The MSC Cruises 2016/17 brochure, which launches on April 2nd 2015, promises to be one of the best yet and, wait for it, we will finally have another selection of ex-UK voyages!
While the emphasis remains firmly on great-value fly-cruises and cruise-only to the Med, MSC Cruises is ramping up the choice on offer for UK guests by featuring itineraries aboard all of its 12 ships for summer 2016 – offering a total of 270 sailings on 22 itineraries. These will be made up of nine ‘core’ Med itineraries of seven nights; seven ‘longer’ Med itineraries of between nine and 12 nights; new Baltic and Norwegian fjords options; plus the chance to sail on one of
MSC Cruises’ largest Fantasia-class ships (MSC Splendida) from the UK for the first time.
The programme features a greater focus on cruises of eight nights or more. Introduced for summer 2015, longer sailings will operate in the shoulder seasons from Venice and Genoa on four ships – MSC Fantasia, MSC Lirica, MSC Opera and MSC Splendida.
Also new is the return of a limited ex-UK programme. MSC Splendida will operate six sailings from Southampton, including a round-Britain itinerary and continental coast cruise.
Meanwhile, MSC Cruises will continue to offer its comprehensive selection of winter sailings in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Caribbean and Middle East across seven ships. For the first time, the popular Dubai winter season will be operated by one of MSC Cruises’ largest, Fantasia-class, ships, MSC Fantasia, with a tweak to the itinerary to include the debut of Bahrain.
For 2016/17 MSC Cruises has opted for a more contemporary look for its brochure, with the majority of itineraries presented over two pages. Colour-coded grids detailing prices for each cabin and Experience type have been introduced, with each giving the cost depending on seasonality.
As an added bonus, the brochure features four teaser pages with information about facilities planned for MSC Cruises’ exciting new-builds. The company has four ships on order – the innovative all-season STX Vista project vessels [4,500 passengers double occupancy] will launch in spring 2017 and 2019, while Fincantieri’s Seaside project ships [4,140 passengers double occupancy], are set to join the fleet in November 2017 and 2018.
Details revealed include the news that both classes of ship with have larger MSC Yacht Club areas, including luxurious duplex suites and suites with private whirlpool bath. Both will also feature ‘cluster cabins’, where three adjacent cabins can be linked together for families.
As announced earlier in March at Cruise Shipping Miami, the first ‘Seaside class’ vessel will be named MSC Seaside, and based year-round in Miami. The ship will feature an innovative and high-tech aqua park with four thrilling slide rides.
MSC Cruises 2016/17 brochure: what’s included and what’s new
Seven-night sailings: Itineraries aboard all of MSC cruises’ 12 ships are featured in the new programme, with the emphasis on the eight vessels operating nine ‘core’ seven-night itineraries in the Mediterranean from Venice and Genoa [Flexible embarkation at other European ports, including Barcelona, Civitavecchia and Marseille also available]. Examples include…
MSC Preziosa: Seven-night Western Med fly-cruise from Genoa (Portofino), calling at Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Tunis, Tunisia; Palma, Majorca; Valencia, Spain; Marseille, France and Genoa. [Civitavecchia embarkation available].
MSC Divina: Seven-night Western Med fly-cruise from La Spezia, Italy, calling at Cannes, France; Palma, Majorca; Barcelona, Spain; Naples, Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy;’ and La Spezia. June-October 2016. [Civitavecchia embarkation available].
MSC Magnifica: Seven-night Eastern Med fly-cruise from Venice, Italy, calling at Bari, Italy; Katakolon, Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey; Dubrovnik, Croatia and Venice. March-Oct 2016.
MSC Poesia: Seven-night Western Med fly-cruise from Genoa (Portofino), calling at Salerno, Italy; Messina, Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Tunis, Tunisia; Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France and Genoa. June-Oct 2016. [Barcelona embarkation available].
MSC Orchestra: Seven-night Eastern Med fly-cruise from Venice, Italy, calling at Bari, Italy; Katakolon, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Kotor, Montenegro; and Venice. April-Oct 2016.
MSC Armonia: Seven-night Western Med fly-cruise from Genoa (Portofino), calling at Marseille, France; Palma, Majorca; Ibiza (late night departure); Olbia, Sardinia; Livorno, Italy; and Genoa. June-Sept 2016.
‘Longer’ cruises: An extended selection of ‘longer’ summer season fly-cruises (from nine to 12 nights) is featured. Seven itineraries are offered, with 27 sailings across four vessels. Examples include…
MSC Fantasia: Alternating 11-night Eastern and Western Med fly-cruises from Genoa. Sept-Nov 2016. Western sailing calls at Barcelona, Spain; Casablanca, Morocco; Santa Cruz, Tenerife; Funchal, Madeira; Malaga, Spain; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy and Genoa.
