A Retrospective: The Last Decade Of MSC Cruises

They say time flies when you’re having fun and at MSC Cruises, we feel there’s certainly a lot of truth in that statement, because the last ten years have simply sailed by.

To provide some context of what was going on in the world in 2008, Labour’s Gordon Brown was UK prime minister, Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 had just opened, Manchester United claimed their tenth Premier League title, Britain won 19 golds to finish fourth in the medal table at the Olympics in Beijing and Woolworths announced it was closing its doors forever.

It was also the year that we launched MSC Poesia - a ship that marked a major milestone for MSC Cruises, because it was the first MSC ship to be christened in the UK.

But what has happened in the world of MSC Cruises since then?

Flagships galore

Let’s talk about MSC Poesia for a second. She was the first ship in the MSC Cruises fleet to be named outside of Italy, with her official naming ceremony taking place at the Port of Dover in Kent on April 2008.

At the time, she was the company’s flagship, but her reign at the top wouldn’t last out the year as the larger, more expensive MSC Fantasia dethroned her that December.

Even bigger ships have come along since then, namely MSC Divina in 2012, MSC Preziosa the year after and MSC Meraviglia in 2016.

That’s no slight on the ships themselves; the central message here is that the MSC Cruises fleet is constantly expanding and bettering itself.

Since MSC Poesia took to the seas in 2008, another seven new ships have joined it and further down the line, we can look forward to MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa raising the standard yet again in 2019.

Conversely and in an effort to maintain high standards, two ships has been retired in the past ten years: Rhapsody in 2009 and MSC Melody in 2013.

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Around the world

Typically, a voyage with MSC Cruises means you’ll set foot in several countries, maybe a couple of different continents if the itinerary stretches that far. However, in 2017, MSC Cruises announced its first-ever around-the-world cruise, to set sail in January 2019.

Visiting 32 countries in six continents across 24 time zones, the entire journey will take 119 calendar days to circumnavigate the globe, embarking from Rome, Barcelona, Genoa and Marseille.

What you need to know about MSC’s world cruise in 2020

On the telly

Each of MSC Cruises’ ships are different and special in their own right, but two of them are also stars of the small screen too, featuring on Channel 5’s Cruising With Jane McDonald.

In the first ever episode of the hit TV show, Jane embarked on a seven-night sunshine cruise from Miami around the Caribbean onboard MSC Divina - one of MSC Cruises’ largest and most modern ships, calling at Nassau, St Martin and Puerto Rico before returning to Miami.

Jane had her second taste of MSC in series two, exploring the sights and scenery of the Mediterranean on board the current flagship MSC Meraviglia.

Cirque du Soleil at Sea

It’s always nice to have something truly unique and exclusive and that’s exactly what happened when MSC Cruises teamed up with Cirque du Soleil.  

In 2017, the world leader in artistic entertainment was brought on board to create eight original shows to be staged exclusively on MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia generation ships.

The first two productions - Viaggio and Sonor - premiered on MSC Meraviglia when the ship went into service in June 2017 to glowing reviews. Staging the shows to the desired standard meant that a €20 million (£17.4 million) high-tech theatre had to be specially designed with the most cutting-edge technology and special rigging.

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Other partnerships

Over the past decade, MSC Cruises has made a habit of calling in some of the biggest names to provide top-tier services in the shape of exclusive partnerships.

In 2016, global hairstyling brand Jean Louis David achieved an industry-first by introducing its salons across the entire MSC fleet, offering high-end hair styling services and an enhanced range of beauty and wellness amenities whilst at sea.

Celebrated pan-Asian chef and international culinary pioneer Roy Yamaguchi has also become an exclusive MSC partner, bringing his unique fusion of cooking traditions to MSC Seaside in December 2017 and contributing to MSC’s ongoing commitment to international fine dining.

Roy isn’t the only chef to form a partnership with MSC Cruises; renowned, award-winning chefs Carlo Cracco, Jean-Philippe Maury and Jereme Leung had done the same before him.

We shouldn’t forget about the MasterChef partnership either. Mirroring the TV show you’re familiar with, MSC MasterChef At Sea is a cooking competition on board an MSC Cruises ship that gives guests the opportunity to test their culinary flair and skill against that of other competing guests.

A global agreement with Air France-KLM means that MSC Cruises guests can combine their cruise holiday packages with flights from and to any airport in the world served by Air France-KLM, making for a seamless holiday experience.

As part of its charitable partnerships, MSC Cruises and its guests have helped raise more than €6.5 million for UNICEF since forming a partnership in 2009.

This money has gone on to provide malnourished children with Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) such as Plumpy’Nut. To date, more than two million sachets of RUTF have been delivered to children in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Malawi.

MSC Cruises also dispatched six containers containing over 22,000 much-needed supplies to contribute towards the relief effort in Malawi - one of the world’s least developed countries.

Be part of our next ten years and book a cruise with us today.