusive ship-within-a-ship enclave in their gorgeous Yacht Club. This luxurious private keycard access only complex features priority check-in/out, complimentary gourmet dining in the Yacht Club's private restaurant, Top Sail Lounge with a bar, small bites and live music, complimentary access to the Thermal Suite, its own pool deck and jacuzzis, tailor-made arrangements for shopping and excursions, and more. The MSC Yacht Club provides privacy and personalized service including 24-hour Butler service and dedicated Concierge, luxury designer suites, complimentary wine, spirits and other beverages, premium internet package, sumptuous bedding, ample storage among other indulgences.
Dining Delicious authentic Italian cuisine is served onboard MSC Cruises beautiful ships. Of course, they are an Italian line so, dining is a delizioso treat. Savor a medley of fresh ingredients and Mediterranean flavors from beautifully aged cuts of steak, seafood, pastas, salads, decadent desserts, coffees and vino. Their talented and creative chefs will delight guests with their menus throughout the cruise whether opting for familiar favorites or something new and exciting. Kids, too, will find scrumptious options that thrill them.
Unique Itineraries MSC’s gorgeous and innovative ships sail the globe and visit many unique ports that other ships do not. Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites worldwide. Sail to the kaleidoscopic Caribbean including their bespoke Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, lovely Canada and New England, ever-popular Europe, glorious Greek Isles, spirited South America, the historic Middle East, breathtaking Africa among other incomparable destinations. Imagine cruising to Casablanca, Cape Town, Dubai, Norwegian Fjords, on Grand Voyages or World Cruises while enjoying la dolce vita of MSC's Italian hospitality. Simply Magnifico!
Special Cruise Offers
Royal Caribbean Cruises 60% OFF ALL Guests + Kids Sail FREE + FREE GRATUITIES OR Onboard Credit
Norwegian Cruises Up to 5 FREE Offers + Up to $1,700 Cash Back
Holland America Cruises 50% OFF Signature Beverage Package, Specialty Dining, Shore Excursions & Wi-Fi
Princess Cruises: FREE GRATUITIES + FREE Beverage Package + FREE Wi-Fi +
Celebrity Cruises 3 FREE Amenities + Up to $1,700 Onboard Credit
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MSC Cruises fleet
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MSC Cruises Ltd (MSC Crociere, msccruises.com/en-gl) is a passenger shipping company headquartered in Italy ( Genoa , Naples , Venice ). MSC was established in 1960. Today, MSC Crociere is a fully-owned subsidiary of MSC Group/Mediterranean Shipping Company (currently the world's second-largest containership company - after Maersk).
MSC Crociere is the world's largest privately-owned cruise company. 2020-Q4 statistics ranked MSC the world's 3rd-largest cruise shipowner (by combined fleet's passenger capacity ~13%), preceded by Carnival Corporation (39%) and RCG-Royal Caribbean (24%).
The company's current management team is led by Pierfrancesco Vago (Executive Chairman), Gianni Onorato (CEO), and Emilio La Scala (President and Managing Director).
In 2021 was launched MSC's new travel brand EXPLORA JOURNEYS , with a separate fleet of smaller-sized luxury ships. EXPLORA JOURNEYS' main competitor in the European market is Viking OCEAN .
Between its official launch (2003) and July 2019, MSC served 20+ million passengers. MSC is also the world's fastest-growing cruise company, with a USD 20,5 billion investment plan (2017-2027) for building 17 new vessels and increasing its fleet to 29 vessels.
The parent company (MSC Group) was founded and owned by its current Chairman Gianluigi Aponte (1940-born). Since 2014, the company's President and CEO is his son - Diego Aponte, while his daughter (Alexa Aponte Vago) is the CFO. MSC entered the ship cruising market in 1988.
MSC's main competitor in the Mediterranean is Costa Cruises .
Founded by Achille Lauro as "Lauro Lines" (aka Flotta Lauro), MSC entered the cruise shipping business in the 1960s. Initially, MSC operated two ships - Achille Lauro (IMO 5390008, launched as "Willem Ruys") and Angelina Lauro (IMO 5264077, launched as "Oranje"). Angelina Lauro (1939-1979) burnt in St Thomas USVI in 1979. Achille Lauro (1947-1994) sank off Somalia'scoast due to onboard fire.
In 1985, Achille Lauro was hijacked by Palestinian Liberation Front members, and the accident resulted in decreased passenger numbers. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) purchased Flotta Lauro in 1989, and renamed it "StarLauro Cruises". Achille Lauro caught fire and sank in 1994. In 1995, the company changed its name to "MSC Cruises". Fleet's oldest liner - the 1982-built MSC Melody - was sold in November 2013 and scrapped in September 2018 (as MS Qing).
In 2014, MSC announced that its four Lirica-class boats are scheduled for refits and extensive drydock refurbishments under the company's "Renaissance Program" (budgeted USD 273 million). By this project, all four vessels (Armonia, Lirica, Opera, Sinfonia) were stretched/elongated by 25 m (80 ft).
Ship-reconstruction works were done at Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo Sicily , between 2014 (August 31) and 2015 (November 17).
Since 2021, all MSC cruise ship refurbishment projects are conducted at Palumbo Malta Shipyard (co-owned by MSC / 50% stake). Palumbo Group's other shipyards are in France (Marseille) and Italy (Ancona, Naples, Savona).
Most of MSC's fleet operates in Europe (Mediterranean and Baltic). The company's other strong markets are the USA (Caribbean), Canada New England, East Asia, South America, South Africa. Because of the international passenger base, all shipboard announcements are generally read in Italian, Spanish, French, German and English. Onboard mealtimes are fixed, with assigned seatmates. Optional dining includes Lido buffet restaurant, sushi, and Italian eateries.
MSC liners offer standout evening show entertainment - from classical concerts and jazz to contemporary dance music and circus-type acrobatics. Voyages are typically priced at value-oriented levels, but the liners offer an unprecedented range of modern vacation travel amenities and services that cost extra, such as fees for port shuttle buses, a la carte restaurant menus, etc.
Company changes 2023
In May MSC Foundation signed a partnership with NatureMetrics (provider of biodiversity monitoring data) for collecting data for marine species during voyages. By MSC's "eBioAtlas" project, the collected samples (from the seawater) are sent to NatureMetrics where they are analyzed using eDNA.
In June MSC signed a long-term agreement with Gasum Oy (1994-founded Finnish state-owned energy company) for the fleet's LNG bunkering operations in the Baltic. The deal was signed by Linden Coppell (MSC's VP of Sustainability & ESG/Environmental, Social and Governance) and Mika Wiljanen (Gasum's CEO).
MSC Explora Journeys (a total investment of ~EUR 3,5 billion) officially starts commercial operations in July 2023, with Explora I 's Maiden Voyage (July 17th).
In October was signed an agreement with Shell Western LNG BV (part of Shell plc/world's second-largest oil and gas company/after ExxonMobil) to provide LNG for the ship Euribia. The deal was signed by Pierfrancesco Vago and Tahir Faruqui (Shell LNG's General Manager). Euribia's first LNG bunkering was in Port Rotterdam.
Since November 15th, the shipboard children's and teen's clubs (fleetwide/facilities for kids ages 12 to 17) operate with extended opening hours and longer live entertainment (8 hours daily). The company's expanded youth programming also includes more and new organized/supervised activities (sports, aquapark entertainment, kids-themed dinners, a different game show for teens every night/followed by a disco).
Company changes 2022
In mid-March, MSC Group announced a partnership with Travelife Ltd for EXPLORA JOURNEYS' shore excursion program. "Travelife for Tour Operators" allows tour companies and travel agents access to the company's online management system (16x sustainability modules) with excursion checklists, planning tools, travel- and tourism industries' best sustainability practices examples.
In late-March, MSC became the Official Cruise Partner of "Formula 1".
In August, the entire MSC fleet received "ISO 21070:2017" certification (issued by the International Organization for Standardization) for marine environment protection. The certification specifies the onboard procedures regarding waste management practices (collection, separation, treatment, storage).
For winter 2022-2023 season (December thru April) MSC introduced fly-cruise packages from Brazil to the Caribbean. Via partnerships with Brazilian airlines, MSC provided Brazilian tourists with the opportunity to enjoy affordable 6-hour chartered flights from Sao Paulo (Guarulhos Airport) to Fort-de-France Martinique (Aime Cesaire Airport). In Martinique, they board the ship ( MSC Seaside ) for 7-day roundtrip Caribbean voyages and then fly back to Brazil. MSC's Brazil-to-Caribbean fly cruises are also inclusive of bus transfers (airport-cruise port-airport). The offer was available again for winter season 2023-2024 and again on MSC Seaside.
Company changes 2021
In June 2021 MSC officially launched its luxury brand " Explora Journeys ".
For summer 2021 season (July-October) MSC chartered flights (26000+ seats) to offer fly-cruise packages via partnerships with Europe's largest airlines including Iberia (Spain), Alitalia (Italy), Air France, Eurowings (Germany) and Neos (Italy). This way MSC guaranteed accessible airports and convenient flight times for accessing the homeports (embarkation ports) of 6x ships deployed in the Western Mediterranean (Grandiosa, Seaside), Eastern Mediterranean (Splendida, Orchestra, Magnifica), and the Baltic (Seaview). The package deals were also inclusive of airport-ship bus transfers and COVID health insurance (EUR 25 pp, by Europ Assistance).
On October 6, 2021, MSC opened bookings for Magnifica's Northern European winter 2021-2022 season - the company's first-ever winter season with deployment in the Baltic Sea. Starting on November 14th, the program offered 7-night roundtrips from all call ports in the itinerary (Hamburg, Ijmuiden-Amsterdam, Zeebrugge-Bruges, Le Havre-Paris, Southampton-London) and up to 12-hour port stays.
Company changes 2020
On July 30, 2020, MSC Cruises Ltd and Palumbo Group formed a 50-50 joint venture company to operate Palumbo Malta Shipyard (in Citta Cospicua). The Palumbo shipyard has 4x drydocks and will be used for refurbishments and general maintenance works on MSC ships (passenger and cargo) as well as on other cruise and ferry companies' vessels. The facilities will be updated, including with technologies to handle LNG-powered ships. The deal was signed by Pierfrancesco Vago (MSC Cruises' Executive Chairman) and Antonio Palumbo (Palumbo Group's founder and Chairman).
In late-November 2020, MSC signed a long-term agreement with ABP Southampton for preferential docking rights. The deal starts in summer 2021 with the homeporting of MSC Magnifica at Southampton's newest/5th passenger terminal. By this agreement, every year MSC has to homeport at least one ship in Southampton.
Company changes 2019
In May 2019, MSC became the industry's first mainstream cruise shipping company with a permanent office in Canada (Mississauga, Ontario). MSC Cruises Canada's new office is served by 15 employees (full-time staff) led by Ian Patterson (Country Manager). With the Canadian office, MSC also launched two new websites - MSCCruises.ca (for consumers) and MSCbook.com/ca (for travel agents). Both websites debuted in English and were later upgraded with French language versions. MSC Cruises Canada has a bilingual call center and provides bilingual materials (brochures, flyers) for potential clients and travel agencies.
In early-December 2019, MSC signed with Japanet a 5-year sponsorship deal for V-Varen Nagasaki - Japanese professional football club owned by Japanet (TV shopping channel). As of 2020, the company also partners with the professional football clubs Chelsea FC ( London England ), Paris Saint-Germain FC ( Paris France ) and SSC Napoli ( Naples Italy ).
