MSC Seaview Calls in Valletta

Seaview in Valletta

Valletta Cruise Port has welcomed MSC Cruises newest ship, the MSC Seaview, which called for the first time on Wednesday, June 13.

The MSC Seaview, a ship bearing a Maltese flag registration, was named last week and was on its inaugural voyage, according to a statement.

In honour of the maiden call, a special event was held onboard the ship in the presence of the Honourable Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, honourable members of the Cabinet of Malta, local authorities and dignitaries, as well as business and industry leaders.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat highlighted the significant collaboration between Malta and MSC.

“Thanks to MSC we will see more guests visiting our Islands, wherein 2018, MSC ships will be entering port over 70 times with nearly 300,000 passengers,” he said.

“We are proud to welcome MSC Seaview on her maiden call to Valletta Cruise Port and to be welcoming her on 22 other occasions in our scenic historic port, throughout her inaugural season in the Mediterranean this summer.  It is indeed a pleasure for Valletta Cruise Port to collaborate with MSC Cruises who entered the cruise industry 15 years ago. The company has left an indelible mark on an ever-evolving cruise industry. In the last five years, we have hosted over 880,000 passenger movements in Valletta sailing on MSC vessels. We congratulate MSC Cruises on their achievements and look forward to many more years of fruitful joint cooperation,” commented Valletta Cruise Port’s CEO and Global Ports Holding COO, Stephen Xuereb.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman added: “Malta has always been important to us and we have been partners for many years. Our first cruise ship to call here was the Melody, back in the late nineties. Today, MSC Seaview, a next-generation cruise ship like no other, featuring some of the best and most innovative maritime and environmental technology at sea, will be calling Malta regularly in 2018”.

He added: “Moreover, MSC Seaview will be our third ship to fly the Maltese flag. And wherever we call, we proudly hoist the Maltese Cross. As such, the Maltese flag also stands for innovation, advanced technology, and maritime excellence. Today, MSC Seaview has for the first time arrived home, in her port of registry and many others ships will follow. All cruise ships that we have on order will also be registered here. In Malta, we have found a home for our new fleet “.

On arrival, the ship and its guests and crew were welcomed with the lively tunes of a traditional village band featuring a number of local favourites, along with international pieces. Prior to departure, guests were treated to a display of local folk dancing by dancers wearing Maltese traditional costumes, courtesy of the Malta Tourism Authority.

Disney revises Mediterranean voyage

Disney Cruise Line altered a Mediterranean cruise next summer to eliminate port calls in Greece, Turkey and Malta.

The 12-night cruise on the Disney Magic is scheduled to depart Barcelona on Aug. 1.  Its original itinerary included Athens as well as Mykonos in Greece, Kusadasi in Turkey and Valletta in Malta.

Other cruise lines have scrapped calls to the Greek island of Lesbos because of the refugee crisis and Turkey because of security concerns.

Disney has revised the itinerary almost completely, leaving only one port, Civitavecchia, from the original lineup. The cruise will now call in Olbia, Sardinia; Civitavecchia, Naples and Livorno, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Villefranche-sur-Mer and Cannes, France; and Palma de Mallorca.

In a letter to travel agents, Disney said, “We realize this is a considerable change from the previously published itinerary and hope you and your client understand our desire to only provide the best possible experiences to our guests.”

Customers have been given a choice of a refund, a change of sailings, or a $1,000 onboard credit if they stick with their original booking.

MSC to suspend Tunisia calls for winter season

MSC Cruises said the recent declaration of a state of emergency in Tunisia has led it to suspend calls there for the 2015-16 winter season.

The line said its previously scheduled calls at La Goulette from Nov. 15 to April 23 on the MSC Prezisosa will be replaced by calls in Malta.

The MSC Magnifica and MSC Poesia during their voyages from Venice to Santos in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina, respectively, in November and December 2015 will spend a full day in Alicante, Spain, instead of La Goulette/Tunis, MSC said.

Authorities in Tunisia declared the state of emergency after two terrorist attacks on tourists there in the past four months.