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MEDITERRANEAN SHIPPING COMPANY
History p MSC Cruises was created when Gianlucci Aponte, owner of Mediterranean Shipping Company, acquired Starlauro -- a one-ship cruise line, whose fleet consisted of the Achille Lauro – the one with a troubled history: n n p p p was hijacked by Palestinians in 1986; and while under the MSC flag. In 1996, and sailing a passenger cruise, caught fire off the coast of Africa and, ultimately, sank. All passengers were safely rescued. MSC Cruises, based in Naples and Sorrento, was conceived on the premise of offering Europeans affordable cruise vacations -- a concept that was fairly revolutionary in 1990. Today, it competes primarily against Genoa-based Costa Cruises (as well as smaller, more regional lines like Spain's Pullmantur). MSC is privately owned and, as such, the designs of its vessels are unique to the line. MSC Cruises is a division of Mediterranean Shipping Company, with a longstanding history on the sea. MSC cruises have a distinct Italian style. From the authentic Italian cuisine to the personal attention and friendliness of an Italian crew, guests onboard an MSC cruise are treated to the finest Italian hospitality afloat. Aimed at the younger end of the cruising market, the management team is committed to innovation together with maritime tradition, to create the perfect Italian cruise experience.
Breakthrough. . 1 p MSC commissioned its own series of new-builds. n n p Acquired vessels from the now-defunct First European/Festival (both ships measure 58, 625 tons and carry 1, 566 passengers) n n p MSC Lirica, a 59, 058 -ton, 1, 445 -passenger vessel, was the first to emerge in April 2003; and MSC Opera, just slightly larger and carrying 1, 756 passengers, debuted in June 2004. MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia, . Introduced a new class of ships -- larger, more amenity-laden and featuring an even higher ratio of private verandahs n MSC Musica. Measuring 89, 600 tons and accommodating 2, 550 passengers, that class "master" was launched in June 2006 and siblings include p p n n MSC Orchestra (debuted in spring of 2007) and MSC Poesia (spring of 2008). MSC Magnifica, the fourth ship in the Musica class, will launch in spring 2010, and MSC Meraviglia, the fifth, in early 2011.
Breakthrough. . 2 p MSC's biggest forward foot to date has been the innovative new design for its Fantasia series of ships. n n p The line's largest ships, to date, are these two post-Panamax -sized vessels, based on an absolutely unique protoype that incorporates first-ever features, such as n n p MSC Fantasia, which debuted in December 2008, is the first of two 133, 500 -ton, 3, 300 -passenger Fantasia-class vessels. Sister ship MSC Splendida is due out in summer 2009. the ship-within-a-ship Yacht Club concept for suite holders, a pool with a magrodome for all-seasons swimming, an interactive center with a 4 D theater and a Formula One simulator. Uniquely, in an era in which cruise lines choose a different celebrity godmother for each ship in the fleet, the Italianinfluenced MSC has remained loyal to legendary actress Sophia Loren. She's served as godmother for every new ship since MSC Lirica.
Onboard p p p Whether new ship or old, MSC Cruises emphasizes a strongly Italian-influenced ambience. For the most part, its ships traverse the Mediterranean (winter and summer) and are geared to European travelers. But, the line has made a major commitment to not only sail elsewhere (South America, Canada/New England, the Caribbean, South Africa), but also to expand its passenger base to include English-speaking travelers. Regardless, passengers should be prepared for announcements to be read in Italian, French, Spanish, German and English. Life onboard, particularly when it comes to mealtime, follows a more traditional cruise schedule -- set dining times and seatmates, and a handful of optional eateries that include sushi, a buffet and an Italian restaurant. The ships offer a standout range of evening entertainment offerings, from smoochy dance music to classical concerts, Cirque du Soleil-esque aerobatic shows to jazz. While MSC cruises are typically priced at very value-oriented levels (i. e. pretty cheap cruise fares), the ships offer a fairly unprecedented range of services and amenities that cost extra, such as a la carte menus, fees for port shuttles and more.
