MSC Cruises Brings European-Style Cruising Back to NYC

NEW YORK, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ — Start spreading the news — MSC Cruises is bringing sophisticated European-style cruising back to New York.

When the Italian-owned MSC Cruises MSC Lirica begins year-round sailings from New York City in April 2007, it will mark the first time in several decades that a European-owned cruise line will homeport year-round in the Big Apple.

“It has been decades since vacationers have been able to sail from New York on a European-owned cruise line with the classic style and elegance that only the Italians know how to present,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), who added the line will offer Bermuda, Canada/New England and Caribbean itineraries.

“This is an exciting day for New York City and our booming cruise industry,” said Andrew M. Alper, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “MSC Cruises’ decision to come to New York City is the latest evidence that the investments we are making in our cruise terminals are helping transform the City into an even more attractive place for cruise lines.

“On behalf of Mayor Bloomberg and all of New York City, I welcome MSC Cruises to the Big Apple.”

“Homeporting a ship in New York makes MSC Cruises ‘True Italian Signature’ style of cruising readily accessible to residents of the Northeast. MSC Cruises’ Italian/European style will be right at home in this, the crosswords of the world,” says Sasso.

With seven ships currently in service and newbuilds MSC Musica and MSC Orchestra joining the fleet in 2006 and 2007, respectively, MSC Cruises announced plans to add more and signed for its two largest ships this past week. MSC Musica and MSC Orchestra will be followed by the 133,500-ton MSC Fantasia in 2008 and MSC Serenata in 2009, bringing the number of ships in the line’s fleet to 11 by 2009.

“This is a very exciting time for MSC Cruises,” says Sasso. “With grand new ships on the horizon and year-round sailings from what is unquestionably the capital of the world, MSC Cruises reaffirms its position as a global player in the cruise industry.”

MSC Cruises offers itineraries in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America and the Caribbean, as well as transatlantic sailings. Each itinerary features the out-of-the-ordinary port calls for which MSC Cruises has become known.

No matter what the sailing region, MSC Cruises offers guests an authentic Italian/European cruise experience, from the superb cuisine featuring regional Italian specialties (as well as perennial All-American favorites) to the warmth and generosity of the Italian officers and international crew and the European-style entertainment that is suitable for the entire family.

Onboard, guests enjoy swimming pools, mini-golf, casino, disco, theatre, health center (complete with beauty salon, gym, steam room, sauna and relaxation area), children’s area, video game room, and Internet center.

MSC Cruises is no stranger to New York City. The U.S. headquarters of the cruise line’s parent company, Mediterranean Shipping Company, are based in New York City and recently marked the 20th year serving the U.S. trade market.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit http://www.msccruises.com/ .

Backed by one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, MSC Cruises USA has emerged as a fast-rising star in the European-style premium cruise market. The company launched a $3 billion expansion program in 2003 with the introduction of the new MSC Lirica in 2003. MSC Cruises added the MSC Armonia (built in 2001) to its fleet in spring of 2004 and the new MSC Opera debuted in June 2004. The line purchased the MSC Sinfonia in July 2004 (the ship began cruising in March 2005). Two 2,600-passenger ships are on order, with MSC Musica slated to debut in spring 2006 and MSC Orchestra in 2007. The line has also contracted for two post-Panamax ships; the MSC Fantasia is expected to debut in 2008 and the MSC Serenata in 2009.

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