Company changes 2018
Since September 2018, MSC has an exclusive partnership with "Mohegan Sun" - Uncasville (Connecticut USA)-based casino/gambling complex operated by Mohegan Tribe and located on reservation land along Thames River. By this deal are matched MSC's loyalty program (Voyager's Club) with Mohegan Sun's Momentum program. Momentum members receive exclusive cruise perks (including booking discounts, priority embarkation-disembarkation, onboard amenities). MSC's shipboard casino program offers customers the chance to play on over 1300 different slot machines fleetwide, plus various table games. Onboard casino rewards also include specialty dining, spa treatments, booking discounts. Mohegan Sun loyalty program members receive the corresponding MSC status based on their current casino card levels.
In mid-October 2018, MSC planned to eliminate single-use plastics fleetwide by March 2019. The list of such items includes bags, cups, cutlery, toothpicks, aprons, stir pins, drink mixers, coffee lids. By the end of 2018, they will be replaced with 100% compostable and biodegradable substitutes made of renewable resources (corn-based polylactic acid, paper, bamboo, other organic materials. In addition, shipboard drinks are no longer served with straws.
In late-November 2018, MSC signed an exclusive partnership with Chelsea Football Club to become its official global cruise partner (January 2019 thru June 2024). The deal includes LED advertising at Stamford Bridge (football stadium in Fulham/west London). By the agreement, Chelsea FC representatives attended MSC Bellissima 's naming ceremony (March 2019) and on the new ship was also displayed Chelsea FC memorabilia.
In 2015, MSC ordered 4 newbuilds from STX France and Fincantieri Italy , with an option for 3 more units. The first two vessels were delivered in 2017 - Meraviglia (May) and Seaside (November).
On February 1, 2016, MSC announced it would build two "Meraviglia Plus"-class units, with max capacity 6300 passengers. The newbuilds ( Grandiosa /2019, Virtuosa /2021, Euribia /2023) have 200 additional cabins and are 16 m (50 ft) longer compared to Meraviglia-class (2444 staterooms). The last unit's/Euribia's construction started on June 28, 2021.
The first Meraviglia-Plus vessel was delivered in November 2019 ( Grandiosa ), the second - in February 2021 ( Virtuosa ). MSC also announced new features on Meraviglia-Plus ships, including the first at sea fine art museum with original artworks. The additional space allows bigger (111 m / 36 ft long) indoor Promenade and a larger LED screen (95x6 m / 280x20 ft). The extra space also allows two additional restaurants. The line has an exclusive partnership with both Samsung (providing the technology) and Cirque du Soleil (live show programming shipboard).
During Seaside ship's delivery ceremony (November 29, 2017), MSC announced the order of 2 more (Seaside-EVO class) units from Fincantieri (contract value EUR 1,8 billion). The new boats are bigger (16 m longer, 17330 GT tons larger, capacity 467 more passengers) in comparison to Seaview-Seaside. Their deliveries were scheduled for 2021 May ( Seashore ) and 2022 November ( Seascape ).
Vessel details include LOA length 339 m, Width 41 m, Height 74 m, Volume 169,400 GT-tons, Capacity 5632 passengers + 1648 crew, Staterooms 2270.
In early-August 2018, MSC signed an agreement for EUR 1,5 billion (USD 1,74B) for financing both Seaside-EVO liners. The financing was via a partnership with a syndicate of lender banks (Unicredit, BNP Paribas, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti). Fully backing the credit line was the Italian export credit agency SACE SIMEST. With the addition of Seaside EVO, MSC had an unprecedented total investment of EUR 10,5 billion into 12 new vessels with scheduled deliveries by 2026.
On November 30, 2017 (during Seaside's launch) the company Marlink (world's largest independent satellite Internet provider) provided over 0,5 gigabit per second throughput on its Sealink VSAT network. Seaside's record-breaking Internet speed was enabled on Intelsat's new EpicNG satellites. Marlink is MSC fleet's provider of satellite Internet via optimized "cloud of bandwidth". As of 2017, Marlink had as part of its Sealink network 25 satellites and 32 overlapping beams.
On June 14, 2018, MSC signed with STX France shipbuilding order for the 5th Meraviglia-Class unit (delivery in 2023, dual-fuel LNG -powered engines ). With this order, MSC had 13 newbuilds under construction or on order (2017-2026), of which 5x LNG-powered. The announcement was made at St-Nazaire yard. The ceremony was attended by Bruno Le Maire French Minister of Economy and Finance) and Pierfrancesco Vago (MSC's Executive Chairman). The event celebrated 3 major milestones - Virtuosa's steel-cutting, Grandiosa's keel-laying and Bellissima's float-out. For the first time in the shipyard's history, 3 vessels of a single shipowner were simultaneously under construction.
On October 18, 2018, MSC signed with Fincantieri an MoA agreement for 4x EXPLORA class ultra-luxury expedition ships. The contract's total value was EUR 2+ billion. Compared to the company's "liner fleet", the EXPLORA units are smaller (GT 64,000 tons, 500 staterooms). The first boat enters service in 2023, and the remaining 3 will be launched one per year (2024-2025-2026). The signing ceremony was attended by Pierfrancesco Vago and Giuseppe Bono (Fincantieri's CEO).
A curious fact is that Sophia Loren (1934-born Italian film actress) is MSC's traditional Godmother, naming each newbuild since 2003 ( MSC Lirica ).
(NEW) MSC Silenseas ships by STX France
On January 20, 2020, MSC and Chantiers de l'Atlantique (STX France) signed an MoU for the development of a sail-based (wind-powered) prototype of a cruise liner. The new class will be based on the Silenseas concept (introduced by STX France in 2018) that represents hybrid propulsion combining sails with dual-fuel marine engines.
MSC's new cruise vessel will be able to sail with min wind speed 15 knots (28 kph) and wind angle 50+ degrees. The currently considered design features GT tonnage 23,000, LOA length 210 m (689 ft), passenger capacity 300 (150 staterooms).
The sailing ship can reach speeds of 12 knots (14 mph / 22 kph) under sail in 15 knots (17 mph / 28 kph) winds. In winds over 15 knots, the vessel's propellers will be used, acting as a turbine that draws power from the sails. On Caribbean Sea routes, the new technology could reduce propulsion energy by 60%.
STX France's sail-ship design was developed for 3 vessel sizes, the biggest being 15,000 GT tons vessel with LOA length 190 m (620 ft) and 150 passenger staterooms. The French shipbuilding company started research in sail propulsion in 2009, Silenseas has technology patents (2009 and 2017) for the new sail. The unit is made from fiberglass, carbon and epoxy-resin panels. Similar is the concept of Peace Boat's new vessel Ecoship (built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard in Helsinki, Finland ).
STX France's new wind-power technology was trialed on the Ponant -owned superyacht Le Ponant , on which one of the existing sails was replaced and the new technology tested.
In October 2017, MSC Cruises installed on Meraviglia a modern "Man Overboard Detection System". The company also announced its plans to install such systems fleetwide.
This is an intelligent video capturing, image processing and analysis system that was tested and tuned on the cruise ship for over 25,000 hours, resulting in confirmed accuracy level of 97%. The real-time video data (provided by the ship's HD CCTVs) is monitored and analyzed in a central security center by 2 independent image processing systems, which significantly lowers false alerts.
When the alarm activates (in a man overboard case), light and acoustic signals notify the ship's security officer who can immediately review the recorded video and notify the Navigation Bridge crew to start a rescue operation.
MSC WORLD-Class liners
On April 6, 2017, during the Meraviglia ship's delivery ceremony at STX France shipyard (Saint-Nazaire) , MSC signed a new ship construction MoU ("memorandum of understanding") with STX France for a new series of 4 vessels (WORLD Class) at a total cost EUR 4.5 billion. The ship's order was signed on May 31, 2017.
WORLD Class MSC vessels are with a max capacity of 6761 passengers. The number of staterooms is 2632 ( passenger capacity 5264 lower berths). The building cost (per unit) is EUR 1,125 billion, the shipbuilder is STX France.
Each unit has Gross Tonnage/volume 215,863 (GT tons), LOA length 333 m (1093 ft), waterline beam/width 41 m/135 ft (max width 54 m/177 ft), height 75 m (245 ft), draft 9,2 m (31 ft).
Among these liners' key features are latest generation LNG-powered marine engines , new wastewater treatment plants, ultra-modern marine architecture with a Y-shaped superstructure (better panoramic views, significantly increased number of balcony staterooms), G-bow hull (vertically positioned / at a 90-degree angle, improving the vessel's stability and hydrodynamics/fuel efficiency), family-themed "villages", panoramic aft pool, glass-covered pool deck.
The first ships from the WORLD series were inaugurated in 2022 Dec ( MSC World Europa ) and 2025 April ( MSC World America ). The two optional vessels were ordered in November 2023 and scheduled for deliveries in 2026 May (WORLD3) and 2027 February (WORLD4). There is also an option for a 5th unit from this class.
In January 2016, MSC signed a partnership with Samsung for the latest technology equipment upgrade fleetwide. Among the provided by Samsung equipment are top-line flat HDTVs (for passenger cabins), LED screens and digital signage boards (in public areas), specialized medical equipment (for onboard hospitals), augmented reality mirrors, printing solutions.
In April 2018, the company introduced its new "Family Explorer Club" excursions program with expected over 250,000 children on cruises in 2018. The new tour program is designed to involve kids and their parents on custom-made shore excursions. The first boat offering this program was Divina. The new interactive land tour experiences are themed on the destination's history and each tour features a local historical character symbolic to that destination/city. Teams are equipped with digital explorer maps, detailed instructions for the mission, and kids receive stickers for every accomplished task. On these family-only tours, kids are booked half-price. Excursions usually start later in the morning and have a max duration of 4 hours.
MSC private islands (Sir Bani Yas, Ocean Cay)
In December 2015, MSC unveiled plans to develop an "unprecedented exclusive marine reserve island experience in the Bahamas". The USD 200-million project was launched in Nassau , where The Bahamas' Prime Minister and MSC's Executive Chairman signed a 100-year lease agreement, enabling MSC Cruises to occupy and develop the island - officially named Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve .
Ocean Cay was a 2-year long, USD 200 million project. The island is sized 95 acres / 38 hectares (0,38 km2 / 0,15 mi2) and is the world's only private marine reserve. It has a 3470 m (11400 ft) long beach front across 6 beaches, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve is the biggest Caribbean private island development done by a cruise company. An interesting fact is that when the MSC ship is berthed in Ocean Cay, all its onboard facilities and services (including the casino) stay open and operational. Ocean Cay Island is surrounded by 64 mi2 (166 km2) of protected waters with coral reefs and ~90 different fish species.
In June 2016, MSC officially announced the exclusive "beach oasis" for MSC cruiseship tourists on roundtrips from UAE ( Abu Dhabi and Dubai ) starting winter 2016-2017. The 2,5 km (1,5 mi) stretch of land on Sir Bani Yas Island features shaded cabanas, hundreds of palm trees and 2000+ sunbeds across 36,000 m2 (387,500 ft2) of sand beaches. Other facilities and amenities available on the island include food and drink bars, MSC Aurea Spa (wellness complex, massages), sports facilities (beach volleyball, tennis), family-kids playground area (with pergola / outdoor garden for parrents), Bedouin tent (selling hand-made local arts and crafts), lounge space (live music, full-service bar), exclusive beaches (with VIP areas and cabanas).
The MSC island development is on a smaller isle connected to the main island by wooden boardwalk allowing exclusive access to MSC passengers. MSC worked closely with ecologists and the Abu Dhabi Port Authorities for over 2 years to develop the island and support the ongoing preservation work. The isle is one of the region's largest wildlife reserves due to decades of conservation works and ecological investments to maintain its biodiversity. The "Arabian Wildlife Park" on the main island is home to over 13,000 endangered and indigenous animals, as well as millions of plants and trees.
