MSC Cruises

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MSC Cruises
TypePrivately held company
Founded1989; 33 years ago (1989)
HeadquartersGeneva, Switzerland (Operations: London, Naples, Genoa and Venice, Italy)
Area served
Number of employees
ParentMediterranean Shipping Company

MSC Cruises (Italian: MSC Crociere) is an Italian global cruise line registered in Switzerland and based in Geneva, with operations offices in Naples, Genoa and Venice. It was founded in 1989 in Naples, Italy, as part of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). In addition to being the world's largest privately held cruise company, employing about 23,500 people worldwide and with offices in 45 countries as of 2017,[1] MSC Cruises is the third-largest cruise company in the world, after Carnival Corporation & plc and Royal Caribbean Group, with a 10.2% share of all passengers carried in 2021.[2]


Lauro Lines[edit]

Lauro Lines (Italian: Flotta Lauro) was founded in Naples, Italy by Achille Lauro in 1960. The company entered the cruise business operating two ships, MS Angelina Lauro and MS Achille Lauro. Angelina Lauro burnt in the port of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands in 1979 and Achille Lauro was hijacked by members of the Palestine Liberation Front in 1985 which put the company in financial difficulties.[3]

MSC Cruises[edit]

In 1988, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) entered the cruise business by buying the liner Monterey.[4]

In 1989, MSC bought Lauro Lines. The new company was named StarLauro Cruises and had 2 ships, Monterey and Achille Lauro.[5]

In 1995, StarLauro Cruises was renamed MSC Cruises.[5]

In 2014, MSC Cruises announced that the four Lirica'-class ships underwent renovation under the "Renaissance Programme".[6]

In July 2018, the company announced that it would build a second cruise terminal at PortMiami for its World-class cruise ships as an expansion of its North American program. It is scheduled to be completed in October 2022.[7]

In October 2018, MSC announced an order for four luxury ships of 64,000 gross tons each.[8] These ultra-luxury vessels will be based on the cruise line's luxury concept, the "MSC Yacht Club."[8] The first ship will arrive in the spring of 2023.[8] All ships will be built at Fincantieri.[8]

In January 2019, MSC Cruises unveiled the world’s first virtual personal cruise assistant - ZOE, an artificial intelligence device designed by Harman International. It is currently featured on MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa and will be featured on future newbuilds upon their delivery.[9][10]

In mid 2020, all cruise lines suspended most (or all) of their operations for over six months during the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

On 7 January 2021, MSC had released a plan for MSC Grandiosa to start its 7-night cruises on 24 January 2021 and for MSC Magnifica to start its 10-night cruises on 14 February 2021, both in the Mediterranean. Only passengers who were residents of Schengen countries would be accepted until further notice, however.[11]

On 9 January 2021, a report stated MSC was hoping to resume some cruises in Europe in the near future but added that "it remains to be seen whether this will go ahead with much of the continent still in lockdown".[11]

In June 2021, MSC announced a new luxury brand named Explora Journeys, with four vessels planned beginning with the Explora I.[12][13]

In March 2022, MSC Cruises signed a multi-year deal with Formula 1 to become their official cruise partner.[14]

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve[edit]

In December 2015, MSC Cruises signed a 100-year lease on land in the Bahamas to develop the land for an exclusive island experience.[15] The project was named the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve and was set to open in mid-November 2019, but weather delays pushed the date to 5 December 2019.[16]


Current fleet[edit]

