The just-published 2015-2016 Cruise Industry News Annual Report places MSC Cruises as the number one cruise line in Europe, including in the Mediterranean.
The Report, which is one of the most reputable sources of information for the cruise industry, stated that MSC Cruises conquered the leading rank in the industry thanks to a deployed capacity across the continent of about 1.1 million passengers.
MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato commented: “We are particularly proud of this achievement. For it, we wish to thank all our guests whom with their vacation choice recognized the quality of our product and offering, thus making MSC Cruises the number one cruise line now also in Europe.
““MSC Cruises is a Europe-based company with bold global ambitions; we sail to many select destinations worldwide, from the Caribbean to South America and South Africa. But Europe, and the Mediterranean in particular, remains at the heart of our business, even as we grow and open up new geographical possibilities – Cuba being just the most recent example.”
Onorato added: “Going forward, we will continue to build on this position of strength in Europe to ensure we remain the cruise line of choice for more than 150 nationalities every year, in Europe, in the Mediterranean and in other markets, where our distinct cruise experiences set us apart.”
Swiss-based MSC Cruises is the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line. In addition to being the market leader in Europe, including in the Mediterranean, the company benefits from a leadership position in the South American and South African markets.
MSC Cruises will sail year-round from the Caribbean starting in November 2015 and also offers seasonal cruises in the French Antilles and other sought-after locations around the world from Northern Europe to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman.
Additionally, earlier this month MSC Cruises made the headlines when it announced that, as of December 2015, it will be the first global cruise line to offer travellers the opportunity to visit Cuba and set sail on one of the 16 cruises that MSC Opera will operate from Havana. MSC Cruises will give cruise travellers from around the world the unique chance to get aboard the completely renovated 65,542 GRT MSC Opera, part of the company’s $217 million Renaissance program, and cruise to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico, with two nights and two and a half days in the Cuban capital. (Note: Pursuant to U.S. law, cruises to Cuba are not for sale in the USA nor sold to U.S. residents or citizens).
MSC Cruises is an ambitious young line that grew 800 percent in its first 10 years to become the fourth largest cruise company in the industry. The company is set to double its fleet capacity by 2022, through a $5.5 billion investment plan, which includes orders for seven ships in two state-of-the-art prototypes.
Of these ships, MSC Cruises recently also announced the opening of sales for MSC Meraviglia’s inaugural season – the company’s first next-generation ship, which is part of the above-mentioned investment plan. As of June 2017, the ship will sail in the Mediterranean from Barcelona, Genoa or Marseille. The second next-generation ship currently under construction, MSC Seaside, will sail year-round in the Caribbean starting in December 2017.