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MSC Cruises will be the first global cruise line to call UNESCO-protected Sarande in Albania 

MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa — has today released details of further enhancements to its itineraries in the Mediterranean for the 2017 summer season, and for its itineraries in the Antilles for the 2017-2018 winter season. The Company also released today updated itineraries for its ships serving the Caribbean between December 2017 and May 2018.

Mediterranean itineraries
Starting in April 2017, MSC Cruises will add an inspiring new destination to its Eastern Mediterranean itineraries and will be the first global cruise line to call the Sarande port in Albania weekly with MSC Poesia. Guests departing from Venice will have the opportunity to discover the beautiful city of Sarande – a key new addition to the itinerary now featuring 7 destinations in 7 days – as well as visit Bari, Italy; Katakolon/Olympia, Mykonos – the jewel of the Cyclades, – and Athens/Piraeus in Greece; and Dubrovnik in Croatia.  

Steeped in history, Sarande was founded in the 6th Century B.C. and guests can either learn about the region’s past or visit the Blue Eye Spring and enjoy the beauties of this natural park. This charming historic town is a hidden gem on the Albanian Riviera, hosting a wealth of UNESCO protected archaeological treasures amongst other attractions. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in the region, with a slightly cosmopolitan and lively vibe to it with plenty of ocean-side bars and restaurants which offer great local produce and freshly-caught seafood.

Antilles itineraries
Similarly, starting in November 2017 and in response to strong market interest and demand from travellers, MSC Fantasia will replace MSC Orchestra in the Antilles and the South Caribbean. MSC Fantasia will depart from Fort de France, Martinique and Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, with two different itineraries that can be combined to make one longer journey. One itinerary explores the Antilles with calls in St. Maarten, Philipsburg; Road Town, Tortola; the new port of Kingstown, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines – instead of La Romana, Dominican Republic; Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis; and St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda. The other itinerary visits the pearls of the South Caribbean, including Castries, Saint Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; St. George’s, Grenada; and Roseau, Dominica.

MSC Fantasia is one of the Company’s largest and most modern ships, with 1,637 staterooms, of which 72 percent have balconies offering a panoramic sea view, and featuring some of the most modern cruise ship facilities available to guests. These include: the MSC Yacht Club, an exclusive area of privacy and personalized amenities; five restaurants serving refined international cuisine; an authentic Balinese spa; and the award-winning MSC Cruises on-board entertainment offering, featuring an impressive theatre with a seating plan for 1,603 guests; and plenty of other features.

For discerning cruise ship guests looking for an extra touch of luxury on board MSC Fantasia, the ship’s award-winning MSC Yacht Club experience features 71 butler-serviced suites with a focus on privacy and exclusivity. MSC Fantasia is the only cruise ship in the region that is offering such an on-board service.

MSC Orchestra guests, instead, will be able to experience the wonders of the Mediterranean in true MSC Cruises style. In addition to Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona and Civitavecchia (Rome) – and with different cruise durations up to 12 nights – MSC Orchestra will sail to the most popular destinations including Valencia and Malaga in Spain; the Canary Islands and Madeira; Valleta in Malta; Corfu and Crete in the Greek Islands; and Messina and Livorno in Italy, with a wide range of shore activities carefully designed to help guests discover each destination and its unique culture.

Caribbean itineraries
In the Caribbean, in conjunction with the additional enhancements that have been planned ahead of the opening of the exclusive Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve destination – now scheduled for October 2018 - the MSC Cruises ships in the region that previously were scheduled to call this new destination between December 2017 and May 2018, will now call ports in other attractive destinations in the Caribbean and continue to offer top-level quality destinations across all itineraries in the region. As a result:

  • For the Eastern Caribbean 7-night itinerary, MSC Seaside will be calling at Philipsburg (St. Maarten), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Nassau (Bahamas), instead of Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas), Nassau (Bahamas) and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
  • For the Western Caribbean 7-night itinerary, visiting the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Mexico, MSC Seaside will now be calling at Nassau (Bahamas) instead of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.  
  • MSC Cruises other ship in the region, MSC Divina, on her 10- and 11-night cruises to Panama or Antilles, will call now at Nassau or Freeport (Bahamas), Fort de France (Martinique) or San Juan (Puerto Rico), instead of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
For any further detail on the updated itineraries from MSC Cruises, please check: