Mediterranean cruise line MSC Cruises has confirmed that it will be pulling MSC Opera out of Southampton in 2015 in order to focus on its extensive fly-cruise Mediterranean sailings.
In a statement, the company said that as a result of its Renaissance Programme, all Lirica-class ships would be undergoing an extensive drydock. This means the MSC Opera, which currently sails from Southampton, will be out of action for the first half of 2015 and therefore the company will halt its ex-UK operations to add to its fly-cruise capacity.
Newly promoted Giles Hawke, who is now the executive director for UK, Ireland & Australia explained: “As market leader for Mediterranean cruises it is important that we work to reinforce this position by increasing our fly-cruise capacity, along with improving our ships to include more balcony cabins, more on board entertainment and additional technological advancements.”
We will also be introducing tools supporting travel agents
Executive director for UK, Ireland & Australia, MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises – an arm of the Swiss shipping giant – currently operates 12 vessels including the MSC Preziosa, which was the company’s first ship to be based in the United States. MSC Opera along with MSC Magnifica are due to operate out of Southampton this year.
Hawke added: “We are considering various charter options and working with our air partners to come up with the best approach to keep up with the current customer demand for fly-cruises direct to the Mediterranean.
“We will also be introducing tools supporting travel agents in order to make the fly-cruise booking process easier than ever.”