MSC CRUISES PLEDGES LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO SOUTHAMPTON
MSC Magnifica to be based in new port terminal in 2021
Southampton, UK – 25 November, 2020 - MSC Cruises today announced a long-term agreement with ABP Southampton that will start in summer 2021 with one of its ships based at the port’s new fifth terminal.
The cruise line has pledged it will have at least one vessel dedicated to the UK’s main cruise port in the future and MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton next year with sailings to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, 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.”
MSC Magnifica will sail 21 voyages in summer 2021 from Southampton including two 14-night cruises to the Mediterranean in July and August with calls at Malaga, Lisbon and Monte Carlo, weekend mini sailings to Northern Europe and seven-night cruises to the picturesque Norwegian fjords.
The new cruise terminal at Southampton 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.
MSC Cruises became the first major cruise line in the world to resume operations in August following the global industry’s lockdown in March because of pandemic ashore.
MSC Grandiosa set sail in the Mediterranean thanks to the Company’s industry-leading health and safety protocol designed at the outset to adapt to a fluctuating health situation ashore.
The protocol is built around a nine-pillar strategy that includes universal testing of all guests and crew, protected shore excursions and specially designed ventilation for the ships, as well as all the measures implemented ashore such as social distancing and the wearing of masks.