MSC Italian Cruises, based in Naples, Italy, has announced exciting plans for 2004. Their brand new flagship, the MSC Lirica, will have her inaugural celebration in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in January, and the company will introduce yet a second new cruise ship, the MSC Opera, in April 2004. Eight new ports have been added to the company’s Mediterranean itineraries for 2004 in keeping with MSC Italian Cruises commitment to vary its cruise destinations each year.
“There is no question that MSC Italian Cruises plans a higher profile in the U.S. market by bringing its newest ship, the Lirica, to Florida this winter, “said Nicola Arena, president of MSC Italian Cruises (USA). “Not only are we increasing passenger capacity by 47% this season, but travel agents can now offer their clients the opportunity to experience MSC’s Italian hospitality, carefully selected itineraries world class service aboard this elegant, pristine ship.”
MSC Italian Cruises has also added eight new ports of call to its Mediterranean itineraries in 2004. They include: Gabes, Tunisia; Lanzarote Island, Spain; La Valleta in Malta; Messina, Italy, Tripoli and Tobruk in Libya, Taormina, Sicily and Volos in Greece.
“We are very excited about the new ships joining our fleet and the unique cruise opportunities that MSC offers in 2004,” said Steve Hirshan, Vice President of MSC Italian Cruises (USA). “Each year we try and vary our Mediterranean Itineraries to attract not only those who regularly cruise with MSC, but also experienced cruisers seeking more unique destinations. Plus, our affordable fares and Italian style service make our cruises particularly attractive to anyone interested in cruising.”
For example, fares to sail on the brand new MSC Lirica started at $1195 per person for its 17-night transatlantic cruise that will depart Genoa December 27, 2003, but you can still enjoy one of MSC’s popular 11-night Caribbean cruises aboard this same ship from $995 per person, including port charges. Some dates have already booked out, so get your reservations in soon.
The 1580-passenger Lirica was christened in Naples, Italy in April 2003, with famed actress Sophia Loren performing the ceremony. The new cruise ship has 795 cabins, including 132 suites with private verandahs, and four disabled-accessible rooms. Only the highest standards of safety, style and sophistication have been incorporated into the Lirica, and the ship offers each guest the Italian style service and amenities that are the true hallmark of MSC Italian Cruises.
The MSC Lirica kicks off
its U.S. winter cruise season with an 11-night West Indies and Bahamas cruise that departs Fort Lauderdale on January 15, 2004. The Lirica will also offer MSC’s popular Panama Canal (partial transit) and South America cruise itinerary that departs from Fort Lauderdale starting January 26, 2004.
“We offer tremendous opportunity for travel agents to augment their offerings with MSC Italian Cruises smaller, elegant ships in a market where ‘big’ is not necessarily better,” says Steve Hirshan, Vice President of MSC Italian Cruises. “Cruising with MSC is like staying at a first class, Italian hotel where the well trained and friendly staff gets to know you personally, and you can find what you’re looking for without getting lost.”
In the Mediterranean, MSC Italian Cruises will have a fleet of five ships providing different 7- and 11-night cruise itineraries. For the 7-night cruise, you can choose from among four different offerings: Croatia, Greece and Turkey; Sicily, Tunisia, Balearic Islands, Spain and France; Croatia and Greece; as well as Malta, Tunisia, Balearic Islands and France.