The first cruise to Sir Bani Yas Island departed on December 3, 2016 (visiting the island on December 5). Prices started from USD 720 per person (7-night itinerary on MSC Fantasia ). In July 2016, Costa Cruises announced that Sir Bani Yas Island will be added as a 1-day stopover (port of call) during season 2016-2017 on Costa neoRiviera . In 2017-2018, neoRiviera was replaced in Dubai by Costa Mediterranea . Costa passengers have access to a private (Costa exclusive) beach with VIP areas with cabanas.
Among the island's shore excursion options are jeep safaris in the wildlife park, sea kayaking, diving and snorkeling tours.
MSC Cruises Asia
In mid-January 2018, MSC announced a new partnership with China's largest online payment platform "Alipay". The deal offers mobile payments fleetwide - on all MSC vessels deployed in Asia. It allows customers to pay for onboard purchases. In November 2017, the Alipay option was introduced on MSC Lirica. Next ship with Alipay technology was MSC Splendida - homeported in Shanghai China since May 2018.
Since May 2017, all Costa Asia -managed cruise vessels (of all Carnival Corporation brands) allow use Alipay payment services onboard. The partnership between Carnival Corporation and Ant Financial Services Group (a subsidiary of Alibaba, China's biggest online trading company) enables Chinese cruise passengers on all Carnival Corp ships in Asia to pay for onboard services and products using their Alipay (mobile payment platform) accounts. Among these onboard services and products are shopping, tours/excursions, food, and drinks. These expenditures are added to the passenger's cabin folio, then cleared via his/her Alipay account on a nightly basis.
(NEW) MSC kids programming
In November 2019, on Grandiosa (fleet's flagship) MSC introduces a new kids' entertainment program featuring hundreds of hours (per week) of themed activities. For children and teens is allocated up to 700 m2 (7535 ft2) of shipboard space with separate rooms for different age groups. The activities include virtual gaming (consoles and arcade machines), large aqua parks with slides, treasure hunts, trivia games, themed parties, supervised playgrounds (indoor and outdoor).
Starting with Grandiosa, MSC now offers 3 new activities for children (MSC Dance Crew, The Drone Academy, Spy Mission) plus a new web series targeting teenagers.
- "MSC Dance Crew" is developed via partnership with FremantleMedia - the company behind the TV show franchises "The X Factor", "Idols" and "Got Talent". The new music competition experience is based on teams of 12-17-year-old children battling to win the title "dance crew of the year".
- "The Drone Academy" is via partnership with The Department ( London UK -based event agency). The high-tech drone racing activities take place in the ship's Sportsplex and happen at night due to flicker effects and the glowing drones. Teens (battling in teams) are previously trained on drone piloting. The race is at the 390 m2 (4200 ft2) sized arena and includes navigating 15 obstacles in the fastest time possible.
- "Spy Mission" is MSC's first activity where kids play a central role. They are led through different scenes (throughout the ship) to unravel storylines, follow clues and solve the mystery in order to win prizes.
- "Cabin 12006" is MSC's new teen-targeting web series tha follows "Kelly and Kloe Onboard" - run for 3 years (2016-2019) with 5+ million views online. Filming the "Cabin 12006" episodes is currently underway on Bellissima (March 2019-inaugurated).
MSC wedding cruise deals
Since 2015, MSC Cruises has a new cruise wedding program available on Caribbean itineraries. The program offers onboard marriages (also ashore) in several Caribbean port destinations, including Nassau Bahamas, Bridgetown Barbados, Grand Cayman Island, Falmouth Jamaica, Cozumel Mexico, San Juan Puerto Rico, Philipsburg St Maarten, Charlotte Amalie St Thomas, and also Miami Florida USA (on the embarkation day only).
MSC partnered with the wedding-planning company "The Wedding Experience" and offers cruise wedding packages with prices starting from USD 1600 (onboard) and USD 2200 (ashore) weddings. MSC's basic wedding package includes a pre-cruise event manager, a ceremony coordinator, 1 bottle of Champagne, 1 cake for two, 1 bridal bouquet, 1-hour photo session.
Event planners work with the couples to handle all the details (weddings and vow renewals). Also provided are wedding consultants and ceremony coordinators. Onboard / ashore receptions and ceremonies offer various options - video/photo packages, fresh flowers, themed music, food and drink packages, also specialty items (personalized stationaries for invitations) and ground transportation for ashore events.
Couples booking groups of 13 or more cabins receive a complimentary balcony stateroom. Couples booking groups of 30 or more cabins receive a complimentary suite. Complimentary Yacht Club stateroom is offered for 50 or more booked cabins. Onboard ceremonies can be attended by up to 150 non-cruising guests.
MSC Cruises' first ship to offer onboard weddings was MSC Divina.
MSC cruise booking and cancellation policy changes
In July 2017, MSC changed the company's cruise booking policy. It now requires final payments to be made 30 days earlier - from 60-days to 90-days prior departure.
- Cancellations made 89-61 days prior departure result in losing the non-refundable deposit.
- Cancellations between 46-60 days prior departure result in paying 50% of the original price.
- Cancellations between 16-45 days prior departure result in paying 75% of the original price.
- Cancellations made 15 days or less prior departure result in paying the full cruise price.
Since April 2, 2019, tips (gratuities) are included into MSC cruise fares for all UK and Ireland passengers.
On February 1, 2019, MSC officially revealed the in-cabin digital assistant ZOE. The technology ("cruise industry first") was developed by Harman International (US-based company, fully-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics). Harman International has developed digital audio solutions for major corporations (Including Google, Microsoft, Amazon).
- ZOE is an artificial intelligence device (voice-enabled, with advanced voice recognition software) available in all passenger staterooms.
- ZOE speaks 7 languages, answers cruise-related questions, provides info on shipboard services-activities-facilities, makes reservations and bookings.
- The digital device features far-field microphones, top-quality speaker, quad-core processor (for fast response times), direct phone connection (through Bluetooth). The system can also upgrade its own database to answer previously unanswerable questions.
- Passenger data (including itinerary/tour and shipboard preferences) is stored in Cloud Storage system and used on the next scheduled voyage.
- The device (sized ~15 cm) can be activated whenever passengers choose. A waiver must be signed to agree for their personal data to be stored.
Starting with Bellissima (2019), ZOE will be available on all newbuild MSC liners - including Grandiosa (2019) and Virtuosa (2020) - and introduced fleetwide over 2019-2024.
"MSC for Me" - fleetwide Digital Innovation Program 2017-2018
Each of the MSC cruise ships is fitted with thousands of connectivity points, digital access points, iBeacons (Bluetooth) and hundreds of interactive digital screens throughout the ship. In all staterooms are implemented RFID (radio-frequency identification) and NFC (near-field communication) access technologies.
The new program is implemented fleetwide but was first introduced on MSC Meraviglia . The ship, launched in June 2017, was fitted with a total of 114 Interactive screens, 244 info screens, 31 virtual screens, 81 video wall monitors, 3050 iBeacons, 700 WAPs (wireless access points), 1200 CCTV cameras.
MSC digitalization program's main features are:
- The apps implement facial recognition technology and interactive/smart bracelets by Samsung.
- Digital Concierge app - passengers can reserve/book onboard services, restaurants and shore excursions in real-time. The app is real-time and 24-hour, connecting MSC customers to the company's experienced staff online.
- Capture - virtual reality tool to preview the cruise itinerary, create personal photo galleries, online sharing.
- Organizer - a cruise planning tool used at mobile devices. It provides detailed information and also allows pre-booking (tours, theatre seats, dinner table, etc) before ship embarkation (pre-cruise booking) and while onboard (realtime cruise planner).
- Navigation - Interactive map (way finder) provides advice (scheduled events, opening hours, etc) and directions while on the ship. The app also allows real-time kids monitoring (via bracelets).
- TailorMade - digital advisor for personal recommendations based on the passenger's preferences (interactive gaming, gambling, culinary, recreational, entertainment, etc).
- Passengers can always opt out of all these connected ("Internet of things" / IoT) services offered.
- All passenger staterooms are fitted with door locks with built-in keypads (Samsung SHS-1321 NFC Ring).
MSC fitness cruise packages
Since 2017, MSC Cruises offers an upgraded fleetwide onboard wellness experience via a partnership with TechnoGym. It is part of the company's cruise fare-inclusive offers that can be chosen upon booking.
- The new program starts with an online questionnaire determining the customer's specific wellness goals, aspects of a healthy lifestyle (exercises, healthy diet, weight loss).
- The new wellness program is linked with the company's fitness-themed cruises . It also includes one-time personal trainer consultation. Personal training sessions are available onboard at extra cost.
- Also included are themed shore excursions (jogging, hiking, cycling), fitness classes (hula hooping, barre, yoga, Pilates).
- Resistance bands and workout mats are provided on the ship for in-cabin use.
- TechnoGym workout gear and laundry service for the exercise clothing are provided on the ship.
- Healthy food menu options are available in the ship's main dining rooms and Lido buffet restaurants.
- Deals are also inclusive of a medical evaluation with the ship's doctor (blood pressure, EKG, lipid panel).
- The new "Wellness Experience" program is operated with a total of 5 fitness cruise packages available for booking. Pricing starts from USD 930 pp (7-night itinerary, Interior Stateroom).
FREE Birthday cruise
In 2017, MSC started offering a new "free cruise deal" for customers celebrating their birthday. in case your birthday falls during select cruises, it is complimentary.
- MSC's free cruise offers are on itineraries in Europe (Mediterranean, Baltic), Asia (Arabian Peninsula /Dubai), Caribbean (West Indies, Cuba). Longer itineraries are available through World Voyages .
- Booked passengers can extend their free birthday cruise and combine itineraries into B2Bs (back to back cruises) from 14 to 22 nights.
- Bookings must have at least one paying passenger and only one free birthday passenger. The birthday of the passenger must fall on one of the itinerary days, but excluding the arrival and departure days.
- Such offers are usually promotions, subject to selected availability and valid for lower cabin categories only (usually excluding Suites).
MSC's "Dolphins Fan Cruise"
MSC Seaside ship's itinerary March 17-24, 2018 (7-day Caribbean and Antilles roundtrip from Miami to Nassau Bahamas, St Thomas USVI, St Johns Antigua) was officially themed "Dolphins Fan Cruise". This special voyage was the result of the 3-year partnership between MSC and the NFL team. The sports-themed voyage will be hosted annually over the next 3 years (2017-2020). The 2018 voyage's prices started at USD 700 per person (balcony cabin rates based on double occupancy).
During these sports cruises, passengers have the opportunities to interact in person with team alumni. The list of pre-scheduled onboard activities includes:
- Meet team's legends Joe Rose, Kim Bokamper, Nat Moore, Patrick Surtain, Sam Madison, Terry Kirby.
- Take autographs from the alumni, and get a photo with the team's cheerleaders.
- Cheer alongside team's cheerleaders and hype up the crowd with the mascot TD (The Dolphin).
- Enjoy special performances by cheer squad and the mascot.
- Get to know former players during Q&A sessions.
On April 28, 2018, the ship hosted the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders for the team's annual calendar photo shoot, with special onboard show programming.
- Via company's "Save & Sail" summer promotion, potential MSC cruise customers had the chance to book a balcony stateroom on the "Cheerleaders voyage" starting at USD 650 pp. The off-promo prices started from USD 1098 pp (Inside Cabin rates with double occupancy).
- Cheerleaders cruise itinerary (April 28 - May 5) was a 7-day roundtrip from Miami to St Maarten Island, Puerto Rico and Bahamas (Nassau).
MSC virtual reality ship tours
Samsung and MSC developed a cutting-edge virtual reality tool for touring MSC cruise liners. The new technology was announced during at Expo Milano 2015 (May 1 through October 31, 2015).