Fellow Passengers p p p In Europe, from the Mediterranean to the Baltic, the ships attract a very strong European crowd. (U. K. - and Ireland-based cruise travelers are becoming increasingly well-represented. ) Caribbean sailings are geared more strongly to North American travelers. With its new-builds, the line attracts numerous retirees during the winter season, while its efforts to cater to families during the summer and school holidays mean there are lots of kids at those times. MSC's more classic vessels -- which lack state-ofthe-art kids' facilities and sail on longer, more exotic itineraries -- are tailored to older travelers.
Itineraries p p MSC Cruises' main playground is, of course, the Mediterranean, and itineraries include stops in Italy, Greece, Malta, Canary Islands, Croatia, Portugal, Morocco, Spain, Istanbul and even the Ukraine. Northern Europe, from Norway's fjords to the Baltic, is increasingly popular. MSC has since added itineraries to South Africa and South America. It also is ramping up its presence in the Caribbean. In 2010, the line will add fall foliage cruises from a new homeport in New York to Canada and New England.
Exotic Itineraries from South Africa to the Mediterranean. p The very value-priced, refurbished, "classic" ships (which aren't marketed to a North American audience) include the n n 35, 000 -ton, 1, 064 -passenger MSC Melody (built in 1982; formerly known as Premier Cruise Lines' Starship Atlantic); 20, 000 -ton, 566 -passenger MSC Monterey (a former U. S. flagged liner built in 1952); and 17, 495 -ton, 780 -passenger MSC Rhapsody (formerly known as Cunard Princess and built in 1977). The 58, 600 -ton, 1, 566 -passenger Armonia and Sinfonia -- which were acquired from the now-defunct First European/Festival Cruises and were originally called European Vision and European Stars, respectively -were built in 2001 and 2002.
Our Concerns about South Africa A Letter to Ricky Bikraj, Port Manager, Durban from Luigi Pastena, Port Captain, Marine Operations Department, Strategic Itinerary Management, MSC Cruise tech p p p p The new assessment of Maritime Station in Durban has reduced the available spaces and now it is impossible to have a fluent flow of embarking and disembarking passengers; Basing on our experience, we suggest to divide embarking from disembarking people and not to carry out the luggage handling inside the Maritime Station; As you well know, MSC cruise’s business keep on growing all around the world and our passengers produce a benefit for the local community that doesn’t appear at the first sight but it is very, very important. The Maritime Station is the first portrait of a country in the eyes of the passengers and a good workable structure influences positively their opinion about the port , the city and the country itself. MSC wouldn’t ask for something that yourself cannot benefit from!!! A further issue is the Passenger’s fee that, in Durban, is unbelievably high; in fact we pay now R 74. 11 as total fees for passengers and luggages and we are carrying about 40 000 Passengers per Season! We surely want to give you big vessel, more passengers and a “larger” season by 1 -2 months, but we need from your side a reduction of all Port costs. For instance, a contract that gave us incentive after 25 000 passengers in a season, would be highly appreciated. Please also note that, with the mini cruise, you receive in ten days triple the money and passengers that you could see with a ten-days cruise (as per a research from our Company, each passenger leaves in a Port about US$ 109, 00. This letter is dated December 11 th, 2007
Book Through Starlight Cruises Starlight House, 1 Wessel Rd, Cnr 5 th Ave, Rivonia, Docex 3, Rivonia. Reservation Office: 011 807 5111 E-Mail: starlite@yebo. co. za Postal Address: P. O. Box 786331, Sandton, 2146 Branch Offices: 012 342 4496 • 031 303 3571 • 021 555 3005
Thank you Sello Rasethaba, Executive Director Container Logistics and Depots Mediterrenean Shipping Company Tel. +27 6532 Fax: +27 86 517 5762 E-mail : sello. rasethaba@msc. co. za E-mail : srasethaba@msc. co. za Luigi Pastena, Port Captain Marine Operations Department Strategic Itinerary Management MSC Cruise tech Tel. 0039 081 5344001 Fax 0039 081 5342404 E-mail : mscmarineoperations@mscctd. it E-mail : lpastena@mscctd. it