MSC Crociere SA

MSC Crociere - company profile


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MSC Crociere SA, the cruise line of the Geneva/Switzerland-based, privately owned Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), currently operates 21 cruise ships. In June 2023, MSC Euribia will join the MSC fleet as the 22nd member. The self-proclaimed world's largest privately held cruise company boasts one of the youngest cruise fleets and is a market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa.

MSC – the world's second largest container and fourth largest cruise line

The company started as a cargo ship shipping company: In 1970, the Italian captain Gianluigi Aponte acquired two small cargo ships. The young company grew and prospered in an unprecedented way. Last but not least, the container business, which was booming at the time, contributed to the growth. The German financial and business newspaper "Handelsblatt" ranked MSC as the world's second largest container shipping company at the beginning of 2022. The Aponte family controls hundreds of container and cruise ships, various port terminals and an island in the Bahamas.

In 1988, MSC turned to the burgeoning European cruise business with the acquisition of the cruise line from shipping magnate Achille Lauro. As before in the cargo area, used ships were initially acquired with the Monterey, the Rhapsody and the Melody.

MSC Melody - Oldie but GoldieMSC Melody - Oldie but Goldie


In 2003, the company announced a €5,5 billion investment program in new ships. The first new ship to be built was the MSC Lirica, which went into service in 2003. A total of twelve ships of the Lirica, Musica and Fantasia class were built over the course of almost ten years. After completing this construction phase, the company invested a total of 2014 million euros in the "Renaissance Program" in 200. The goal was to lengthen the four Lirica-class ships and upgrade the fleet.

At the same time, another investment of 5,1 billion euros in larger and more beautiful ships was announced. Two years later it had risen to nine billion euros. The top-up amount will be invested in four world-class LNG-powered ships. In the following years 2017/2018 a second fleet expansion plan was decided. This means that total investments for the period 2014 to 2026 will increase to 11,6 billion euros.

In December 2019, a private resort was opened with the island of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas. With the acquisition of the island, MSC followed the example of American competitors.

The company is a stock corporation under Swiss law. The German branch resides in Munich under the company name MSC Cruises GmbH. Despite the phenomenal expansion, the MSC Group has retained its private law background. According to hearsay, the group of shareholders consists of members of the Aponte family.

The MSC fleet broken down by ship class

The older MSC ships fly the Panamanian flag. Since the launch of the MSC Meraviglia in 2017, the newcomers have been flying the Maltese flag. The MSC fleet is currently divided into the following six classes.

Lirica-class (65.500 GT)

Fleet members: MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Opera, MSC Sinfonia.

MSC Armonia at the pier in Kotor/Montenegro
MSC Lirica - off Scotland
MSC Opera in front of Lisbon
MSC Opera bound for Lisbon

Musica class (92.400 to 95.100 GT)

Fleet members: MSC Magnifica, MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia.

MSC Magnifica in Katakolon/Greece


MSC Magnifica in Katakolon/Greece


MSC Magnifica in Copenhagen


MSC Magnifica in Copenhagen 


Fantasia class (137.900 to 139.000 GT)

Fleet members: MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Splendida.

MSC Divina in the port of Venice


MSC Divina in the port of Venice


MSC Preziosa - en route in the Baltic Sea


MSC Preziosa - en route in the Baltic Sea 


Meraviglia and Meraviglia Plus class (171.600 to 181.500 GT)

Fleet members: MSC Bellissima, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Virtuosa.

MSC Bellissima in the port of MarseilleMSC Bellissima in the port of Marseille


Seaside and Seaside EVO Class (153.500 to 170.400 GT)

Fleet members: MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, MSC Seashore, MSC Seascape.

MSC Seaview in the port of Barcelona


MSC Seaview in the port of Barcelona


MSC Seaview in the port of Malaga


MSC Seaview in the port of Malaga 


World Class (215.900 GT)

Fleet member: MSC World Europe.

The world-class ships powered by environmentally friendly LNG gas have 2.760 cabins. When the ships are fully occupied, that means 6.850 passengers on one voyage. MSC World America is planned as the second ship.

MSC World Europe in Abu Dhabi

MSC World Europe in Abu Dhabi


MSC - the family-friendly shipping company

Families are the focus of the cruise line. For cruises, up to two children between the ages of 2 and under 18 can travel with you on many dates at no extra cost. The prerequisite is that they live in a cabin with two full-paying adults. The employees of the children's and youth clubs take care of the youngsters in the tried and tested way, staggered according to age groups.

Pricing models and cabin categories

At first glance, the travel prices are a science in themselves. A distinction is made between early bird prices, catalog prices, best prices, MSC specials and savings. And it continues according to the website “with options like the worlds of experience "Bella" for an all-round thrilling cruise experience, over "Fantastic" for a "freely and flexibly variable trip according to your ideas" up to "aura" with spa package and the "MSC Yacht Club” for exclusivity and luxury. Something for every taste. "

The MSC ship within a ship concept

The top product of the shipping company is the MSC Yacht Club, the exclusive "ship within a ship" concept. In MSC-speak it sounds like this: "The MSC Yacht Club combines the feeling of a private yacht with the extensive range of services on a cruise ship". The suites area of ​​the MSC Yacht Club is available to discerning guests on certain ships in the Fantasia, Meraviglia and below classes. Among other things, exclusive lounge areas, butler and concierge service, gourmet restaurants and fine cuisine, free access to the Aurea Spa as well as shopping experiences and - on request - tailor-made shore excursions are offered.

MSC expands the fleet

With currently 21 ships, this is by no means the end. MSC continues to focus on the growth of the cruise market. In addition to Europe, the company is active in South America, the Gulf region and South Africa. The shipping company is making intensive efforts for the North American and Asian markets. In the port of Miami According to the port administration, the shipping company is currently investing 300 million US dollars in the MSC cruise terminal and two berths. The work will last until 2024, while the MSC Bellissima is touring Asia.

Investments in the luxury segment

Other ships are commissioned from Fincantieri (Monfalcone) and Chantiers de l'Atlantique. Among the orders are six ships from the newly created lifestyle hospitality brand “Explora Journeys”, which is positioned in the luxury segment.

EXPLORATION 1 EXPLORA 1 - Photo © Explora-Journeys


The 64.000 GT cruise ships each have 481 suites. The new beacons of hope will enter service between 2023 and 2026. The brand's first ship, EXPLORA 1, will embark on its maiden voyage in July 2023.

Update April 2023

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