With this innovative technology, MSC made available to the company's top European sellers (travel agencies) a powerful tool for introducing the brand to potential customers. The technology is based on Samsung's "Gear VR" headsets (powered by Oculus) plus a custom-built software app. Potential MSC passengers can walk through any cruise ship in the fleet without setting foot on board. The tool allows "walking" through 6 key onboard areas (including staterooms, restaurants, pools, theatre / also watching a show). The 360-degree sensory experience even brings aromas in the air (when observing an onboard restaurant) - such as fresh-baked bread, fresh fruits, chocolate.
The virtual cruise ship tour technology uses software and hardware by AxedGroup. The virtual ship tour app runs on Samsung Galaxy Note phones. Other experiences include tours of new (prototype) MSC ships *currently under construction).
(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021
Due to the COVID pandemic, MSC suspended its North American fleet's passenger shipping operations (all US-homeported liners) by canceling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 14, 2020, through May-June 2021.
European operations resumed in 2020 on August 16 (Grandiosa) and October 19 (Magnifica) but all voyages were eventually canceled. MSC had its fleet fully operational by June 5th, 2022.
Next are listed MSC's first scheduled departure dates by ship/region/homeport - ARMONIA (April 10, 2022/Mediterranean from Venice), BELLISSIMA (July 2021/Red Sea from Jeddah Saudi Arabia), DIVINA (Sept 16, 2021/Bahamas from Port Canaveral), FANTASIA (Nov 7, 2021/Mediterranean-Genoa), GRANDIOSA (Jan 24, 2021/Mediterranean-Genoa), LIRICA (April 12, 2022/Med-Aegean-Athens), MAGNIFICA (June 20, 2021/Adriatic-Greece from Venice), MERAVIGLIA (Aug 2, 2021/Caribbean from Miami), MUSICA (June 5, 2022/Mediterranean from Monfalcone), OPERA (April 24, 2022/Mediterranean-Genoa), ORCHESTRA (June 5, 2021/Adriatic-Greece from Venice), POESIA (April 30, 2022/Med-Baltic repositioning/Rome-Rostock), PREZIOSA (Sept 23, 2021/Mediterranean-Genoa), SEASHORE (Aug 9, 2021/Mediterranean-Naples-Messina-Valletta-Barcelona), SEASCAPE (Nov 19, 2022/ Maiden Voyage /Transatlantic from Rome to NYC New York), SEASIDE (May 1, 2021/Mediterranean-Rome-Genoa), SEAVIEW (July 3, 2021/Kiel Germany), SINFONIA (March 26, 2022/Mediterranean from Venice), SPLENDIDA (June 12, 2021/Adriatic from Trieste), VIRTUOSA (May 20, 2021/UK-British Islands from Southampton), WORLD EUROPA (Dec 21, 2022/ Maiden Voyage /Red Sea from Dubai).
- In early-January 2021 MSC planned to start Mediterranean cruises (with Grandiosa) scheduled between January 24 and March 21. The 7-day itinerary (leaving on Sundays from Genoa) visited Civitavecchia, Palermo, Naples and Valletta (Malta), with embarkation available in all the Italian ports.
- MSC USA's pause (ex-Florida cancellations) affected 3 ships - Meraviglia and Armonia (from Miami) and Divina (from Port Canaveral).
- MSC South America 2021-2022 winter program was canceled (due to Brazil's new policies/ordinance 657) affecting 4 ships (Sinfonia, Orchestra, Preziosa, Splendida).
- LIRICA's Mediterranean 2021 season (7-day roundtrips from Ancona and Venice) was canceled and the liner restarts operations in 2022 (April 11/Aegean from Athens).
- MUSICA's South Africa 2021-2022 program (from Durban) was canceled.
- OPERA's Red Sea 2021-2022 program (from Dubai) was canceled.
- PREZIOSA's 2021 Baltic season (Baltic-Norway from Hamburg) was canceled.
- MSC's 2021-2022/winter South America (Preziosa, Seaview) and Arabia-Dubai (Fantasia) programs were canceled.
All affected bookings received full refunds in FCC (future cruise credit), including on prepurchased through MSC packages and services. With rebooking (made by December 31, 2021) was offered a 125% refund in FCC. Available for rebooking were all departures thru April 30, 2022. Optionally was offered a 100% monetary refund.
Itinerary of MSC Cruises
This section provides a concise review of MSC's current and future cruise itinerary program. The company operates regularly scheduled voyages in Europe (Mediterranean, UK, Baltic), the Caribbean (ex-Florida USA departures), South America, South Africa, Asia, Arabian Gulf.
Currently, MSC has no plans for ship deployments in Alaska, except via the sister brand Explora Journeys .
MSC's Grand Voyages are seasonally offered relocation voyages including Transatlantic crossings (Europe-USA-Caribbean, Europe-South America), Suez Canal (Mediterranean-Arabia/ Dubai UAE ), Mediterranean-Baltic-UK, Europe-South Africa. Cruises to Nowhere MSC offers in South Africa.
Note: For an extensive ship relocation schedule see RepositionCruises.com
With its newbuilds , MSC attracts a large number of retirees during winter and targets families with kids during summer and the school holidays. The company's smaller liners offer longer and more exotic itineraries but lack modern kids' facilities as they are tailored to older travelers.
Itinerary changes 2023-2024
MSC Preziosa is due to be based in Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil) offering a range of mini cruises and 7-night trips that feature Uruguay and Argentina along with voyages calling at Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for New Year and Carnival in February. The ship’s local season ends with a 22-night Grand Voyage out of Santos and Rio to Northern Europe for Summer 2023.
MSC Bellissima is due to replace her sistership Virtuosa in the Mediterranean, where she is scheduled to sail the planned 7-nights calling at Genoa-Milan, La Spezia, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Marseille.
MSC USA's schedule 2023-2024 (winter season) listed 5 boats based in PortMiami (Divina, Magnifica, Seascape), Port Canaveral (Seashore) and NYC (Meraviglia). From New York City, Meraviglia operates roundtrips to Bermuda, Florida-Bahamas and Canada-New England.
Summer 2024 itineraries were put on sale in December 2022. 22 cruise ships feature including the continuation of departures out of Southampton (England UK) by MSC Virtuosa . Ex-UK voyages start from 4-night breaks leading in at GBP 259, 7-night cruises starting at GBP 649, and a 14-night itinerary departing on September 7th, 2024, to Casablanca (Morocco) , Canary Islands, and Lisbon (Portugal) , with prices starting at GBP 1,449.
In winter 2023-2024, MSC is also bringing a new ship - MSC Euribia , to the UK/Southampton.
In 2 years (2022-23) MSC reported a 40% increase in bookings of Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf voyages leaving from Saudi Arabia. The top 5 (of the total 124 nationalities) were Italy, Germany, Spain, France, USA. MSC's Red Sea 2023-2024 winter program (November through April, scheduled for MSC Orchestra) groups 20x 7-day roundtrips from homeport Jeddah to Jordan (Aqaba-Petra) and Egypt (Sharm El-Sheikh, Sokhna-Cairo, Safaga-Luxor).
In November 2023, MSC Cruises unveiled its summer 2024 itineraries. The upcoming season features voyages by MSC Divina , MSC Lirica , MSC Opera , and MSC Sinfonia in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Greek Islands, encompassing renowned destinations such as Santorini , Mykonos , Brindisi , and Split .
For those with a penchant for culinary delights and diverse cultures, the Western Mediterranean beckons, with MSC World Europa , MSC Seaside , and MSC Seaview vessels offering visits to Naples , Palermo , Valencia , and Cannes .
Alternatively, seeking a cooler summer retreat, MSC Euribia navigates the Norwegian Fjords, exploring scenic locales like Nordfjordeid , Flam , and Hellesylt / Geiranger . Travelers can also opt for voyages on MSC Poesia or MSC Preziosa , embarking on journeys to Iceland and Greenland, featuring whale watching, hiking, and the rugged landscapes of both islands. Destinations include Nuuk , Qaqortoq , Reykjavik , Akureyri , and more.
Closer to the United States, Caribbean-bound travelers in the coming summer have an array of ships and itineraries to choose from. MSC Magnifica , MSC Meraviglia , MSC Seascape , and MSC Seashore offer diverse routes covering Jamaica, Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve , and other enticing destinations.
In May 2023, the Yokohama -homeported MSC Bellissima marked the start of the summer 2023 season as well as MSC's 15th season in Japan. The program is based on 8-9-night roundtrips.
Bookings on MSC's ever-first winter season in Japan (November 2023 thru March 2024) opened on May 1, 2023. This way the company now offers year-round voyages from the country and also provides the largest capacity in the region.
MSC Bellissima's winter 2023-2024 program is based on 6-9-11-night roundtrips from Port Yokohama. In January-March 2024, Bellissima is homeported in Naha/Okinawa .
Bellissima's winter 2023-2024 Japan program includes 4-5-night short breaks visiting Keelung/Taipei (Taiwan) . In addition to Taiwan, longer itineraries visit Japan's Okinawa, Ishigakijima Island , Miyakojima Island .
Middle East-Arabian Gulf 2023-2024 voyages
On May 31, 2021, MSC opened for booking the voyages scheduled for MSC World Europa - the fleet's newest and ever-largest liner.
The ship currently has planned an inaugural season in the Middle East (December 2022 through March 2023) based on a 7-day itinerary leaving roundtrip from 3 homeports - Dubai UAE (Port Rashid) , Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Doha (Qatar) .
- The itinerary's call ports include Sir Bani Yas Island (UAE) , and Dammam (Saudi Arabia, port to Al-Ahsa Oasis) . Prices for the 7-night roundtrips started from EUR 815 (USD 995 / GBP 700) per person with double occupancy.
- World Europa's Maiden Voyage departs on December 20, 2022. The 9-night Doha roundtrip visits Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Dammam, ending in Doha (Dec 29). Prices started from EUR 1280 (USD 1565 / GBP 1100) per person. The "Inaugural Cruise" was also offered as a 4-night Doha-Dubai voyage.
MSC's Arabian season 2023-2024 is based on 3x ships (Opera, Orchestra, Virtuosa), diverse homeporting and 7-night voyages. With the program was also introduced a new for MSC call port ( Mina Salman-Manama, Bahrain ), visited by Virtuosa along with Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island. MSC's Fly&Cruise program contributed with ~80,000 return airseats. Virtuosa's schedule included 17x voyages, Opera's- 22x. Opera's itinerary (Dubai roundtrip) visited Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Khasab (Oman) or Fujairah (UAE), and Muscat (Oman) before the return in Dubai.
In the Arabian Gulf was also deployed MSC Orchestra with a new 7-night itinerary leaving roundtrip from Safaga (Egypt). Orchestra's 20x voyages visited Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Aqaba-Petra (Jordan), Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt/new port for MSC), Sokhna-Cairo (Egypt). From Safaga is accessed Luxor . Homeporting/embarkation was offered from Safaga, Jeddah, Sharm El-Sheikh and Sokhna.
In the upcoming winter 2023-2024 season, MSC is set to make significant additions to its Middle East itineraries. To support this expansion, MSC Cruises partners with leading airlines to provide 80,000 return air seats as part of its 'Fly&Cruise' program.
MSC Virtuosa is scheduled to embark on 17 new seven-night voyages in the Arabian Gulf, starting from Dubai and including stops at Doha , Manama in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi , and Sir Bani Yas Island . Travelers can board the ship from three different embarkation ports: Dubai, Doha, and Abu Dhabi. Additionally, MSC Virtuosa is expected to serve as a cruise ship hotel for the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
MSC Opera is due to return to the Middle East with 22 seven-night sailings from Dubai to destinations like Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Muscat , and more.
