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MSC to base a second Fantasia-class ship in Germany

MSC Kreuzfahrten
MSC Fantasia - setting course for Kiel in 2016
MSC Cruises will expand its capacity on the German market by basing a second Fantasia-Class vessel in a German port for the 2016 season. MSC Fantasia is to operate seven-day cruises from Kiel, April to September next year, replacing the smaller MSC Orchestra.

The Fantasia-class MSC Splendida, which is going to operate from Germany for the first time this year, will be based in Hamburg again in 2016.

MSC Opera will continue offering seven- to 14-day-itineraries from Warnemünde.

The fleet reshuffle responds to strong demand for cruises in Northern Europe, according to Michael Zengerle, md of MSC Kreuzfahrten in Munich. In Kiel, capacity will increase about 30% when MSC Fantasia takes over for MSC Orchestra. Week-long cruises to Norway and the Baltic will be available starting at €799 per person.

From Hamburg, MSC Splendida will operate seven different itineraries to Iceland, the North Cape, the UK, Ireland and Svalbard. Prices start at €699 for a seven-day cruise to the UK via the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

MSC Opera's week-long cruises from Warnemünde are priced from €849. The ship will offer a two-day stay at St. Petersburg on certain itineraries.

This year MSC Splendida is to begin sailing from Hamburg May 1.

Next year’s repositioning of MSC Fantasia to Kiel will highlight MSC’s first decade at that port, starting with MSC Lirica in 2006. That marked MSC's initial cruises from Germany.

MSC Cruises executives will soon embark on seven-city road show to highlight the 2016/17 program. Travel agent presentations with dinner and entertainment will begin in Stuttgart on March 3. Other cities include Düsseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Leipzig and Frankfurt.