|MSC Magnifica, with with its high proportion of balcony cabins, will serve guests for 119 days. //Photo by MSC Cruises|
Swiss-based cruise line MSC Cruises has announced its first-ever world cruise itinerary, scheduled to set sail across six continents and 49 destinations in 32 countries. The 119-day sailing, onboard the MSC Magnifica, will depart from Geona on January 5, 2019, and return to its departure port on Mary 3, 2019.
“MSC Cruises’ first-ever World Cruise is great for the industry,” Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, tells Travel Agent. “Travel agents and consumers are always asking for new ports of call, creative itineraries for different destinations and this introduces another reason for travel agents to be promoting MSC. I see this as an interesting move and definitely offers a competitive product in the world-cruise market, which has been traditionally dominated by luxury and premium cruise lines. I think there are cruise aficionados who would jump on this for the right value.”
The itinerary was designed for travelers of all ages looking to broaden their horizons and gain life experiences by traveling the world, whether on a gap year, career break or post-retirement experience. Unique destinations (not easily found on other cruise itineraries) like the Tonga archipelago, Bora Bora, Cartagena and Aqaba will provide guests with the opportunity to explore rarely chartered destinations on the newest and largest ship available for world sailings, MSC said. The itinerary will also visit spots like New Zealand, Fiji and the Maldives, as well as visit “off the beaten path” Caribbean islands, with nine ports of call in the region.
To provide guests the most authentic experience possible, MSC is offering MSC World Cruise passengers an average of 13 hours on shore per port of call, so guests can be able to explore and discover at their own pace. For popular destinations, MSC has arranged for extended in-port stays, typically unavailable to other cruise lines. Guests of the MSC World Cruise will have four full days in Polynesia, three full days in Hawaii as well as San Francisco and two full days in Los Angeles.
|Infographic by MSC Cruises|
MSC Cruises is also offering World Cruise guests the opportunity to book 15 complimentary shore excursions of their choosing, like riding elephants in Pinnawela, snorkeling lagoons of Moorea or touring the Nga Bay National Park, exclusively available on the MSC World Cruise. Onboard, MSC will be offering a variety of discounts to make the 118 nights on the vessel feel like home, including a 30 percent off discount on laundry services. Guests can visit the MSC Aurea Spa for some relaxation from treatments like Balinese massages, a Turkish bath, thalassotherapy room and a sauna.
The itinerary will be open for the general public to book starting December 14, 2016, with rates starting at $16,999. MSC Voyagers Club members can book the cruise a full month earlier, starting November 14. Members who book early will receive a free mealtime drinks package as well as triple membership points at the time of booking. Guests who do not belong to MSC Voyagers Club can use MSC Status Match to become a member at a similar or higher level, using a loyalty card from another travel reward program to receive immediate benefits.
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