MSC Orchestra is introducing a new Middle East cruise itinerary from Safaga in Egypt, featuring 20 seven-night sailings to Jeddah , Aqaba for Petra in Jordan, Sharm El-Sheikh , and Cairo .
Cruises from China
In May 2018, MSC Splendida started service on the Chinese market following its 2017 drydock refurbishment . The China-based ( Shanghai ) itinerary program included destinations in Japan, Korea, China.
MSC offers cruises in China since 2016 (with MSC Lirica ), followed by the deployments of Splendida (2018) and Virtuosa (2022).
In 2024 (April thru September), in China are deployed the MSC ships Bellissima and Splendida. Itineraries are based on homeporting in/roundtrip departures from Shanghai and Shenzhen/Shekou . Bellissima starts from Shenzhen on June 29th, and has scheduled 8x voyages (2- to 5-night in length) visiting Hong Kong and Japan (Okinawa, Yaeyama Islands, Miyako Island). In July-September (2024) Bellissima has scheduled 8x voyages (4- to 6-night) leaving out of Shanghai and visiting Japan (Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Osaka, Okinawa, Shimonoseki).
MSC 2023-2024-2025 itineraries
Caribbean and the French Antilles
- Seascape (PortMiami). 7-night Eastern Caribbean (Ocean Cay and Nassau Bahamas, San Juan, Puerto Plata Dominicana) 7-night Western Caribbean (Ocean Cay, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios Jamaica)
- Meraviglia ( Port Canaveral ). 3- to 7-night (Nassau and Ocean Cay, Costa Maya and Cozumel, Belize City)
- Divina (PortMiami). 3- to 10-night (Ocean Cay, Belize City, Roatan Honduras, Costa Maya, Ocho Rios, Cartagena Columbia, Colon Panama, Puerto Limon Costa Rica)
- Seaside ( Fort-de-France, French Antilles ). 7-night (Pointe-a-Pitre Guadeloupe, Castries St Lucia, Bridgetown Barbados, St Georges Grenada, Kingstown St Vincent)
- Grandiosa . 7-night (Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Palermo Italy, Valletta Malta, Barcelona Spain, Marseille France)
- Virtuosa : 7-night (Genoa, La Spezia/Florence, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Marseille
- Lirica (Genoa) 11-night (Civitavecchia, Messina Sicily, Lindos/Rhodes, Heraklion/Crete, Limassol Cyprus, Haifa Israel) 10-night (Ceuta, Malaga, Barcelona, Alicante, Tangier and Casablanca/Marrakech Morocco, Marseille)
- Seashore (Brazil). 7-night (Maceio Salvador & Buzios Brazil)
- Seaview (Rio de Janeiro) 3- to 8-night (Buzios, Ilhabela, Ilha, Grande/Angra dos Reis, Ilheus & Salvador Brazil, ports in Uruguay & Argentina)
- Fantasia (Santos, Brazil) 3- to 7-night (Buzios, Ilha Grande/Angra dos Reis Brazil, Montevideo & Punta Del Este Uruguay, Buenos Aires)
- Armonia (Itajai/Santa Caterina, Brazil) 7-night (Ilhabela Brazil, ports in Uruguay & Argentina)
- Musica (Bueno Aires) Ilhabela, Rio de Janeiro, Buzios, Ilha Grande/Angra dos Reis Brazil
- Sinfonia (Cape Town) Mossel Bay, Walvis Bay and Ludertize (Namibia).
- Orchestra (Durban) Pomene & Portuguese Island/Inhaca Archipelago (Mozambique), Walvis Bay (Namibia), Cape Town (South Africa)
- World Europa (Dubai) 7-night (Abu Dhabi/Dubai, Sir Bani Yas, Dammam/Al Ahsa Oasis Saudi Arabia)
- Opera (Dubai) Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Muscat, Khasab (Oman); 22 separate 7-night sailings in 2023-2024, starting from Dubai and covering ports like Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Khasab in Oman or Fujairah in the UAE , the Omani capital Muscat , and returning to Dubai.
- 17 new 7-night voyages in the Arabian Gulf by MSC Virtuosa from Dubai , taking passengers to Doha in Qatar , the newly added port of Manama in Bahrain , Abu Dhabi , Sir Bani Yas Island in the UAE, and back to Dubai.
- MSC Orchestra is offering a new itinerary during the winter 2023-2024 season. Departing from Safaga in Egypt , she sails on 20 7-night sailings to destinations like Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Aqaba for Petra in Jordan, a newly introduced port of call at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt , Sokhna Port for Cairo in Egypt , and back to Safaga. International guests have embarkation options at Safaga, Jeddah, Sharm El-Sheikh, and Sokhna Port.
In 2025 debuts World Europa's sistership MSC World America and both are homeported in Miami . Out of PortMiami, World America operates on two 7-day roundtrip itineraries - Eastern Caribbean (to Puerto Plata Dominicana , San Juan Puerto Rico , and Ocean Cay Bahamas ) and Western Caribbean (to Mexico's Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico , Isla Roatan Honduras , and Ocean Cay). World America's Maiden Voyage departs Miami on April 12, 2025 (Eastern Caribbean).
South America 2023-2024 (winter itineraries)
In December 2021, MSC opened sales for South America 2022-2023 season (November-April) based on 6 ships - 4x homeported in Brazil, 1x in Argentina and Uruguay, while the 6th operates a World Cruise that visits South American ports.
- Seashore operates 6- to 8-night roundtrips out of Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil) with rotating visits to Maceio, Salvador de Bahia, Ilha Grande, Buzios, with alternative boarding in Maceio and Salvador.
- Seaview from Rio de Janeiro operates 3- and 4-night mini-cruises, as well as 5- to 7-night itineraries visiting Salvador, Ilheus , Ilha Grande, Buzios.
- Fantasia and Armonia from Itajai (Brazil) are cruising off the Brazilian coast.
- Musica is sailing from Argentina and Uruguay on 7- to 10-night itineraries, also visiting Brazil.
- Magnifica has scheduled a 117-day "World Cruise 2023" visiting ports in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay.
For season 2022-2023 MSC deployed 5x ships in South America (Armonia, Fantasia, Preziosa, Seashore, Seaview). MSC increased its Brazilian market capacity by ~30% by adding Preziosa, with scheduled 22x departures from Santos (December-April) and itineraries 3- to 8-night in length.
MSC Cuba cruises from Havana
In January 2016 MSC became the first major cruise line to homeport in Havana, with MSC Opera (sailing to Jamaica, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands) while MSC Armonia operated on 8-day/7-night itineraries, visiting ports in Central America and the Caribbean:
- 8-day roundtrip from Havana visited Roatan (Honduras), Belize City (Belize), Costa Maya (Mexico), Isla de la Juventud (Cuba)
- 8-day roundtrip from Havana visited Montego Bay (Jamaica), George Town (Grand Cayman) and Cozumel (Mexico).
- Both itineraries were combinable into a 14-night roundtrip Havana back-to-back cruise .
Cuban itineraries on MSC Opera were roundtrips from Havana .
Note: According to the current Cuban law, US citizens of Cuban origin (born in Cuba) are not allowed to visit the island country (including on cruise ships). Regardless of their US citizenship status, Cuba-born Americans were denied booking on cruise itineraries visiting ports in Cuba. However, the situation changed in April 2016, after Carnival Corporation negotiated with the Cuban government for allowing ships with Cuban-born passengers, as such US citizens are allowed to visit the country on USA-Cuba charter flights. The Carnival-fathom line started Miami to Cuba cruises in May 2016.
Alaska Airlines offers regular nonstop flights to Havana from Los Angeles (California USA). An 80-min ling JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to Havana costs less than USD 100. Previously, air travel from the USA to Cuba was thought charter flights only.
IMPORTANT: On June 4, 2019, the US Government announced new regulations (economic sanctions) that ended group travel to Cuba, including via US-homeported cruise liners, effective immediately. The ban relates to "private and corporate aircraft, cruise ships, sailboats, fishing boats, and other similar aircraft and vessels". The US travel restrictions impacted hundreds of pre-scheduled cruise itineraries, which were adjusted to no longer stop in Cuban seaports.
(NEW) PortMiami MSC Terminal AAA
In July 2018, Miami-Dade County and MSC signed an agreement for extended preferential berthing rights and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the building of a new Cruise Terminal AAA at Port Miami .
Port Miami is the exclusive home port of the company in the United States. The new agreement extends the existing Saturday preferential MSC berthing rights also to Sundays. Additionally, the new cruise terminal, due to be completed by October 2022, is projected to be able to accommodate line's next-generation, MSC World Class cruise ships (still under construction) carrying up to 7,000 passengers.
The revolutionary MSC Seaside , which debuted late 2017, sails year-round from Port Miami to the Caribbean from recently completed Terminal F. Line's MSC Divina also offers seasonal Caribbean cruises from October through March, while MSC Armonia joins the North American-based fleet of MSC Cruises beginning year-round voyages to Havana December 2018.
As of November 2019, MSC Cruises' largest ship, MSC Meraviglia joins the other 3 ships at PortMiami.
MSC Cruises related cruise news
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The ultimate guide to MSC Cruises ships and itineraries
MSC Cruises may be the biggest cruise line you've never heard of — assuming you're an American.
While the Switzerland-based company is the third-biggest cruise line in the world, it has far less name recognition among Americans than big U.S.-based lines such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line . That's because, until recently, MSC Cruises mostly catered to Europeans. A large percentage of its customers came from countries such as Italy, Germany, France and Spain.
That's all changing now — and in a big way.
For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .
As it expands its fleet at a rapid pace , MSC Cruises is massively building its footprint in North America in an effort to woo more Americans. As recently as 2017, the line only had a single vessel based in North America. Now it's up to three ships sailing out of U.S. ports, and by the end of 2023, that number will have shot up to five.
All the North America-based ships are marketed heavily to Americans, and the line has tailored some of the features and activities on the vessels to a North American crowd.
Like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line , MSC Cruises has been building big resortlike vessels that offer every sort of amusement known to humans, from giant water parks to race car simulators. It currently operates eight of the 20 biggest cruise ships in the world — one of which (MSC Meraviglia) now calls North America home with year-round sailings out of New York City.
Related: Which cruise brand is right for you? A guide to the most popular lines
3 things TPG loves about MSC Cruises
- Its affordability
- The incredible array of activities on its ships
- The status match it offers with its loyalty program
What we could do without
- Onboard announcements in five languages (on overseas sailings)
The MSC Cruises fleet
MSC Cruises has grown enormously in recent years. As recently as early 2017, the line had just 12 ships in operation. But it's added new ships at a rapid pace over the past six years and now operates 22 vessels, more than any other major line besides Royal Caribbean and Carnival. It also has three more giant new ships on the way in the next few years.
If that sounds like too many ships to get your head around, note that all 22 of the vessels in operation, as well as the three on order, fall into six distinct classes . The ships within each of the classes have similar sizes and onboard attractions. If you know one ship in the class, you know them all.
Related: MSC Cruises ships from newest to oldest — a complete list
As a result of its rapid growth, MSC Cruises recently passed Norwegian to become the world's third-biggest cruise brand when measured by passenger capacity. Only Royal Caribbean and Carnival are bigger.
Not including pulldown bunks and pullout sofas, MSC Cruises' 22 ships have 77,832 berths — about 21,000 more than Norwegian's fleet. At its current pace of growth, MSC Cruises could soon pass Carnival to become the world's second-biggest line.
As noted above, the MSC Cruises fleet includes eight of the world's 20 biggest cruise vessels — MSC World Europa , MSC Euribia , MSC Virtuosa, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Meraviglia , MSC Bellissima, MSC Seashore and MSC Seascape . Built in the last six years, these eight ships aren't quite as big as Royal Caribbean's giant Oasis Class vessels (the world's biggest cruise ships), but they're right up there when it comes to amenities and passenger capacity.
