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Festive Dishes Showcased At Gala Dinner Last Night in Milan, Where Award-Winning Virtuoso Chef Prepared Cuban-Themed Dinner For VIPs And Media

Geneva, 13 November 2015 – MSC Cruises, the Geneva, Switzerland-based global cruise line – number one in Europe, South America and South Africa – has announced that this year’s Christmas and New Year on-board menus will again be created by world-acclaimed star chef, Carlo Cracco.

The agreement was formally toasted last night at a special Cuban-themed gala dinner, in Milan, where the Italy-based chef created an exquisite Cuba inspired banquet for special guests, dignitaries, and members of the media, with the Cuban Ambassador to Italy, Alba Beatriz Soto Pimentel, as guest of honour. Cuba is one of the newest and most exciting destinations for MSC Cruises, which next month will become the first global cruise line to homeport in Havana, with MSC Opera sailing from the Cuban capital to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico.
As part of MSC Cruises’ constant focus on high-end dining, Chef Cracco has crafted on-board Christmas and New Year menus for the past two years. This season he will again delight the palates of thousands of guests who spend all or part of the holidays at sea with MSC Cruises.
As well as being a celebration of Cuban culture and the evolving collaboration between MSC Cruises and the Caribbean island, last night’s dinner was also an opportunity for Chef Cracco to demonstrate the mastery that has earned him many awards, including two Michelin stars, as well as some of the creations from his festive menus (full details at the foot of this release). In addition, he paid homage to Cuba with an entrée of Crispy egg yolk, avocado, manioc and nuts and a one-off dessert of Chocolate cigar with caramel, passion fruit and basil set off by a first-class rum.
MSC Cruises’ unique Cuban cruises
MSC Operas’ seven-night itineraries, which include two and a half days and two nights in the Cuban capital, are available within a combination of packages. In particular, from Spain, Italy, France and Germany, as well as Canada, Brazil and Argentina, these include numerous charter flights and fly-and-cruise combinations. In fact, so high is the demand for MSC Cruises’ unique Cuban cruise holidays, the Company is set to further boost its flight offers from across Europe, and introduce new flight operations from South America.
In line with MSC Cruises’ commitment to providing distinctive cruise experiences in new destinations as they become accessible, the start of MSC Opera’s winter 2015-16 season, on 18 December, will mark the first time a major global cruise line has offered such comprehensive and varied Cuban-based cruises.
Furthermore, the addition of Cuba enriches the MSC Cruises portfolio of Caribbean itineraries, which already includes year-round sailings on MSC Divina from Miami, to such choice destinations as the Bahamas, Jamaica, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.
In addition, from December 2017 MSC Cruises’ next-generation cruise ship MSC Seaside will sail from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami. Sales for Caribbean cruises aboard this state-of-the-art ship will open on 15 December, two years ahead of her debut.
MSC Cruises 2015 festive menus, by Carlo Cracco
Roasted scampi, date purée, raspberry vinegar and Swiss chard
Caramelized beef top blade with citrus fruit, celeriac and pomegranate
Saffron risotto, salmon roe and parsley
Rum babà, panettone cream and almonds.
New Year’s Eve
Steamed sea bass fillet, cream of lettuce, caviar and lemon
Rigatoni au gratin with pecorino cheese and black cabbage
Lobster tail au gratin, spinach, pine nuts and raisins
Vanilla flavoured Mascarpone cream with red berries and crunchy biscuit.