• 75% of holidaymakers admit to getting stressed when they go abroad in case the quality of tea isn’t up to standard, new research from MSC Cruises reveals1
• A polite 45% of Brits admit that they would still drink an awful cup of tea
• Guests sailing from Southampton on board MSC Virtuosa can enjoy the perfect cup of tea at sea, with specially sourced British tap water and an extensive library of tea

London, UK, 2 July 2024: Three-quarters (76%) of British travellers declare that tea never tastes the same aboard which has left 51% bringing their own tea bags when they leave England and 37% going as far as bringing their own kettle, mug – and even their own sugar bowl, research from MSC Cruises reveals1. There is a lot more that goes into making the perfect cuppa than some boiling water, a standard tea bag and a drop of milk.


Showing British customers that they know tea is a serious matter, MSC Cruises has launched an extension to their leading onboard tea offering. Introducing the MSC Tea Library: filled with nearly 100 types of tea – such as PG Tips, Tetley, Clipper, Yorkshire Tea, Twinings and even supermarket own brands – as well as dozens of varieties of milk, sugar, sweeteners, mugs, cups, teapots, tea cosies and more. And to top it off, authentic tap water from the hardest water in London to the softest water in Dundee, to make sure it’s just like home.


A firm favourite with British travellers and a home away from home, MSC Virtuosa has arrived back to UK shores with sailings from Southampton this summer. What’s more, guests staying in the MSC Yacht Club can take advantage of afternoon tea daily – following popular demand from Brits, MSC Cruises increased the frequency from weekly to daily on board MSC Virtuosa


Guests can enjoy a tasty cuppa while taking in the beautiful scenery of Northern Europe, The Med and The Norwegian Fjords, which will hit the spot as nearly six in 10 (58%) believe drinking British tea abroad can improve the overall experience when travelling.


The British stereotype of politeness certainly rings true too, with 45% of Brits admitting that they would still drink an awful cup of tea. A quarter (40%) would even express their gratitude to the person who has made it. However, a very confident 8% would refuse to drink it all together.


Antonio Paradiso, VP of International Sales and Managing Director of MSC Cruises UK and Ireland said: “Brits are very particular about their tea, and they should be. When it doesn’t taste right abroad, it can change the whole experience. It might be that the tea bags are wrong, or the water tastes off or it might be that UHT milk – it’s very hard to replicate the components that make the perfect cuppa when you’re not at home.”


For a limited time, tea lovers boarding MSC Virtuosa this month will no doubt be impressed with the variety of botted British tap water to suit their preferences. Whether accustomed to very hard tap water from London, moderate water from Birmingham or soft water from Dundee, MSC Cruises knows that even the water can affect the taste. During the trial, guests can peruse the endless range of British tea brands in the impressive handmade Tea Library, from Yorkshire Tea to Tetley, PG Tips to Twinning and even Asda supermarket must-haves.


Antonio Paradiso added: “We’re always listening to our customers to ensure their sailing experience is truly remarkable and if this trial is successful, we will roll it out during 2025. The trial is an extension of a previous survey amongst our fans to find out which tea bag they wanted when cruising with us to inform the tea brands we offer on board. We want our guests to feel like they’re in a home away from home when sailing with us, which is why we have always taken tea seriously on board MSC Virtuosa and perfected even the smallest of details so that our guests can sit back and relax with their perfect cuppa, whatever their tastes.”



  1. Too much milk
  2. Too short brew time
  3. The wrong temperature water
  4. The wrong type of milk
  5. Too long brew time
  6. Different-tasting tap water
  7. Too much sugar
  8. Too little milk
  9. The wrong tea brand
  10. Too little sugar


Diana Perez, a professional tea sommelier from The UK Tea Academy, who has partnered with MSC Cruises, has shared some top tea tips for Brits abroad:

  • Cold milk please: Brits tend to agree on the use of cold milk instead of hot milk to keep the flavour as fresh as possible, but in Europe you could be served hot, so best to specify
  • Milk first: Adding the milk first is known to allow for a better and more balanced combination of all the elements in the cup
  • Keeping cool: Green tea can be considered ‘cooling’ and great for warmer weather, the perfect choice for a hot day in the Med
  • A powerful digestive: If a lot has been eaten at the buffet, a peppermint tea will help improve digestion and soothe the stomach
  • MSC Virtuosa offers travellers the chance to explore Northern Europe, The Med and The Norwegian Fjords this summer with sailings from Southampton without the hassle of a flight.
  • A choice of 10 different dining venues, over 250 brands in the retail space, world-class theatre shows, five swimming pools as well as adventurous shore excursions and relaxation and wellness facilities, Brits will find everything all in one place for the ultimate cruise holiday.
  • Enjoy a 7-night sailing around the beautiful Iberian Coast visiting ports throughout Spain and France on 22 June 2024 from £599 pp or a 7-night sailing around Northern Europe on 6 July from £699 pp.
  • For those looking for a longer holiday packed with sun and culture, sail for 14 nights around The Med and Iberian Coast on 13 or 27 July 2024 from £999 pp or sail the Iberian Coast, Canary Islands & Madeira for 12 nights on 10 August from £1,399.
  • All sailings on board MSC Virtuosa are available to browse and purchase here.




1One Poll Survey of 2,000 people commissioned by MSC Cruises in May 2024