This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Search ITCM

MSC Cruises is first line to homeport in Havana

MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line and the market leader in the Mediterranean and South America, announced that, starting in December 2015, it will be the first mainstream cruise line to homeport in Cuba. Its 2,120-guest MSC Opera will homeport in Havana for the winter 2015-16 season to offer guests 16 Caribbean cruises.

The new itinerary will give holidaymakers from around the world the opportunity to visit Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico with two nights and two and a half days in the Cuban capital.

Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer of MSC Cruises, commented: “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 the 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.”

Mr. Onorato added: “The move to Cuba proves our commitment to offer our guests and holiday-makers 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.”

“The inaugural cruise will take place in less than six months from now,” concluded Mr. Onorato, “but we can definitely confirm the strong demand for the product, due to the combination of the attractiveness of Cuba as a culture-rich destination, coupled with the fact that it is offered through our distinctive MSC Cruises experience.” The sailings will be available to UK guests on a cruise-only basis, going on sale across all channels on Thursday 9 July.

To offer local ground services and shore excursions MSC Cruises will partner with Cubanacan, the Cuba-based group created more than 20 years ago 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.

During their two-and-a-half-day stay in Havana, MSC Opera’s guests can explore the city’s stunning old centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and discover its history, culture and architecture. No visit to Havana is complete without a stroll along the famous Malecón seafront promenade, where the island’s renowned laid-back lifestyle is in full effect.

In connection with the deployment to Cuba, MSC Opera’s original winter 2015-16 schedule in the Canary Islands, Madeira and Morocco has been cancelled.

UK guests who have already booked a Canaries sailing for winter 2015-16 will have the opportunity to get a full refund or transfer their holiday to alternative MSC Cruises Mediterranean itineraries, with the offer of upgrades or on-board credit as compensation. Alternatively, guests can switch their booking to Cuba. Fly-cruise customers will be charged a low rate fixed fee (approx. £285 per person TBC) to account for the difference in flight costs.

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn