MSC Cruises announced today that they will be operating two cruise ships simultaneously out of South African ports during the upcoming 2010/11 summer season to meet increased market demand and offer variety to the South African cruise market.
The luxurious MSC Sinfonia, with a capacity of over 2,100 passengers, has enjoyed a highly successful maiden season operating out of Durban and will be back for a second extended cruise season from November this year up until May 2011. She will be joined by the smaller, beautiful ship - already well known to the South African public - the MSC Melody, with a capacity of just 1,500 guests.
“The introduction of a second vessel will increase our capacity to over 100 000 passengers for the season and give the general public, and especially the conference and incentive corporate market, a greater choice, competitive pricing and more destinations from which to choose” said Stefano Vigoriti, newly appointed Managing Director of MSC Cruises South Africa, responsible for the entire sub Saharan region. He adds “the decision to operate two ships simultaneously in South African waters clearly shows MSC Cruises commitment to the South African market. MSC Cruises will also make important investments into improving embarkation facilities at the Port of Durban as well as developing and bettering other relevant exclusive Indian Ocean island destinations”.
MSC Sinfonia will continue its itinerary in and around the Indian Ocean Islands while MSC Melody will offer South African and international travellers new and varied cruise options and experiences. Itineraries will feature cruises out of Cape Town and offer longer cruises out of Durban with ports of call in Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion and Seychelles.
Both MSC Sinfonia and MSC Melody will offer early booking incentives and children under 18 years of age will still cruise and eat free - a feature that has already proved so popular for Family holiday makers.
About MSC Cruises :
MSC Cruises is the world's leading cruise company in the Mediterranean, South African and Brazilian markets and operates across the globe. It's modern fleet comprises eleven ships: MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia (the largest ships ever built for a European ship owner), MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Armonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica and MSC Melody. MSC Magnifica, the newest ship in the fleet, was launched in March 2010. The fleet cruises year-round in the Mediterranean and seasonally in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, North America and Canada, South America, the Indian Ocean, South and West Africa, Abu Dhabi and the Emirates. MSC Cruises is the only company in the world to receive the "6 Golden Pearls" award from the Bureau Veritas in recognition of its high level of quality management and environmental responsibility. MSC has also achieved ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 certification for the quality and food safety of all aspects of its catering, both onshore and onboard. MSC Cruises cares about the welfare of children, and as a responsible market leader believes in making a positive impact in the regions where it operates. To this end, the company recently forged a partnership with UNICEF to fund a community project aimed at providing disadvantaged children in Brazil with a quality education.