MSC Cruises, the rapidly expanding Geneva based cruise shipping company, plans to double its share of the UK market and will bring the 139,072 gross ton MSC Preziosa to Southampton in 2019, Travel Weekly reports in a newsletter.
The 2013 built ship carries 4,345 passengers, which is 740 more than the 95,128-tonne MSC Magnifica which is the line’s present ship in the UK and which began operations in 2010.
“MSC represents 10% of the (global) cruise market worldwide and we need to reach 10% in the UK. We are currently just under 5% but with Magnifica next summer and Prezioza the summer after, we will do,” MSC Cruises’ CEO Gianni Onorato was quoted as saying. The company’s aim is to become the leading international player on the British markrt within five years, he added.
Onorato also said the fact that MSC Preziosa has both and indoor and outdoor pool would make it perfect for ex-Southampton sailings when the weather isn’t always favourable. MSC would also make it easier for British and Irish guests to get to its fly-cruises in future to help achieve his desired growth.
“We need to have more and more programmes that appeal to UK and Irish guests, so that means more itineraries to the Caribbean and Med in particular – and more regional flights from the UK and charters to get them there,” he was quoted as saying.