With the 13th cruise ship now operational, MSC Cruises is well underway to have its entire fleet sailing around the world by next year. MSC Fantasia departed Genoa, Italy, on November 7, which marked the beginning of her winter Mediterranean season.
It is a busy month for the cruise line, which also resumed operations in Brazil this week with MSC Preziosa, and two more ships will join her in South America. The company is now operational in North- and South America, Europe, and the Middle East.
MSC Fantasia Starts Winter Season
The 137,936 gross tons MSC Fantasia sailed from her homeport of Genoa, Italy, on the first of twenty-one Mediterranean voyages. The Fantasia-class ship became the thirteenth ship out of nineteen to commence operations since the global pause in operations in March 2020.
MSC Fantasia will operate 21 7-night cruises from her Italian homeport with calls at La Spezia, Italy; Palma in Majorca; Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France before returning to Genoa. However, guests have the opportunity to embark the vessel in any one of the ports of call and disembark again in the same port.
It’s a principle that has worked well for MSC cruises in the Mediterranean over the last months, minimizing travel for embarking guests.
The vessel offers its 3,274 guests a diverse choice of sports and entertainment facilities from five-a-side football, tennis, and basketball courts, a mini-golf course, a jogging track, and a gym. The vessel has an aqua park complex, a Formula 1 simulator, and a 4D cinema. The ship is also fitted out with the company’s luxury ship within a ship concept, MSC Yacht Club.
Now MSC Fantasia is operational, MSC Cruises is on schedule for the continued restart of the entire fleet. Something the Switzerland-based cruise line hopes to achieve by the summer of 2022.
Back in August of last year, MSC Cruises was the first of the major cruise lines that took the step to resume passenger operations, in a time when vaccines and protocols in place now were still far away. Nonetheless, the company has been successful throughout its restart operations.
This week MSC became the first major cruise line to start operations in South America when MSC Preziosa sailed from Santos, near Sao Paolo, Brazil, last Friday, November 5. A total of three cruise ships will be based in the South American country. MSC Seaside and MSC Splendida will join in the next month.
With two ships operating from Florida, MSC Meraviglia and MSC Divina; eight vessels in the Mediterranean, MSC Seashore, MSC Virtuosa, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Seaview, MSC Seaside, MSC Orchestra, MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica; and MSC Bellissima in Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea from Jeddah; the cruise line is one of the few cruise lines operating truly global post-pandemic.
It’s also not done yet; the company has gotten permission to resume cruises in South Africa. Cruise ships have been absent from the country’s shores since the pandemic started early last year, although which ship will go to Africa has not yet been announced.