Cruise line company MSC Cruises announced today that, starting in December 2015, its 2,120-guest MSC Opera will homeport in Havana for the winter 2015-16 season to offer guests 16 Caribbean cruises.
The completely renovated 65,542 GRT MSC Opera within the company’s €200 million Renaissance program will offer cruises to 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 these 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.”
“The inaugural cruise will take place in less than six months from now,” concluded Mr. Onorato, “but we can definitely attest of 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.”
To offer local ground services and shore excursions MSC Cruises will partner with Cuba-based group Cubanacan.
The first cruise will start from Havana on 22 December 2015, following MSC Opera’s Grand Voyage to Cuba from Genoa, departing on 2 December 2015.
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.