MSC Cruises has unveiled its brochures for summer 2015 and winter 2015/16, the earliest it has done so for more than a year ahead.
The launch is also the cruise line’s first double-reveal for the year ahead, with the company also launching pre-registration for the first time. The cruises will go on sale tomorrow (2 April).
Speaking at the launch yesterday, Giles Hawke, executive director at MSC UK, Ireland and Australia said the line has had more than 500 people sign up for pre-registration and has a keen interest from travel agents ahead of the launch.
“We are already seeing massive interest in our forward programme with 500 pre-registrations by Friday and travel agents seeing more enquiries from customers,” he explained. “This is the earliest we’ve released a programme for the following year and winter after; from Wednesday we will have almost two years ahead on sale.”
MSC will not have a ship sailing out of the UK next as MSC Opera goes into drydock, with the focus instead to be on fly/cruises to the Mediterranean. Flights will be available from Manchester and Edinburgh with more regional connections possible.
Two charter cruises from Genoa and Venice are in discussion and will be finalised soon, while five ships will be based out of Venice in 2015 regardless of how the ruling for ships in and out of the popular Italian port sway.
And while a ship will not be based in the UK, eight sailings will include stops at Southampton and Dover with travel agents to be invited onboard to see the ships.
Further ahead Hawke said the cruise line has ambitious growth plans especially as it awaits the arrival of two new ships in the next five years.
“Our very ambitious growth plans would see MSC carrying 200,000 British passengers in 2017 from the 60,000 we do currently,” said Hawke. “There is big investment and growth into our fleet and from the UK & Ireland market.” The brochures will also be the first to detail MSC’s new Experience pricing, which is said to have been well received by the trade and customers. A new B2B and consumer website will be unveiled in the coming months.