The grande dame of the MSC Cruises fleet is its recently unveiled MSC World Europa. At 215,863 tons, it's the biggest MSC Cruises ship ever built and the first of a new series of so-called World Class vessels that are nearly as big as Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class ships.
The next-biggest ships in the MSC Cruises fleet are its recently unveiled Meraviglia Class vessels: MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Euribia. Similar in design, these five ships aren't quite as big as MSC World Europa, but they're right up there when it comes to size, amenities and passenger capacity.
MSC Grandiosa, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Euribia, which debuted in 2019, 2021 and 2023, respectively, are a tad longer than MSC Bellissima and MSC Meraviglia and are considered a subset of the class known as Meraviglia Plus. Each can hold 4,842 passengers at double occupancy (or 6,334 passengers if every last pulldown bunk and pullout sofa is filled).
The other two Meraviglia Class ships, which date to 2019 and 2017, can carry more than 5,600 passengers with every berth filled.
In addition to these five giants, MSC Cruises also operates four large Seaside Class ships. Each has a total capacity of 5,336 to 5,632 passengers.
Add those in, and MSC Cruises operates 10 of the world's 35 biggest cruise ships, plus four somewhat smaller Fantasia Class vessels that can each hold around 4,400 passengers at maximum occupancy.
Related: A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
Together, the 14 World, Meraviglia, Seaside and Fantasia Class vessels make up MSC Cruises' big-ship fleet. The line's remaining eight vessels, split among two classes, are considerably smaller, with maximum occupancy topping out at 2,700 to 3,200 passengers.
The eight smaller ships, which in general are the line's older ships, allow MSC Cruises to offer itineraries to places that aren't as easy for big ships to visit. Not all ports in the world can handle a ship the size of the World Class or Meraviglia Class vessels, although even the biggest MSC Cruises ships are still designed to be able to call at most ports around the world.
The smaller ships also appeal to a subset of MSC Cruises fans who are willing to give up some onboard amenities in exchange for intimacy. They're usually less expensive on a per-day basis, too.
In addition to all the above, MSC Group — the line's parent company — has announced plans for yet another class of big ships to start arriving later this decade, though few details have been released. MSC Group is also developing a series of small luxury vessels that'll operate under a separate brand called Explora Journeys.
Destinations and itineraries
MSC Cruises sails almost everywhere in the world, but its heaviest presence is in Europe, where it's the biggest cruise operator.
In a typical summer, the line will deploy the vast majority of its ships in the Mediterranean or northern Europe. In recent years, the line has also kept at least a couple of ships in Florida in summer for voyages to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. This year, the line had two ships based in Florida for summer sailings to the Caribbean and the Bahamas, plus one ship sailing out of New York City for the summer.
During winter, MSC Cruises typically will add more ships to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. (For winter 2023-2024, it expects to have six in the region.) It'll also typically send four or five ships to South America in winter and often deploys vessels in winter to South Africa and the Middle East.
For winter 2023-2024, it'll have one ship in South Africa. The line's Middle East deployment this year has been cut back due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Additionally, MSC Cruises often offers an around-the-world cruise in winter on a single ship.
Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on an MSC Cruises ship
In North America, MSC Cruises ships have generally sailed out of Miami , but the line recently added Port Canaveral and New York City as home ports, too. The line also offers cruises from the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Martinique and Guadeloupe, and in a major development, the line opened its first private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve , in the Bahamas in 2019. It's a major stop for many MSC Cruises itineraries in the region.
In Europe, major MSC Cruises hubs include Southampton, England; Copenhagen; Kiel and Hamburg in Germany; Ancona, Venice, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Bari and Civitavecchia (the port for Rome) in Italy; Barcelona, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca in Spain; and Marseille, France.
Who sails MSC Cruises?
MSC Cruises is increasingly known for having big, bustling megaships that'll appeal to people who like a megaresort experience. In other words, if you're the kind of person who loves staying on property at Disney World or at a giant Las Vegas resort , this could be the line for you.
The bigger MSC Cruises ships offer vacationers a ton of options for dining (some vessels have more than a dozen distinct places to eat dinner or at least grab a quick bite) or entertainment. They're lively and fun.
They also have an inordinate amount of teen- and tween-friendly attractions — everything from some of the largest waterslides at sea to sprawling amusement areas with race car simulators, flight simulators and XD cinemas (more on all this below). That makes them particularly appealing to families, including multigenerational groups. Families are a big part of MSC Cruises' business.
But it's not just families that flock to MSC Cruises.
The line's ships are designed to offer something for everyone, and they thus appeal to a wide demographic, including couples of all ages and even solo travelers (the line has added solo cabins on its newer ships and occasionally runs promotions for solo travelers). They also draw customers from a wide range of the income spectrum.
At one level, MSC Cruises ships have a for-the-masses feel. However, overlaid across many of the line's ships are high-end suites, upscale restaurants and luxury services — most notably the suites and amenities in the exclusive, upscale MSC Yacht Club areas found on some vessels (more on that later). As a result, the line draws a good number of luxury-seeking travelers.
The demographic profile of MSC Cruises ships can be markedly different depending on where the vessels are based. On Caribbean sailings out of Florida, you'll find that a large percentage of passengers are English-speaking North Americans.
MSC Cruises voyages in Europe are often heavily filled with Europeans speaking Italian, German, Spanish and French, as well as some English speakers. In Europe, the line offers onboard programming in all five of these languages (all crew members speak English no matter where the ships are sailing).
Reality check: Due to the diverse origins of passengers on European sailings, the line typically makes announcements in all five of the aforementioned languages. This can result in extraordinarily long announcements at times, which can be a distraction to some cruisers. The good news is that on sailings out of U.S. ports, only safety announcements are made in all five languages. Other announcements are in English only.
Cabins and suites
MSC Cruises offers a wide range of accommodations on its ships. On its newest vessels, you'll find everything from relatively low-cost, windowless "interior" cabins that measure as little as 172 square feet (perfect for the budget traveler) to suites more than five times that size that sprawl across two decks.
Still, MSC Cruises doesn't offer the sort of truly giant suites (more than 1,000 to 2,000 square feet) you'll find on some Norwegian and Royal Caribbean ships.
At the high end, the accommodations are aimed at affluent travelers who, for whatever reason, prefer the megaship experience to being on a luxury ship, and they can be quite impressive.
The biggest suites on MSC Grandiosa, which launched in 2019, span two levels and offer around 635 square feet of interior space, plus another 237 square feet of outdoor balcony space.
On more than half of MSC Cruises' ships, many of the top suites are part of an exclusive, keycard-accessed area called the MSC Yacht Club . Billed as an upscale "ship within a ship" and aimed at luxury travelers, the MSC Yacht Club is at the very top of vessels and comes with a private lounge, a pool, sunning areas and even its own restaurant.
Related: Everything you need to know about MSC Cruises cabins and suites
MSC Yacht Club accommodations also come with 24-hour butler service and a dedicated concierge.
Solo cabins (called interior studios) measuring just 127 square feet can be found on the line's seven newest vessels.
Insider tip: Passengers can use the interactive TVs in cabins to browse information, find out about daily events and activities, check bills and book services. On some ships, MSC for Me interactive wristbands can open your cabin door and also allow you to book services or make contactless payments for items on board.
Restaurants and dining
While a few of MSC Cruises' smallest ships have relatively limited dining venues, many of the line's vessels offer a wide range of choices.
On the line's recently unveiled MSC Euribia, for instance, there are nearly a dozen distinct eateries, as well as a number of bars and lounges that serve at least small bites. MSC Seashore has five specialty restaurants that feature waterfront, outdoor seating on the ship's boardwalk.
Every vessel has at least one or more main dining rooms and a casual buffet where meals are included in the fare.
For dinner in a main dining room, you must either have My Choice dining with the Aurea experience (a flexible dining option where you dine whenever you want) or classic dining (where you have a fixed table and time for dinner).
Nearly every ship also has at least one — and sometimes quite a few — extra-charge venues. Among the most common across the fleet is the American-style steakhouse Butcher's Cut, which is found on more than half the line's vessels. There also are sushi bars on more than half the line's ships, with varying names like Kaito Sushi and Galaxy Sushi.
The line's newest ships have teppanyaki restaurants, too, and passengers on MSC Cruises' Seaside Class ships, as well as MSC Meraviglia and MSC Splendida, can dine at a Mediterranean-style seafood restaurant.
Several of the line's newest vessels, including MSC Grandiosa and MSC Bellissima, also have the French cuisine-serving L'Atelier Bistrot.
Entertainment and activities
MSC Cruises offers a broad range of entertainment and activities on its ships. As noted above, the line's biggest vessels offer multiple entertainment venues, from Broadway-style theaters to spaces for circus-like performances; all manner of deck-top attractions; large casinos; and full-service spas. Plus, you'll find multiple bars, lounges and nightlife spots.
Theaters and shows
Like other megaship lines, MSC Cruises is known for big, glitzy theater productions performed in onboard theaters that are as state-of-the-art as anything you'll find on Broadway.
On the line's newer ships, such as MSC Euribia, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Grandiosa, there are main theaters that hold nearly 1,000 people. They offer as many as six different full-scale theatrical productions during a typical voyage, with multiple showtimes for each production and a range of styles. You'll find original Broadway-style musicals, piano concerts and even operas.
Some MSC Cruises ships have high-tech, multipurpose entertainment spaces that serve as comedy clubs and karaoke bars but can also transform into music venues. Dubbed the TV Studio & Bar on some ships, these spaces also house radio and TV broadcasting equipment, and they can host games, quizzes and talent contests aired live on TV sets in cabins.
Other interior attractions and activities
In addition to entertainment spaces, the interiors of MSC Cruises ships are loaded with other venues where passengers can kick back and let loose day and night, including a seemingly endless array of bars, lounges and nightspots.
Every MSC Cruises ship has a casino, and on the line's larger vessels, they are big operations. Le Grand Casino on MSC Grandiosa, for instance, has 164 slot machines, 12 table games (including blackjack, roulette and poker) and its own bar.
The five Meraviglia and Meraviglia Plus Class vessels also have soaring interior mall-like spaces called Gallerias with bars, restaurants and retail shops, as does the new MSC World Europa.
Many of the Gallerias, for example, are home to an innovative chocolate bar and boutique created by well-known French patissier and chocolatier Jean-Philippe Maury.
The Gallerias on the five Meraviglia and Meraviglia Plus Class vessels — MSC Euribia, MSC Virtuosa, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellissima — are topped with one of the most stunning features found at sea: a dazzling "digital sky" made with curving LED screens that offer regular light shows during the day and evening. There's something similar on MSC World Europa.
The bigger MSC Cruises ships also have interactive game zones with such attractions as Formula One racing simulators, immersive XD cinemas, arcade games and even full-size bowling alleys.
For something more soothing, all MSC Cruises ships include spas. These can be quite big on the larger vessels, with expansive thermal areas and a wide choice of treatments and services.
Insider tip: Passengers can get information about onboard entertainment and restaurants (and make reservations) on the interactive screens found around MSC Cruises vessels.
The top decks of MSC Cruises ships offer pools, hot tubs and plenty of lounge space, plus some spectacular family-focused fun zones — on the line's newest ships, at least.
On the line's Meraviglia and Seaside Class ships, top-deck amenities include sprawling back-of-the-ship water parks with multiple waterslides, ropes courses and watery play areas for the little ones.
Some ships even have zip lines — the longest at sea.
Additionally, the main pool areas on the newest MSC Cruises ships are among the biggest and most stunning at sea. Some of the line's ships also have adults-only pools topped with glass ceilings that can be opened on warm days.