Ship Built Builder Joined MSC Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Lirica class
MSC Armonia 2001 Chantiers de l'Atlantique May 2004 65,542  Panama Costa Fascinosa and MSC Armonia in Malta (MSC Armonia).jpg
MSC Sinfonia 2002 March 2005 65,542  Panama MSC Sinfonia turning to Starboard Side Tallinn 27 May 2015.JPG
MSC Lirica 2003 March 2003 65,591  Panama MSC LIRICA AT OOSANBASHI 20JUNE 2016 (cropped).jpg
MSC Opera 2004 March 2004 65,591  Panama MSC Opera departing Tallinn 11 August 2016.jpg
Musica class
MSC Musica 2006 Aker Yards (Saint-Nazaire) July 2006 92,409 tons  Panama MSC Musica at Pier 25 in Port of Tallinn Tallinn 1 May 2013.jpg
MSC Orchestra 2007 May 2007 92,409 tons  Panama MSC Orchestra in Tallinn 2009 0028.JPG
MSC Poesia 2008 Aker Yards/STX Europe (Saint-Nazaire) Oct 2008 92,627 tons  Panama MSC Poesia departing Tallinn 11 July 2012.JPG
MSC Magnifica 2010 STX Europe (Saint-Nazaire) March 2010 95,128 tons  Panama Modified Musica class MSC Magnifica (ship, 2010) 002.jpg
Fantasia class
MSC Fantasia 2008 Aker Yards/STX Europe (Saint-Nazaire) Dec 2008 137,936 tons  Panama Msc fantasia.jpg
MSC Splendida 2009 July 2009 137,936 tons  Panama MSC Splendida Marseille.jpg
MSC Divina 2012 STX Europe (Saint-Nazaire) June 2012 139,400 tons  Panama Modified Fantasia class MSC Divina in Malta.jpg
MSC Preziosa 2013 March 2013 139,400 tons  Panama Modified Fantasia class[17] Croisière MSC PREZIOSA à quai (cropped).jpg
Meraviglia class
MSC Meraviglia 2017 STX Europe (Saint-Nazaire) May 2017 171,598  Malta MSC Meraviglia Grand Harbour Malta 20180307 03 (cropped).jpg
MSC Bellissima 2019 Chantiers de l'Atlantique March 2019 171,598  Malta MSC Bellissima 20190226 190521.jpg
Meraviglia Plus-class
MSC Grandiosa 2019 Chantiers de l'Atlantique November 2019 181,541  Malta [18] Vertrek MSC GRANDIOSA (49018550362).jpg
MSC Virtuosa 2021 May 2021 181,541  Malta [18] MSC Virtuosa, Saint-Nazaire september 2020.jpg
Seaside class
MSC Seaside 2017 Fincantieri Nov 2017 153,516  Malta MSC Seaside 01.jpg
MSC Seaview 2018 June 2018 153,516  Malta MSC Seaview Genova.jpg
Seaside EVO-class
MSC Seashore 2021 Fincantieri August 2021 170,412  Malta [19] MSC Seashore.png
MSC Seascape 2022[20] 170.400 BRZ[21]
World class
MSC World Europa[22] 2022[23] Chantiers de l'Atlantique 215,863[24]  Malta Originally named MSC Europa.[25] Steel-cutting performed on 31 October 2019.[25] Coin and keel-laying ceremonies on 29 June 2020.[22] Floated out on 2 December 2021.[23]

Largest ship built for MSC Cruises. Powered by LNG-fueled cruise ship and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)


Future ships[edit]

Ship Due to enter service Builder Gross tonnage Notes Image
Meraviglia class
MSC Euribia[26] June 2023[27] Chantiers de l'Atlantique TBA "Meraviglia Plus" subclass.[27] LNG-fueled cruise ship.[28] Construction started on 28 June 2021.[26] Keel laid on 2 December 2021.[29]
World class
MSC World America[30][31] 2024[32] Chantiers de l'Atlantique 215,863[24] LNG-fueled cruise ship [28]
TBA 2025[24] Chantiers de l'Atlantique 215,863[24] LNG-fueled cruise ship [28]
TBA 2027[24] Chantiers de l'Atlantique 215,863[24] LNG-fueled cruise ship [28]
Explora class
Explora I Spring 2023[12] Fincantieri 63,900[12] Construction started on 10 June 2021.[12]
Coin ceremony took place on 24 February 2022 in Monfalcone[33]
Explora II 2024[12] Fincantieri 64,000 (approximate)[34] Keel laid on 5 May 2022[35]
Explora III 2026[12] Fincantieri 70,000 (approximate)[34] LNG-fueled cruise ship
Explora IV 2027[12] Fincantieri 70,000 (approximate)[34] LNG-fueled cruise ship
Explora V 2027[12] Fincantieri 70,000 (approximate)[34] LNG+Hydrogen-fueled cruise ship
Explora VI 2028[12] Fincantieri 70,000 (approximate)[34] LNG+Hydrogen-fueled cruise ship

Former ships[edit]