Eastern sailing calls at Katakolon, Greece; Alexandria, Egypt; Haifa, Israel; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy and Genoa.
MSC Lirica: Alternating 12-night fly-cruises from Venice to Black Sea and Red Sea. March-May 2016. Black Sea sailing calls at Bari, Italy; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Odessa, Ukraine; Constanta, Romania; Istanbul, Turkey; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Venice.
Red Sea sailing calls at Bari, Italy; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Haifa, Israel; Limassol, Cyprus; Alexandria, Egypt; Katakolon, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Venice.
Northern Europe (cruise-only): In response to customer enquiries two Northern Europe itineraries – to the Baltics Capitals and Norwegian Fjords – have been opened up to UK guests.
MSC Fantasia: Heading north for the first time, MSC Fantasia will operate a seven-night Baltics Capitals cruise from Copenhagen, Denmark. The ship calls at Stockholm, Sweden; Tallinn, Estonia; St Petersburg, Russia; Kiel, Germany and Copenhagen. May-August 2016.
MSC Opera: Seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise from Copenhagen, calling at Warnemunde (Hamburg), Germany; Bergen, Norway; Hellesylt and Geiranger, Norway; Flaam, Norway; and Copenhagen.
Ex-UK sailings: MSC Splendida will offer six ex-UK sailings – the first time UK guests have been able to experience a Fantasia-class vessel in home waters.
The Southampton departures will include two 11-night round-Britain sailings in April and May with calls including Le Havre, France; Hamburg, Germany; Invergordon; Kirkwall; Greenock; Dublin and Cork.
Additionally there will be four seven-night continental coastal cruises, featuring calls in Le Havre; Zeebrugge, Belgium; Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Hamburg.
Mediterranean: For some winter sun closer to home guests can opt for seven-night or 11-night cruises aboard MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica.
MSC Splendida: Seven-night Western Med fly-cruise from Genoa (Portofino), calling at Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Tunis, Tunisia; Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France and Genoa. Nov 2016-April 2017. [Civitavecchia embarkation available].
MSC Magnifica: Alternating 11-night Eastern and Western Med fly-cruise from Genoa. Nov 2016- April 2017.
Western sailing calls at Barcelona, Spain; Funchal, Madeira; Santa Cruz, Tenerife; Casablanca, Morocco; Malaga, Spain; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy and Genoa. [Civitavecchia embarkation available].
Eastern sailing calls at Katakolon, Greece; Alexandria, Egypt; Haifa, Israel; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy and Genoa. [Civitavecchia embarkation available].
Caribbean: UK guests will again have the choice of two ships in the Caribbean – MSC Divina from Miami, US and MSC Poesia, operating out of Bridgetown, Barbados. Both ships will offer 14-night itineraries. In addition, MSC Divina will offer two special 10-night sailings to the Dutch Antilles and Central America.
MSC Divina: 14-night Western Caribbean fly-cruise from Miami calls at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Nassau, Bahamas; Miami; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Nassau; and Miami. Nov 2016-March 2017.
10-night Central America sailing from Miami calls at Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Cartagena, Colombia; Cristobal, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cozumel, Mexico and Miami. November 2016.
10-night Dutch Antilles cruise from Miami calls at La Romana, Dominican Republic; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Nassau, Bahamas; and Miami. November 2016.
MSC Poesia: 14-night fly-cruise from Bridgetown, Barbados, calling at Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; St George, Grenada; Roseau, Dominica; Fort de France, Martinique; Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe; Philipsburg, St Maarten; Road Town, Tortola/British Virgin Islands; La Romana, Dominican Republic; Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis; St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda; Fort de France, Martinique; Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe; Castries, St Lucia; and Bridgetown. Dec 2016-Feb 2017.
Emirates: Demonstrating commitment to the region, MSC Cruises is raising capacity with the introduction of MSC Fantasia for its seven-night cruises from Dubai. The itinerary has been tweaked to give guests the opportunity to overnight in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, plus seen the introduction on up-and-coming tourism hotspot Bahrain.
MSC Fantasia: Seven-night fly-cruise from Dubai, calling at Abu Dhabi, Bahrain; Muscat, Oman and Dubai. Dec 2016-March 2017.
The Canary Islands: MSC Armonia returns to its winter home of the Canaries to operate more seven-night itineraries between Dec 2016 and Feb 2017. Two alternating seven-night sailings will combine the islands with either Madeira or Morocco. For example…
MSC Armonia: Seven-night Canary Islands and Morocco sailing from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria calls at Casablanca, Morocco; Agadir, Morocco; Arrecife, Lanzarote; Santa Cruz, Tenerife; and Las Palmas.
I am incredibly excited that MSC Cruises will be offering a collection of ex-UK sailings – we would love to have a ship here full time though! 😉
Info courtesy of MSC Cruises