MSC Cruises has some of the most extensive children's programs at sea, with dedicated clubs and activities for children as young as a couple of months old through the age of 17.
On most ships, the line offers programming for five distinct age groups.
For the very youngest cruisers, there's Baby Club, a program for babies and toddlers up to the age of 3. The line partnered with baby care brand Chicco to develop dedicated Baby Club play areas on every ship with toys, games and music and rhythm activities. You can leave your toddlers at the clubs, which have dedicated staff, or stay and play with them.
MSC Cruises ships also have a dedicated Mini Club (ages 3 to 6) and Junior Club (ages 7 to 11) with age-appropriate activities. Designed in partnership with the Lego Group, the Mini Clubs offer games, events and activities such as arts and crafts. Junior Clubs have a Masterchef at Sea Juniors competition, plus acting, dancing and singing activities.
Related: New MSC Cruises ship in New York is bigger than the city's biggest hotel
MSC Cruises ships also have Young Club, a tween program (ages 12 to 14) that includes sports tournaments, high-tech games and other activities.
Then there's Teen Club (ages 15 to 17), which hosts disco parties, karaoke parties and Wii, Xbox and PlayStation 4 tournaments. On MSC Grandiosa, teens even get the chance to pilot a drone through an obstacle course during an activity called the Drone Academy, and the ship holds a teen dance competition designed in partnership with the company behind "The X Factor."
Kids and teens clubs on newer MSC Cruises ships can also access cutting-edge equipment like 3D printing machines, virtual reality devices and 3D product scanning, all of which are used in activities.
What to know before you go
If you're a U.S. citizen on a cruise that starts and ends in a U.S. port, you'll need either a current passport or an official copy of your birth certificate and a driver's license or other government-issued photo identification to sail. Passports must be valid for at least six months.
For cruises from international ports, you'll need a passport. It's important that the name on your reservation is listed exactly as it appears on your passport or other official proof of nationality.
MSC Cruises adds an automatic service charge of $16 per person to final bills on sailings out of U.S. ports. Sailings with pricing in euros have a 12 euro charge ($13.13 at current exchange rates). Children 2 to 11 pay half the adult rate on most cruises. Children under 2 are not charged for service.
Also, a 15% gratuity is added to bills at bars for cruisers who do not have a drinks package. If you buy a drinks package, the gratuity charges for drinks is folded into the package price when you book it. A 15% service charge is also added to items in minibars, salons and spas.
Related: Tipping on a cruise ship: Everything you need to know
MSC Cruises has been rolling out Wi-Fi with speeds so fast that you'll be able to watch Netflix from your room on your mobile device. Unlike some lines, though, MSC Cruises doesn't offer flat-fee pricing for Wi-Fi. Instead, MSC Cruises charges by the number of devices you use and how you want to use the internet (think: browsing, texting, sending emails or video streaming).
Basic packages for browsing start around $72 for one device with unlimited data. A two-device plan with unlimited data for browsing costs about $109. There's also a four-device browsing plan for about $223. If you're looking to stream video along with other internet uses, you'll need a streaming plan. These start around $100 for one device and can be as high as $313 for a four-device plan.
Unlike other cruise lines, MSC Cruises does not let passengers switch their internet plan from one device to another during the cruise, even if they're only using one device at a time. Make sure you sign up for the Wi-Fi plan on the device you intend to use it with. If you'll want access on both your phone and your tablet, you will need a two-device plan.
Passengers can chat with friends and family on board ships even if they don't have an internet package by downloading the MSC for Me app to a smart device. The app also lets you book services on board.
Carry-on drinks policy
Unlike some lines, MSC Cruises doesn't allow passengers to bring their own alcohol on board.
Smoking (including electronic cigarette smoking) is allowed in a limited number of designated areas on ships, with the primary smoking area on ships being an outdoor pool area that varies by ship and is indicated by signage. Smoking is forbidden in cabins and on cabin balconies, and those who violate this rule will face a $250 fee.
Unlike some lines, MSC Cruises does not build self-service launderettes onto its ships. Vessels offer extra-charge laundry and dry-cleaning services.
All vessels have standard North American-style, 110-volt outlets in rooms, as well as European-style, 220-volt outlets. A growing number of vessels also have USB ports in cabins.
For cruises in the Caribbean, South America and South Africa, as well as on MSC Grand Voyages going to Europe and to Australia, the onboard currency is the U.S. dollar.
On cruises in other parts of the world, the onboard currency is the euro. All vessels operate on a cashless system with any onboard purchases you make posting automatically to your onboard account. You'll receive a Cruise Card (or, on the newer ships, an MSC for Me wristband) that you can use to make purchases.
You must be at least 21 years old to consume alcohol on sailings in the U.S. and the Caribbean. The drinking age on sailings everywhere else in the world is 18.
During the day, there's no specific dress code, and people dress casually. If it's a sea day in a warm-weather destination and you're bound for the top deck, that means dressing for the beach — T-shirts, shorts and bathing suits (with a cover-up to put on when you go inside) are just fine.
On most evenings, the line recommends "smart casual" dress, meaning summery dresses for women and a lightweight jacket for men. On select days, the line also holds Gala evenings on its ships where the dress code can be more formal. For Gala evenings, if dining in a main dining room, the line suggests a tuxedo, dinner jacket or dark suit and tie for men and a dressy outfit, formal gown or cocktail dress for women.
Related: Cruise packing list: The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise
MSC Cruises loyalty program
MSC Cruises has a point-based frequent cruiser program, the MSC Voyagers Club , that has four tiers ranging from Classic (requiring 1 point) to Diamond (10,000 points).
Members earn points based on the length of the cruises they take and which "experience" they book on those sailings. There are four different "experiences" you can book on an MSC Cruises sailing, each with different inclusions and price points. The most basic "Bella" experience will get you fewer points than the top "MSC Yacht Club" experience.
For a sailing of under five nights, for instance, your earnings would range from 200 to 800 points depending on the experience you book. For cruises that are five to nine nights in length, you'd earn from 500 to 1,500 points depending on the experience.
Every person in your stateroom will earn points for the cruise. You can also earn points with onboard spending and any bookings you made before embarkation. You'll earn 100 points for every $150 in prepaid and onboard expenses.
Know, though, that there are a couple of key caveats. Only the Voyagers Club member who makes the final payment for the onboard expenses will receive those points. For prepaid expenses, points will be equally distributed among the cabin occupants.
Say, for example, the total amount of prepaid onboard services that apply to all cabin occupants before the cruise is $600. If there are four cabin occupants, the spending for the points calculation of each member will be $150, which is equal to 100 points.
As is typical for cruise line loyalty programs, the entry-level tier (Classic) doesn't bring all that many truly valuable rewards. By far the most alluring benefit at this level is the 5% discount that members get when booking future sailings (note that this discount is not valid on Tandem and MSC Grand Tours). That's real savings every time you book a cruise.
The real perks begin at Diamond status, which brings a free dinner in an extra-charge restaurant, priority embarkation at the start of a cruise and priority disembarkation at the end of a cruise.
Unlike with most cruise line loyalty programs, you won't automatically keep your status forever with MSC Cruises. Once achieved, your status is good as long as you take a cruise at least once every 36 months. If you don't, not only will your points disappear, but your entire account will be erased, requiring you to re-enroll and start all over again.
That's the downside of the MSC Voyagers Club. However, the program also comes with one very big upside: MSC Cruises will let you status match your way to top-tier Diamond status based on your status level with any of more than two dozen other loyalty programs — not just those run by competing cruise lines but also those operated by Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton. It's very rare in the cruise world.
How much does an MSC Cruises voyage cost?
MSC Cruises is known for some of the most affordable ships at sea. It's not uncommon to find MSC Cruises voyages to the Caribbean and the Bahamas from under $75 per person, per night, including all taxes and fees — at least in the offseason.
For instance, at the time of publication, four-night sailings from Miami to the Bahamas in September 2024 start at just $249 per person, not including taxes and fees of $100. That works out to just $87.25 per person, per night, with taxes and fees, for a package that includes your lodging, transportation and meals.
As you might expect, pricing for ships will generally be lower during offseason periods such as September, October and parts of November.
The timing of when you book can also matter. Cruises book up much further in advance than airplanes or hotels, and many cruisers will tell you the best pricing for any given sailing often is available when cruises first go on sale (which can be a good two years before a departure). Booking far in advance also gives you the best chance of getting your preferred cabin type and location on a ship.
Once on board an MSC Cruises ship, you'll pay extra for most drinks, extra-charge restaurants, spa services, shore excursions, internet and a few other amenities — unless you've paid up for a more inclusive package.
When pricing cabins, MSC Cruises offers one of four main "experiences," each of which comes with different inclusions and varying price tags. The basic "Bella" experience includes your room, dining in the main restaurants and buffet, and access to all the included features of the ship, such as kids programs and theater shows.
Note that if you book the Bella experience, you cannot select a specific cabin. You can only choose between the broad categories of inside, ocean-view or balcony cabin, and a cabin is later assigned to you.
One step up is the more expensive "Fantastica" experience, which adds room service and breakfast delivered to your cabin, priority choice of dinner sittings, access to additional kids activities and classes, and more. At this level and above, you can pick a specific cabin when booking.
With the even pricier "Aurea" experience, you'll get complimentary access to the spa's thermal area, priority boarding and other perks. The Aurea experience also comes with access to My Choice dining and an exclusive sun deck area that on many ships features an exclusive bar and hot tubs.
Then there's the MSC Yacht Club experience, mentioned above, which is the ultimate in onboard living. Even with its higher price tag, the MSC Yacht Club still provides great value for its wide range of perks, such as unlimited drinks in all MSC Yacht Club areas, including premium spirits and minibar items.
Related: 15 ways that cruising newbies waste money on their 1st cruise
How to book
If you're sure you know what sort of cabin you want, on which ship, on which itinerary — and about a dozen other things — you can head over to the MSC Cruises website to book directly.
That said, given the complexity of booking a cruise (there are a lot of decisions to make during the booking process: trust us) we recommend you use a seasoned travel agent who specializes in cruises. A good travel agent will quiz you about your interests, travel style and preferences, and steer you to the perfect cruise line, ship, itinerary and cabin for you. They also can help if something goes wrong just before, during or after your voyage.
If you're sure MSC Cruises is your line, look for a travel agent who specializes in trips with the brand. You want someone who knows all about the line's various cabin categories and, preferably, has done ship inspections to see them firsthand.
Whether you use a travel agent or not, make sure to maximize your purchase when paying for the cruise by using a credit card that offers extra points for travel purchases . This could be the Chase Sapphire Reserve , which offers 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining (excluding the annual $300 travel credit). There's also the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card , which earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel (and dining).
Related: How to book a cruise using points and miles
Long a major player in Europe, MSC Cruises is growing fast in North America with a lineup of big, new, amenity-filled ships.
If you're a megaresort lover, you'll feel right at home on MSC Cruises' new World, Meraviglia and Seaside Class vessels, which rival the biggest vessels of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian for their array of onboard amusements.
You'll also love their affordability. Among the world's biggest ships, they offer some of the lowest pricing. You'll be sharing your vacation with hordes of other people, of course — as many as 6,000 on some MSC Cruises vessels. However, even the biggest MSC Cruises ships have quiet nooks where you can escape the crowds.
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List of MSC Cruises Ships and Statistics
What you need to know about MSC Cruises Ships . A list of all the facts and statistics about MSC Cruises Ship line from the new MSC Euribia ship coming in 2023 soon to the oldest MSC Cruise Ship the MSC Armonia.
