The end of November brought some great news for MSC Cruises (MSC stands for Mediterranean Shipping Company). While plenty of other cruise lines are cancelling itineraries and looking towards a later 2021 start, MSC has been working out deals with both Japan and Southampton, England. Fans of the cruise line should be happy to hear that the future looks bright for MSC!
MSC receives a certificate of compliance from Japan
It’s definitely an understatement to say that the future of U.S. cruising is uncertain right now. It’s entirely possible that a vaccine in early 2021 could allow the industry to flourish again. It’s also possible that the situation will remain complicated throughout next year. But as America searches for innovative solutions to allow cruising to happen safely, Asia has been going through a slow restart. Knowing this, MSC has been working with ClassNK, a Japanese maritime classification society, in order to receive permission to sail in Japan. On November 24th, the cruise line announced that they had received a certificate of compliance.
Japanese itineraries for MSC
With the certificate given to MSC, they are now allowed to gear up to sail in Japan in the coming season. Their itineraries will begin in April 2021, with ticket sales beginning in December 2020. The MSC Bellissima, a newer ship in the MSC fleet with a capacity of 4500 passengers, will be the first to return to Japan. It will be stationed in Yokohama and run a series of itineraries that last between six and nine nights. It will sail in the area from April to June 2021, and then again from October to November 2021.
An agreement with Southampton
In addition to working with Japan on 2021 sailings, MSC has also been discussing an agreement with the port of Southampton. They reached an agreement on November 24th. MSC will now be using Southampton as the homeport for at least one of their ships each year starting in 2021. This will kick off in the summer of 2021, when the MSC Magnifica will sail from Southampton in a series of 21 itineraries. In 2021, Magnifica will use the newest terminal at Southampton which features solar panels. This marks a rather aggressive move into the European market, one which MSC has been looking to grow into for a while now.
Now may not be a time when many cruise lines are growing and expanding their horizons, so it’s great to see that MSC is still looking into the future with hope. We’re looking forward to seeing their sailings from Japan and Southampton doing very well in 2021!