Currently operates MSC Crociere SA. sixteen cruise ships. The largest private cruise company in the world, it claims to have one of the most modern cruise fleets.
MSC-the world's second largest transport and logistics company
MSC originally started out as a freighter shipping company. In 1970 the Italian captain Gianluigi Aponte acquired two small cargo ships from the insignificant Italian shipping company Lauro Linien. The young company developed well. In 1995, MSC expanded into the nascent cruise business. As before in the freight sector, only used ships were initially purchased. The first own new ship was the one that went into service in 2003 MSC Lirica. In 2004, two more new ships were taken over from the bankruptcy estate of Festival Crociere SpA. Both still serve in the fleet today under the names MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia. After that, further new buildings were commissioned.
The MSC Group is the second largest transport and logistics company in the world. The company, with headquarters in Geneva, is a stock corporation under Swiss law. In Munich, MSC Kreuzfahrten GmbH was installed in the German-speaking market. Despite its immense expansion, the MSC Group has retained its private law background. The group of shareholders should be composed of members of the Aponte family.
MSC Crociere - MSC Bilbao in Naples
MSC fleet by class
The cruise ships sailing under the Panamanian flag are currently divided into five classes. There are …
... the Fantasia class (approx. 137.900 to 139.000 GT) with
MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Splendida.
MSC Opera in front of Lisbon
... the Meraviglia class (approx. 171.600 GT)
MSC Bellissima (2019), MSC Meraviglia.
MSC Meraviglia in front of Barcelona
MSC Magnifica in front of Katakolon
... the Seaside class (154.000 GT)
MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview.
MSC Seaside - Photo © MSC
The ships in the Lirica class were lengthened by around 2014 meters between 2015 and 200 as part of the “Renaissance renovation program” valued at 24 million euros and adapted to today's needs of cruise tourists. The conversions each received 193 additional passenger cabins.
Extended MSC Armonia
While the balcony quota of the older Lirica-class ships leaves much to be desired, 70% of the Musica-class ships already have balcony cabins. In the Fantasia class, on the other hand, it is already 89% of all cabins.
MSC - a family-friendly shipping company
Families are the focus of the cruise line. For cruises, up to two children between the ages of 2 and 17,99 can travel freely on many dates. The prerequisite is that you live in a cabin with two full paying adults. Only the costs for travel to and from the home are to be borne by the parents. Children's clubs take care of children according to age group.
MSC Poesia - kids club
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 "Fantastica", for a trip that can be varied freely and flexibly according to your ideas up to "Aurea" with spa package and the "MSC Yacht Club"for exclusivity and luxury. Something for every taste. "
MSC Divina - Yacht Club Suite - Photo © MSC
The MSC ship within a ship concept
The shipping company's top product is the MSC Yacht Club, the exclusive “ship in a ship concept”. The Yacht Club is available to discerning guests on the ships of the Fantasia, Meraviglia and Seaside classes. Exclusive areas, butler and concierge service, gourmet restaurants and fine cuisine, free access to the Aurea Spa as well as shopping experiences and tailor-made shore excursions are offered.
MSC is significantly expanding its fleet
However, 16 ships are far from over. MSC continues to focus on the market. In addition to Europe, the company is also active in South America, the Gulf region and South Africa. The shipping company is working intensively on the North American and Asian markets. An MSC cruise terminal is being built in the port of Miami. In the Caribbean, the private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will be developed, and the MSC Bellissima will be relocated to Asia in spring 2020.
MSC Bellissima - Photo © MSC
As for the fleet, there is still a lot going on in this area. In addition to five newbuildings of the optimized Meraviglia and Seaside classes in the years 2019 to 2023, a completely new ship class will be introduced with the World Class. The world class ships will offer 2.760 cabins in the future. If the ships are fully loaded, that means 6.850 passengers on one trip. The world-class ships are expected in 2022 and 2024.
Investment in the luxury segment
And the luxury segment is also padded. The MSC Yacht Club concept already serves the premium market. In addition, a new luxury brand is to be established in addition to this. In March 2019, the company announced that Fincantieri had ordered four luxury-class ships with a total value of 2 billion euros. The cruise ships measured at 64.000 GT will each have 481 guest suites. The new hopes are to be put into service between 2023 and 2026.
(Karl Beyer - Update March 2019)