It will be a bright and positive start to 2021 for MSC!
They have pledged their long-term commitment to Southampton in a new partnership with ABP Southampton!
From next year onwards, MSC Cruises will have at least one ship dedicated to the UK’s main cruise port, and MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton with sailings to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
This long-awaited fifth terminal for MSC has received support from the Solent LEP and the UK government’s ‘Getting Building Programme’ and will feature roof-mounted solar power and shore-to-ship power.
Antonio Paradiso, UK & Ireland Managing Director for MSC Cruises, tells Travel Weekly that they have listened to customers who have asked for more variety and believe the new base of operations will open up more avenues for UK fans of cruising.
We ended 2019 with the most successful year of sales ever in the UK & Ireland, something we are incredibly proud of.
MSC Cruises is serious about the UK market and now more than ever we believe in the potential here and making this long-term commitment to bringing even more passengers to Southampton is evidence of that.
In 2017 we invested in a new office in the UK, we then focused on growing our teams and putting the right expertise in place to ensure we can provide the best possible support to our passengers and our travel agent partners, and now we are really proud to be further investing in the UK cruise industry at this incredibly important time for both the industry and the UK economy in having a home for our ships here in the UK.
The new port opens up the possibility of more ships coming to the UK, which will in turn lead to new exciting itineraries. And best of all, by sailing from Southampton, holiday-makers can start their holiday straightaway without losing time that would have been spent on flights and queues or delays at the airport.
MSC Magnifica will sail 21 voyages in summer 2021 from Southampton including two 14-night cruises to the Mediterranean in June and August with calls at Malaga, Lisbon and Monte Carlo. Magnifica will also offer weekend mini sailings to Northern Europe and seven-night cruises to the picturesque Norwegian fjords.
Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, said,
We are really proud to be further supporting the UK cruise industry at this incredibly important time for both the industry and the UK economy. At MSC Cruises we really believe in the potential of the UK cruise market and making this long-term commitment is evidence of that.
Over the last five years MSC Cruises has increased our presence in the UK & Irish markets and following a positive response from travel agents and our guests we feel now is the right time to make a more substantial commitment.
We are in a unique position that not only will we be committing to having an MSC Cruises’ ship home port from Southampton every year, but several of our ships will be visiting Southampton as a destination as part of our wider cruise programme.
As a renowned major cruise line, MSC was first to take the plunge in August by resuming operations following the global industry’s lockdown in March because of the pandemic. MSC Grandiosa set sail in the Mediterranean to great success, thanks to the Company’s industry-leading health and safety protocol designed at the outset to adapt to a fluctuating health situation ashore. The triumph of that voyage means MSC can now look ahead to 2021 with renewed confidence in ex-UK sailings despite the difficult circumstances.