MSC Cruises ceo Gianni Onorato underscored that North America is a key market for the line as it works to double capacity by 2022. He said the arrival of MSC Divina in November 2013 had sparked significant growth in the market.
MSC Divina’s already published November through April itineraries will remain unchanged. New itineraries from April 2016 through March 2017 will rotate between eastern and western Caribbean routes and include stops at St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas.
'Keeping MSC Divina in North America year-round will help us expose even more travel agents and consumers to the MSC Cruises brand as well as build excitement for the arrival of MSC Seaside in 2017,' said Rick Sasso, president of MSC Cruises USA.
During MSC Divina's full 2014 schedule from Miami, the ship was away for several weeks at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
'We are extremely proud to welcome [MSC Divina] back home for year-round sailings starting November 2015 and are excited for MSC Seaside to join her at PortMiami a few years later,' said Juan Kuryla, director of PortMiami, where MSC will getting a renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal.
MSC Cruises will open sales for the April 2016 through March 2017 sailings on MSC Divina May 1 with a special launch promotion. This includes a shipboard credit, a beverage package and a Wi-Fi package, depending on the category of stateroom booked.
The line will also offer travel agents 18% flat commission for group bookings, along with free stateroom upgrades and shipboard credit for group members.
Plus, MSC Cruises said the success of MSC Divina in the Mediterranean this year has prompted it to create another itinerary in 2016 that is expected to be highly appealing for North Americans. That will operate on the same class of ship, MSC Fantasia.
From Genoa, the cruise visits Cannes, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Ajaccio (Corsica), Naples and La Spezia—seven ports in seven days.
MSC Cruises will also offer its fly and cruise packages to Barcelona for summer 2016.