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MSC Cruises’ multi-year global growth plan progresses with MSC Splendida’s deployment to China and a strengthened offering in the Mediterranean  

MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe and South America, announced today that MSC Lirica will serve a brand-new, exciting itinerary in the East Mediterranean for the Summer 2018 season, with a homeport in beautiful Venice. The ship will depart for her first cruise on April 6, 2018 and sales are now open at

“Guest demand for cruise vacations in the Mediterranean continues to be strong. We have particularly seen boosted interest in the Eastern Mediterranean, with destinations such as the Greek islands and Croatia really capturing the imagination of travelers,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “This is why – as MSC Cruises is the leading brand when it comes to Europe and the Mediterranean - we are pleased to announce that as of today, guests are able to book cruises on MSC Lirica, offering an exciting itinerary that we have never offered before. This means that our guests will now have the greatest choice of summer cruises in the region in the always popular East Mediterranean, with a total of four ships in the region – now including MSC Lirica.”

The first-time itinerary to be offered by MSC Lirica will offer embarkation in the romantic city of Venice or beautiful Bari, Italy, calling at some of some of the most charming destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean:

  • Mykonos, Greece: Guests can enjoy a full day visit to the world-renowned Greek island known for its striking contrasts, lively streets that give way to serene beaches, relaxed restaurants and iconic whitewashed buildings.
  • Heraklion/Crete, Greece: Travelers can see the Heraklion fortress, which marks the gateway to Greece’s largest island, Crete, filled with clean-sand beaches and the white mountain backdrop containing the Ideon Cave. According to Greek mythology, Crete the birthplace of Zeus.
  • Corfù, Greece: Cruisers can enjoy an extended stay experiencing Venetian, French and British style influences in the city, and escape to the stunning coastline with crystal-clear seas and rugged cave-specked rocks.
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia: Visitors can nearly travel back in time within the 16th century old town encircled with huge stone walls. Guests can take the cable car up the mountain to see this stunning city from above.
  • Bari, Italy: Visitors can see the beautiful port town of Bari, perched on the side of the Adriatic Sea, offering rich history and picturesque golden-sanded cays all within walking distance.

MSC Cruises is not only offering guests a brand new itinerary, but also more time to explore some of these amazing destinations with extended visits, including a longer stay in Corfu and a full day ashore in Mykonos, offering guests plenty of time to experience these unique ports of call.

MSC Lirica will offer this 7-night Eastern Mediterranean itinerary from April 6 to October 26, 2018. For more information or to book, find out more at, or contact your travel agent.

As announced in September 2016, MSC Splendida will homeport in Shanghai as of May 2018. From there, the ship will serve the China home market with an itinerary including popular cruise destinations in China, Japan and Korea.


Totally refurbished in 2015 as part of MSC Cruises’ $220 million Renaissance Program, MSC Lirica represents the height of style and comfort at sea. This modern ship offers spacious accommodations to meet every need, with balcony staterooms offering superb panoramic ocean views.

For those looking for fine dining options, MSC Lirica features four distinctive restaurants and a plentiful buffet, serving the best of Mediterranean and international cuisines. To enjoy a pre-dinner or pre-theater drink, guests can step inside a variety of stylish bars and lounges, including the Beverly Hills Bar and traditional English-style Lord Nelson Pub. Entertainment is top-notch on board MSC Lirica, with exclusive, world-class performances presented in the Broadway Theatre.

Families can find activities for all ages with the help of prestigious partners like Chicco, LEGO® and Namco®. The ship offers play areas for families with children, starting with an exciting spray park packed with fun water features and five dedicated kids’ rooms.