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Published on : Wednesday, July 8, 2015
MSC Cruises announced that, starting in December 2015, its 2,120-guest MSC Opera will homeport in Havana for the winter 2015-16 season, offering guests 16 Caribbean cruises with a two-night stay in the Cuban capital.
MSC Cruises will offer travellers from around the world a unique chance to cruise aboard the completely renovated 65,542 GRT MSC Opera, part of the Company’s €200 million Renaissance programme, and cruise to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico with two nights and two and a half days in Havana.
The seven-night Caribbean cruises aboard MSC Opera will be available for booking from 10 July 2015. To offer local ground services and shore excursions MSC Cruises will partner with Cubanacan, the Cuba-based group known for its experienced professionals and high quality of service.
The first cruise will depart from Havana on 22 December 2015, following MSC Opera’s Grand Voyage to Cuba from Genoa, departing on 2 December 2015. To ensure that guests can enjoy and discover the capital city, the Grand Voyage will include a call in Havana on 18 December, and resume its itinerary in the region before heading back to Cuba for its final call of the journey on 21 December. On 12 April 2016, the ship will leave Havana for a Grand Voyage back to Europe, with Warnemünde, Germany as its final destination, arriving on 7 May 2016.
“We are particularly proud to make this exciting new destination available to our guests. For this, I wish to personally thank all those who worked with us over these past several months to make it possible for MSC Cruises to launch Cuba as a destination to its guests. In particular, I wish to thank the Ministers of Transportation and Tourism of the Cuban Government and their representatives for their continued highly professional contribution” commented Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer of MSC Cruises.
“The move to Cuba attests to our commitment to offer our guests the best and most sought-after destinations as they become accessible – thus further enhancing our global offering while providing travellers best-in-class experiences and service” he said.
“The inaugural cruise will take place in less than six months from now, but we can confirm the strong demand for the product due to the attractiveness of Cuba as a culture-rich destination, coupled with the fact that it is offered through our distinctive MSC Cruises experience”.
MSC Opera’s Renaissance Programme
As part of its €5.1 billion investment plan, MSC Cruises invested €200 million in the ‘Renaissance Programme’ to fully renovate and modernize four of its existing ships: MSC Armonia, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Lirica and now Havana-bound MSC Opera, which is currently in dry-dock and expected to return to service early July 2015.