Ship Built Builder Joined MSC Gross tonnage Left MSC Notes Image
Angelina Lauro 1938 Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw-Maatschappij 1965 24,377 1979 Built for Netherland Line as the MS Oranje. Sank after catching fire in 1979. "Angelina Lauro" - Tilbury, 1976 (recropped).jpg
Achille Lauro 1947 Scheepsbouw-Maatschappij De Schelde, Vlissingen 1965 23,629 1994 Built for Royal Rotterdam Lloyd as the MS Willem Ruys. Sank after catching fire in 1994. Achille39.jpg
Monterey 1952 Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. 1989 20,000 2006 Originally known as SS Free State Mariner. Previously Monterey for Matson Lines and Monterey for Aloha Pacific Cruises. Scrapped in 2007. MSC Montery (cropped).jpg
Symphony 1951 Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson 1994 16,000 2000 Previously Provence for SGTM Line and Enrico C for Costa Cruises. Scrapped in 2001.
Rhapsody 1977 Burmeister & Wain 1995 17,095 2009 Previously Cunard Conquest and Cunard Princess for Cunard Line. Scrapped in 2022. MS Rhapsody in Trondheim 2007.jpg
Melody 1982 CNIM (La Seyne-sur-Mer) 1997 35,143 2013 Previously Atlantic for Home Lines and StarShip Atlantic for Premier Cruise Line. Scrapped in 2018. MSC Melody, La Goulette, 2009 bow.jpg


  1. ^ "MSC Cruises Company Profile - MSC Fleet - Mediterranean Way of Life". Archived from the original on 15 November 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Curise Market Watch - Market Share". Cruise Market Watch. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  3. ^ "Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises". The Maritime Executive. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  4. ^ "MSC Cruises History". Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  5. ^ a b "About MSC History". MSC Cruises USA. MSC Cruises. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  6. ^ "MSC Renaissance Program Begins with Laying Out of Armonia's New Section". Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  7. ^ "MSC Cruises to Build Second Cruise Terminal in Miami - MSC Cruises". Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "MSC places order for four luxury vessels: Travel Weekly". Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  9. ^ "MSC Cruises Officially Unveils "Zoe" the World's First Personal Cruise Assistant". Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  10. ^ Mathisen, Monty (1 February 2019). "MSC Unveils Zoe Virtual Personal Assistant". Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  11. ^ a b c "CRUISE & ITINERARY UPDATES". MSC. 7 January 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021. For all cancelled cruises please refer to the FAQ Which cruises benefit from the compensation packages policy?
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Payne, Holly (10 June 2021). "Steel cut for Explora I, first vessel in MSC Cruises' luxury Explora Journeys fleet". Seatrade Cruise News. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Brand Reveal". Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  14. ^ Formula 1 (21 March 2022). "Formula 1 announces MSC Cruises as a Global Partner for the 2022 season". Formula 1. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  15. ^ Staff, C. I. N. (17 December 2015). "Confirmed: MSC Closes Deal on Private Island in Bahamas". Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  16. ^ "MSC Cruises Announces New Opening Date for Ocean Cay Marine Reserve". TravelPulse.
  17. ^ "MSC Cruises-UK News: MSC Cruises Welcomes MSC Preziosa". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  18. ^ a b Williamson, Jeannine (31 October 2019). "MSC Cruises Takes Delivery of first Meraviglia Plus Class Ship, MSC Grandiosa". Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  19. ^ Covey, Claudette (24 June 2021). "MSC Cruises Names Second Seaside Evo Class Ship MSC Seascape". TravelPulse. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  20. ^ "New MSC Seascape Delivered from Fincantieri". 16 November 2022. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  22. ^ a b Kalosh, Anne (29 June 2020). "Chantiers de l'Atlantique lays keel for LNG-powered MSC World Europa". Seatrade Cruise News. Retrieved 29 June 2020.
  23. ^ a b "MSC and Chantiers Mark Double Newbuild Milestones". 2 December 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  24. ^ a b c d e f McCarthy, Daniel (21 January 2020). "MSC Cruises Adds Two World Class Vessels, New Ship Class to Expansion Plans". Travel Market Report. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  25. ^ a b "Msc guarda all'ambiente, ecco 'Europa': a Saint Nazaire il taglio della prima lamiera". (in Italian). Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  26. ^ a b "MSC Begins Construction of Euribia, Its Most Environmentally-Advanced Ship". 28 June 2021. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  27. ^ a b Ebelthite, Shaun. "MSC begins construction of third Meraviglia-Plus class ship, MSC Euribia -". Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  28. ^ a b c d "New Cruise Ships - MSC Cruises | New Ships - World Class". Archived from the original on 13 August 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Chantiers de l'Atlantique floats out MSC World Europa, lays keel for MSC Euribia". 2 December 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  31. ^ "MSC Names Next New Ship World America". 24 October 2022. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  32. ^ Leppert, Jason (6 April 2016). "MSC Cruises Orders Up to Four New World-Class Ships". Travel Pulse. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  34. ^ a b c d e "MSC Cruises to Launch Yacht Club-Style Luxury Ships". Travel Agent Central. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  35. ^ "Keel laid for Explora II at Fincantieri's Castellammare yard". 5 May 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2022.

External links[edit]