The UK cruising industry has reacted positively to recent news announced by international operator MSC Cruises, who will be celebrating a return to the port of Southampton in the UK ahead of 2018’s cruising season.
As part of the proposed movement, MSC Cruises’ ship, MSC Magnifica, will launch her voyages from the UK. MSC Magnifica has been active since 2009 and remains to be one of the most popular ships in the MSC fleet, thanks to a full range of onboard services – including a quintet of sophisticated restaurants from around the globe, numerous bars and highly praised children’s activity clubs. Spas and beauty salons are available throughout the ship, while she’s also home to a jogging track, a bowling alley and a tennis court.
In addition to MSC Cruises’ main announcement, the cruise line has also made it known that they will be offering their first ever around the world cruise in 2019. The whole project is considered by Antonio Paradiso – Managing Director of MSC Cruises’ UK division – as the ‘big UK comeback’ that the operator has had in the pipeline for quite some time.
‘MSC Magnifica will call the UK her home for an entire season,’ Paradiso informed guests aboard MSC Fantasia in Barcelona, at the recent All Stars of the Seas event. ‘It’s a big part of our grand UK return, which has us all tremendously excited. It shows our commitment to the UK market, as well as our ambition to become one of the UK’s top three cruise line operators.’
Itineraries have already been put together for MSC Magnifica’s UK cruise destinations, which factor in some stunning locations in Europe and the nearby North Sea. A lot of attention has been given to the enticing 14-day itinerary that MSC Cruises has created for MSC Magnifica. This stunning vessel will set out from Southampton to Le Havre in France, before moving on to La Coruna and Leixoes, Lisbon in Portugal and Malaga in Spain. She’ll then curl north to Amsterdam and Hamburg.
The North Sea itinerary for the MSC Magnifica will see her embrace the culture of Norway through visits to Stavanger, Bergen, Olden and Alesund. Following that, she’ll take a breezy lap of the British Isles, calling at Southampton and Newcastle before reaching South Queensferry in Edinburgh and Invergordon in Scotland.
Naturally, the announcement that MSC Cruises are taking strides to recapture its position in the UK market has gained a lot of attention – with numerous queries already underway regarding bookings for the itineraries that the operator has made public. Bookings are expected to be welcomed for those cruises as of early 2017, although no concrete dates have yet been given.
It’s sensational news indeed to hear that MSC Cruises have chosen Southampton as MSC Magnifica’s home going forward – and we’re confident that it’s just one of several plans in the pipeline as they make their big UK push. Have you any fond memories of cruising with MSC Cruises to share? Let us know!