Holland America Line’s Simon Douwes discusses the importance of balancing port visits with time at sea
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Author: Elizabeth Robinson/Friday, February 23, 2018/Categories: News, Ports and destinations
MSC Cruises is to welcome two new ships, offer longer sailings in the Mediterranean and open a private island as part of its winter 2019-2020 programme.
The first new ship to debut in 2019 will be MSC Belissima, which will come into service in March 2019 and initially sail in the Mediterranean, before heading to the United Arab Emirates for winter. Here, she will offer two different seven-night itineraries taking guests to Sir Bani Yas Island, Khasab and Muscat in Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.
The second new ship to debut in 2019 will be MSC Grandiosa, which will spend winter in the Western Mediterranean.
Elsewhere in the Mediterranean, MSC Sinfonia will provide longer cruises lasting 11, 12 and 14 nights. New for the season will be a 14-night cruise that calls at the historic port of Hafia in Israel to give guests two days to discover the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The itinerary also includes calls to the Italian ports of Civitavecchia, Messina and Genoa, as well as Barcelona in Spain, Marseille in France, Limassol in Cyprus, and the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete.
Meanwhile, MSC Sinfonia will sail a new 12-night cruise from Genoa across the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Destinations will include Tenerife and Cartagena in Spain, the Moroccan city of Tangier, Funchal in Portugal, and Civitavecchia in Italy.
Located in the Bahamas Ocean Cay, the new Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will be opened in winter 2019, offering 40 acres of beaches and six unique themed areas for guests. Four of the lines ships – MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Divina and MSC Armonia – will call at the island when it opens, berthing at a specially built pier.
Six ships will be deployed in the Caribbean in 2019-2020 – more than ever before. From her new homeport of Miami, Florida, MSC Meraviglia will offer two different itineraries to the western Caribbean. MSC Seaside will continue to sail seven-night voyages from Miami to both the western Caribbean and the eastern Caribbean.
Returning to the US from the Mediterranean in November 2019, MSC Divina will offer an 11-night cruise from Miami to Jamaica, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. This will be followed by a 10-night cruise will include Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Maarten, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
MSC Preziosa will sail seven-night departures from two embarkation ports in the French Antilles: Fort de France in Martinique and Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe. The two itineraries can also be combined in a 14-night cruise, visiting the British Virgin Islands, Tortola, St Maarten, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and The Grenadines.
MSC Meraviglia will reposition from Europe to the US with a 17-night transatlantic cruise from Kiel, Germany, calling at ports in Denmark, the UK and Ireland, Iceland and Canada. Following this, the ship will offer two 10-night roundtrips from New York calling at Bar Harbor, Boston and Portland, as well as the Canadian ports of Charlottetown, Corner Brook, Halifax, Quebec, St John and Sydney. MSC Merviglia will then homeport in Miami to offer Caribbean cruises.
From her year-round homeport in Havana, Cuba, MSC Opera will sail two different seven-night itineraries. Offering two days and one night in the Cuban capital, the first itinerary will take guests from Havana to Belize City, before heading for Isla de Roatan in Honduras, Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico. The second itinerary spends two days and two nights in Havana and then takes guests to Montego Bay in Jamaica, George Town in the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel.
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