MSC Cruises

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MSC Cruises
Industry Transportation
Founded 1987
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Products Cruises
Parent Mediterranean Shipping Company

MSC Cruises (Italian: MSC Crociere S.p.A.) is a division of Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC). MSC is an Italian shipping company devoted to the cruise market with headquarters in Geneva. The company, whose capital is wholly Swiss, employs 15,500 people worldwide and has offices in 45 countries.

Originally founded as Lauro Lines by Achille Lauro, the company entered the cruise business in the 1960s, operating two ships, the Angelina Lauro and MS Achille Lauro, both of which met fiery ends. After the Angelina Lauro burnt in the port of St.Thomas in 1979, Lauro Lines, also known as Flotta Lauro, met with bad times, now operating just one ship, the Achille Lauro. In 1985, the Achille Lauro was hijacked by members of the Palestine Liberation Front, and the much-publicised event further dropped passenger numbers. In 1989, Flotta Lauro was purchased by Mediterranean Shipping Company and renamed StarLauro Cruises.[1] In 1994, the Achille Lauro caught fire and sank. In 1995, the company name was changed to MSC Cruises.[1]

MSC Cruises claims to be the third largest cruise operator in the world,[2] after Carnival Corporation & plc and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. with a 6% share of all passengers carried and cruise revenue in 2012. Yet, because MSC Cruises has no stakes exchanged on the market, it has no obligations to issue its budget certified by independent parties, which therefore it does not; as a consequence the data MSC Cruises releases about itself are not verifiable.

On March 1, 2010, after strong support from French government, STX Europe and MSC Cruises announced signing a new Letter of Intent to build one, 139,000 ton, 3502 passenger, Fantasia-class ship, which is subject to financing, at STX Europe St-Nazaire.


Lirica class[edit]

Main article: Lirica class
Ship Built Builder Entered service
for MSC
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes
MSC Armonia 2001 Chantiers de l'Atlantique(St. Nazaire) May 2004 65,000 tons  Panama Previously European Vision for the failed Festival Cruises.
MSC Sinfonia 2002 Chantiers de l'Atlantique(St. Nazaire) March 2005 58,625 tons  Panama Previously European Stars for the failed Festival Cruises.
MSC Lirica 2003 Chantiers de l'Atlantique(St. Nazaire) March 2003 59,058 tons  Panama Modified ex Festival's European-class.
MSC Opera 2004 Chantiers de l'Atlantique(St. Nazaire) March 2004 59,058 tons  Panama Modified ex Festival's European-class.

Musica class[edit]

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for MSC
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes
MSC Musica 2006 Aker Yards(St. Nazaire) July 2006 92,409 tons  Panama
MSC Orchestra 2007 Aker Yards(St. Nazaire) May 2007 92,409 tons  Panama
MSC Poesia 2008 Aker Yards(St. Nazaire) Oct. 2008 92,627 tons  Panama
MSC Magnifica 2010 STX Europe(St. Nazaire) March 2010 95,128 tons  Panama Modified Musica-class.

Fantasia class[edit]

Main article: Fantasia class
Ship Built Builder Entered service
for MSC
Gross Tonnage Flag Notes
MSC Fantasia 2008 Aker Yards(St. Nazaire) Dec. 2008 137,936 tons  Panama
MSC Splendida 2009 Aker Yards(St. Nazaire) July 2009 137,936 tons  Panama Ordered as MSC Serenata and renamed MSC Splendida in 2008.
MSC Divina 2012 STX Europe(St. Nazaire) June 2012 139,400 tons  Panama Modified Fantasia-class. Ordered as MSC Meraviglia and renamed MSC Divina in 2010.
MSC Preziosa 2013 STX Europe(St. Nazaire) March 2013 139,400 tons  Panama Modified Fantasia-class.Originally ordered for Libyan based General National Maritime Transport.[3]

Future Ships[edit]

Ship Will enter service
for MSC
Builder Gross Tonnage Flag Notes
TBA 2017 STX Europe(St. Nazaire) 167,600 tons  Panama Largest ship to be built for MSC Cruises.
TBA 2019 STX Europe(St. Nazaire) 167,600 tons  Panama
Project Seaside I NOV 2017 Fincantieri 154,000 tons  Panama [4]
Project Seaside II MAY 2018 Fincantieri 154,000 tons  Panama [5]
MSC Orchestra at Istanbul
MSC Magnifica at Amsterdam
MSC Splendida at Lisbon

Former ships[edit]

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for MSC
Gross Tonnage Year Retired
Symphony 1951 Wigham Richardson 1994 16,000 tons 2000
Monterey 1952 Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. 1994 20,000 tons 2006
Rhapsody 1977 Burmeister & Wain 1995 17,095 tons 2009
MSC Melody 1982 CNIM (La Seyne-sur-Mer) 1997 35,143 tons 2013
Angelina Lauro 1938 Koninklijke Maatschappi N/A 24,377 tons 1979
Achille Lauro 1947 Koninklijke Maatschappi N/A 23,629 tons 1994

Main working area[edit]

  • Western Mediterranean: MSC Sinfonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Musica, MSC Splendida
  • Eastern Mediterranean: MSC Armonia, MSC Fantasia, MSC Preziosa
  • Northern Europe: MSC Opera, MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia, MSC Magnifica
  • Caribbean: MSC Divina


External links[edit]