What You Will Find On This Page
Everything you need to know about MSC Cruise Ships in one easy list as of 2023
In this List of MSC Cruises ships we will look at the the ships from new to old with all of the facts such as Size, weight and thier total amount of passengers. This can be helpful information when booking a cruise as newer ships often have lots more amenities and smaller ships can be more intimate. Some of these ships are in the same class such as the Seaside class which have the MSC Seascape, Seashore, Seaview and Seaside. This means that facilities onboard will be similar so you can choose a ship from that particular class that has the itinerary to suit.
Who are MSC cruises?
MSC is one of the biggest Shipping companies in the world. They have 22 Cruise ships currently in operation. The group MSC Cruises is a Swiss-Italian global cruise line registered in Switzerland and based in Geneva. Therefore it has many cruise ships and brand new ships joining the fleet every year.
For more details about the size, age and class you can see our post here the MSC Cruise Ships by age, size and class with handy tables.
MSC Euriba will be MSC’c newest ship
The MSC Euribia is named after the ancient goddess Eurybia who harnessed the winds, weather and constellations to master the seas she is the first ship in our List of MSC Cruises ships. MSC Euriba is an innovation is protecting the oceans with technologies to protect and preserve the precious marine ecosystem. The ship is also empowered with striking new features. Not only do the decks boast numerous original works of art, for the first time the hull of the ship itself is a visual masterpiece. It will to be powered by liquid natural gas (LNG) fuel
- Coming in 2023
- Class, MSC MERAVIGLIA Plus
- Length, 331 metres
- Width, 43 m
- Gross Tons, 183.500
- Has a capacity of 6.327
- And a crew of 1.711
- Cabins, 2.419
- Cruising Speed of knots 22,30
The MSC Seascape is the glamorous sister ship of the innovative MSC Seashore. The cutting- edge design of MSC Seascape brings guests close to the sea like never before, through her impressive outdoor spaces designed for relaxation, dining, and entertainment With over 13,000 sqm of open decks.
- Launched 2022
- Class, Seaside
- Length, 323 metres
- Width, 41 m
- Gross Tons, 169,400
- Has a capacity of 5,877
- And a crew of 1,648
- Cabins, 2,270
- Cruising Speed of knots 21.8
MSC World Europa MSC’s biggest ship as of 2023
The MSC Europa is the most sustainable and futuristic cruise ship ever. Powered by cleaner fuel, and with green technology integrated throughout the ship she is World class.
- Class, World Class
- Length, 333.3m
- Gross Tons, 205,700
- Has a capacity of passengers 6,762
- And a crew of 2,138
- Deck theme names, Capital Cities
- Cabins, 2,626
- Cruising Speed of knots 27.7
MSC Seashore is equipped with cutting-edge technology and is the first cruise ship in the world to feature a new air sanitation system, ‘Safe Air’ , which uses UV-C lamp technology to eliminate viruses and bacteria to guarantee clean and safe air for guests and crew. The MSC Seashore is in Seaside class theses are her statisics;
- Launched in 2021
- Length, 339m
- Has a capacity of passengers 5,632
- Cabins 2,270
- Cruising Speed of knots maximum of 21.8
This MSC Virtuosa is one of the largest in MSC Cruises’ fleet, along with her sister ship MSC Grandiosa and Bellissima. She boasts an array of features including a full led screen along the promenade. MSC Virtuosas stats are:
- Class, Meraviglia class
- Length, 331m
- Gross Tons, 181,541
- Has a capacity of passengers 6,334
- And a crew of 1,704
- Deck theme names are composers
- Cabins, 2,421
- Cruising Speed of knots, 22.2 knots max
The MSC Grandiosa has a series of exciting innovations. It is Meraviglia class ship its statistics are;
- Launched in 2019
- Length, 331.43m
- Deck theme names are Artists- see post on the art of Grandiosa here
- Cabins 2,421
- Cruising Speed of knots 20.1 max
MSC Bellissima offers a stunning array of features to rival those of her sister ship, MSC Meraviglia. The brands new Innovative MSC for Me technology connects to fellow guests, the crew and the ship itself. You can find zoe an in-cabin Bluetooth speaker which connects with your mobile device, so you can enjoy your favourite playlists and songs throughout your cruise! The two-deck inside promenade features a spectacular 80-metre-long LED dome. MSC Bellissima will be sailing Saudi Arabia the Red sea and Asia;
- Length, 315.83m
- Gross Tons, 171.598
- Has a capacity of passengers 5,655
- And a crew of 1,595
- deck Theme names are the names of MSC ships
- Cabins 2,201
- Cruising Speed of knots 23.15 max
The MSC Seaview is all about connecting you with the world outside, from the sea to the sky. It is a Seaside class ship and its statistics are;
- Launched in 2018
- Class, Seaside class
- Length, 323m
- Gross Tons, 153,516
- Has a capacity of passengers 5,079
- And a crew of 1,413
- Deck themes are seas and oceans
- Cabins 2,026
- Cruising Speed of knots 22.98 max
The MSC Seaside rewrites the rule book of cruise ship design, combining indoor and outdoor areas to connect you with the sea like never before. Located as low as deck 8 is a unique seafront promenade lined with places to eat, drink, shop, swim and sunbathe. There are superb views from the two glass-floored catwalks and panoramic elevators. It is a Seaside class ship and its statistics are;
- Launched in 2017
- Class, Seaside Class
- Has a capacity of passengers 5,084
- And a crew of 1,513
- Deck theme names are beaches or world
- Cruising Speed of knots 22,95 max
With her amazing LED dome Meraviglia was the first of the Meraviglia class and she is stunning. Her ship statistics are;
- Gross Tons 171,598
- Has a capacity of passengers 5,642
- And a crew of 1,608
- Deck Theme names are all UNESCO World heritage sites
- Cabins 2,214
- Cruising Speed of knots 22.89 max
The MSC Preziosa is a gem at sea with her sweeping Swarovski crystal staircases and a magical ‘infinity’ pool. This is the ship Stats on Preziosa;
- Launched 2013
- Class, Fantasia
- Length, 333,3m
- Gross Tons, 139,072
- Has a capacity of passengers 4,345
- And a crew of 1,388
- Deck theme names are all precious stones
- Cabins, 1,751
- Cruising Speed of knots 24,21 max
Inspired by Sophia Loren the MSC Divina the Divina is a glamorous ship. The MSC is in the Fantasia Class along side the Fantasia, Preziosa and the Splendida. On board you’ll find every modern comfort, along with a variety of sports and leisure facilities as well as world-class entertainment, including kids’ and teens’ clubs to ensure everyone’s happy.
- Launched in 2012
- Refurbished in 2017
- Class, Fantasia class
- Deck names are greek gods
- Cruising Speed of knots 23.75 max
The Magnifica combines the refinement of the Musica Class with the opulence of our Fantasia Class. Her ship statistics are;
- Launched 2010
- Refurbished in 2021
- Class, Musica class
- Length, 293.8m
- Width, 32.2m
- Gross Tons, 95.128
- Has a capacity of passengers 3,013
- And a crew of 987
- Deck names are Italian coastal towns
- Cabins, 1,259
- Cruising Speed of knots 22.9
The MSC Splendida is in Fantasia class her ship statistics are;
- Launched in 2009
- Width, 37.9m
- Gross Tons, 137.936
- Has a capacity of passengers 4,363
- And a crew of 1,370
- Deck Names are all renaissance Artists
- Cabins, 1,637
- Cruising Speed of knots 23.78 max
MSC Fantasia was the first ship in the fleet of MSC ships to have the Swarovski crystal staircases installed. This is the statistics on MSC Fantasia;
- Launched in 2008
- Refurbished in 2019
- Class, Fantasia Class
- Length, 333,30 m
- Width, 37,92 m
- Gross Tons, 137.936
- And a crew of 1.370
- Deck names are Italian words such as Encanto
- Cabins 1.637
- Cruising Speed of knots 23.64 max
The Poesia is a smaller ship in the fleet her statistics are;
- Refurbished in 2018
- Class, Musica Class
- Gross Tons, 92,627
- Deck names are all Italian Poets and writers
- Cabins, 1,275
- Cruising Speed of knots 23 max
These are the statistics of the MSC Orchestra which is in Musica class.
- Launched in 2007
- Length, 293.80
- Width, 32.2
- Gross Tons, 92,409
- Has a capacity of 3013 passengers
- Decks names are all classical instruments
- Cabins 1,275
The first of the Musica class is the MSC Musica, these are her ship statistics;
- Launched in 2006
- Refurbished 2016
- Gross Tons, 92.409
- Deck names are Musical compositions
The MSC opera is a Mistral class ship her ship information is;
- Launched in 2004
- Refurbished in 2015
- Class, Mistral class
- Length, 274.9m
- Width, 28.8m
- Gross Tons, 655,91
- Has a capacity of passengers 2,579
- And a crew of 721
- Decks are named after classic Italian Operas
- Cabins 1,071
- Cruising Speed of knots 20.3 max
The MSC Lirica is in Mistral class on MSC her ship stats are as follows;
- Launched in 2003
- Gross Tons, 65.591
- Has a capacity of passengers 2,548
- And a crew of 752
- Deck names are composers
- Cruising Speed of knots 21.7 max
This is all the information on the MSC Sinfonia another mistral class ship;
- Launched in 2002
- Refurbished 2015
- Class, Mistral Class
- Width, 28,8m
- Gross Tons, 65.542
- Has a capacity of passengers 2546
- Cruising Speed of knots 20.9
One of the ships first MSC Cruise ships with a distinctive combination of classic Mediterranean style and pioneering design. The MSC Armonia is now even better equipped thanks to an impressive array of new features and facilities. The Armonia sails the Mediterrean and South America. These are the MSC Armonia’s statistics;
- Launched In 2001
- Refurbished 2014
- Has a capacity of passengers 2520
- And a crew of 780
- Deck names are precious stones
Donna loves cruising with her husband and two teenage boys. Having cruised with the children from a young age she feels it is the perfect way to experience the world safely. Her boys are social butterfly’s and love meeting other children their own age whilst onboard some of the most extraordinary floating ships. She also writes over at Like Love Do, a travel memoir of her trips, from London to far off beaches. She has an eye for the unusual and like to go off of the beaten track just to find the perfect photo. With a passion for photography and exploring cruising has become the perfect holiday choice.
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The Cruise Center, founded in December 2009, is a Sales Agent in Ukraine selling the products of MSC Cruises, the world's largest private shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company.
MSC Cruises is the world’s third-largest cruise brand as well as the leader in Europe, South America, the Gulf region and Southern Africa, with more market share in addition to deployed capacity than any other player. It is are also the fastest-growing global cruise brand with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East markets.
• port taxes
• in the buffet restaurant at the drinks station: cold, hot water, tea 20 hours a day, coffee only during breakfast
• meals in the buffet restaurant: early breakfast, breakfast, snacks in the pizzeria and grill, lunch, dinner, snacks for night owls, drinks from the bar are paid extra
• meals in the a la carte restaurant: breakfast, lunch, dinner without drinks (extra charge)
• entertainment activities on board (evening performances in the theater, live music in bars and lounges, animation shows, disco)
• access to all public areas of the liner, including the library, swimming pools, jacuzzi by the pools, children's water park, gym
• sports games: table tennis, minigolf, shuffleboard
• services of educators and animators for children of five age groups in mini-clubs - from 6 months to 17 years
• transportation of luggage in the ports of the beginning and end of the cruise
• use of boats for embarkation and disembarkation in ports where the liner does not moor to the pier
• only for MSC Yacht Club cabins: ALL INCLUSIVE drinks (value up to 13 €) in the bars and restaurants of the liner and in the minibar in the suite, Premium internet package
medical insurance drinks (water, juices, spirits, cocktails) air flight excursions optional – hotel before the cruise