MSC Cruises is betting big on the Caribbean in winter 2024-25, with no less than six ships deployed to the region from a variety of embarkation ports. In unveiling its global plans, the cruise line also is home-porting vessels at Red Sea and Arabian Sea ports, and offers a full European program as well.
Four Ships To Be Based in Florida
The cruise ports of Florida will become a major focal point of MSC Cruises’ ship deployments in winter 2024-25, with three ships home-porting in Miami and one in Port Canaveral, sailing a variety of Caribbean itineraries. A fourth ship will be based in New York, offering a northern option for would-be Caribbean cruisers.
MSC Cruises will homeport two Seaside-class ships in Miami for the first time. MSC Seascape and MSC Seaside both will operate 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises starting in October 2024 and continuing into spring 2025.
Ports of call will include MSC Cruises’ private island, the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, located in The Bahamas, along with Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Isla de Roatan, Honduras; and other destinations.
MSC Divina will continue her existing deployment in Miami, sailing mostly short cruises calling at Nassau and Ocean Cay. The ship also will operate a few 10-night sailings to Jamaica, Aruba, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, and The Bahamas.
From Port Canaveral, MSC Seashore will sail a combination of short cruises and 7-night voyages. And from New York City, MSC Meraviglia will feature 7- to 11-night Caribbean itineraries, calling at Orlando, Florida (via Port Canaveral); Nassau, The Bahamas; and Ocean Cay.
The cruise line also will base one ship in the South Caribbean, with MSC Virtuosa homeporting in Fort-de-France, Martinique. The ship will sail back-to-back 7-night Central and Southern Caribbean itineraries calling at Guadeloupe, the Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, Barbados, Grenada, and Saint Lucia.
MSC Cruises’ private island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, will be a featured call on all Caribbean cruises except for those operated by MSC Virtuosa. The reserve in early 2024 will undergo an expansion and several upgrades to its facilities.
The destination recently was designated by the environmental group Mission Blue as a “Hope Spot” for its potential for conservation and its existing efforts to restore and protect the marine environment.
Ships to Sail Arabia, Middle East Cruises
MSC Cruises’ plans for winter 2024-25 also feature deployments to the Arabian Sea, with MSC Euribia scheduled to sail 7-night cruises from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, calling at the ports of Sir Bani Yas; Doha, Qatar; and Manama, Bahrain. The series will mark MSC Euribia’s debut in the region.
MSC Musica will be based in Safaga, Egypt, with calls at Egyptian landmarks such as Luxor, where cruisers can tour the famous Valley of the Kings; Sharm El-Sheikh; and Cairo (via Sokhna Port) to explore the pyramids. Other port visits include Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Aqaba and Petra, both in Jordan.
MSC World Europa Heading to Genoa
Europe itineraries will be well represented in MSC Cruises’ 2024-25 line-up. Highlights include MSC World Europa homeporting in Genoa, Italy, and operating 7-night Mediterranean sailings to Rome (port of Civitavecchia) and Sicily (port of Messina), in Italy; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain; and Marseille, France.
The notable MSC World Europa, launched in 2021 and able to accommodate 6,700 guests, is the cruise line’s largest mega-ship to date. One of its most unique features is The Spiral, the longest dry slide at sea, spanning 11 decks high.
In Northern Europe, MSC Preziosa will be based in Hamburg, Germany, featuring 7-night itineraries to destinations such as Bruges and Brussels (via port of Zeebrugge), Belgium; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Paris (via port of Le Havre), France; and London (via port of Southampton), UK.