Donations from guests sailing aboard the MSC Cruises’ fleet have made it possible for the line to reach a major milestone in its financial contributions to UNICEF, the nonprofit humanitarian agency that helps children across the globe. The fundraising effort onboard MSC Cruises’ 19-ship fleet is coordinated by the MSC Foundation.
Fundraising Passes 12 Million Euro Mark
MSC Cruises, for the past 13 years, has partnered with UNICEF in a program that accepts donations from cruise guests who wish to contribute to the line’s fundraising efforts. The line announced on April 5 that the “Get On Board With Children” campaign has surpassed the 12 million euro mark, or roughly $13 million.
Through its partnership in helping to fund six UNICEF programs, the MSC Foundation since 2009 has extended financial aid to children in eight countries.
The donated funds have provided desperately needed food to more than 115,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Malawi, and have supported education programs for some 8,000 children in more than 100 communities in Brazil. Monies also have been distributed to mitigate malaria in African countries and to boost China’s food supplement program that prevents child malnutrition.
MSC Foundation Executive Director Daniela Picco said, “It is an honor to work hand in hand with UNICEF. Our partnership has grown from strength to strength ever since we set out together 13 years ago. It’s been a journey of great teamwork, working on very different programs across the world, but always achieving incredible results for the children.”
She added, “We are extremely proud of this new milestone and very grateful for the generous donations of the millions of MSC Cruises guests who have been moved to assist UNICEF’s wonderful work over these years.”
As part of the “Get On Board With Children” campaign, MSC Cruises also offers shipboard edutainment activities meant to engage young cruisers. The line’s Kids United magazine, for instance, is designed to ben an interactive way for children to learn about important topics as part of their cruise experience.
Multi-faceted Aid Programs Across The Globe
The MSC Foundation’s work with UNICEF doesn’t end with financial assistance to children’s programs. Recent initiatives that benefitted from guest donations include helping communities affected by flooding in Malawi, and by severe weather events in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
In 2019 the foundation expanded its role with the humanitarian organization by becoming the first partner in a program called “Plastic Waste Goes to School,” in the West African nation of Ivory Coast. The project’s goal is to build schools using bricks constructed from recycled plastic waste. The program empowers the country’s vulnerable women by training them as plastic waste collectors.
So far, 188 women have participated in the program, which enables them to earn money working in the UNICEF-supported plastic waste factory. Some 1.3 million pounds of plastic already has been recycled into construction bricks that today are used in 112 classrooms. As a result, more than 6,000 children have access to those classrooms.
UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein CEO Bettina Junker said: “We are extremely grateful that our partnership with the MSC Foundation has reached yet another impressive milestone with EUR 12 million donations to date. We highly appreciate the MSC Foundation’s generous support and powerful awareness-building around UNICEF’s work. We look forward to the next chapter in our partnership and are excited to continue driving change for children and young people every day.”
MSC World America to Debut in 2025
MSC Cruises currently has four ships sailing Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries from North American ports. The cruise line announced in late March that bookings officially opened for its newest ship, MSC World America, which will debut in April 2025 and be home-ported in Miami. The ship, the second in MSC Cruises’ World class, is under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France.
The ship is being designed specifically for the US market, and will accommodate 5,240 guests and 2,138 crew. Once home-ported in Miami, the ship will operate 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.
Eastern Caribbean itineraries will call at Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, The Bahamas. Western Caribbean sailings will visit Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and the MSC Marine Reserve.