MSC Cruises brand campaign to support Wave push

MSC Cruises brand campaign to support Wave push

MSC Cruises is to launch a new brand campaign designed to support the trade during the peak Wave sales period.

Launching in January, the campaign – The Sea At Its Most – will appear on TV, in newspapers, on the line’s digital platforms and out-of-home displays.

Music to accompany the campaign has been created by Italian composer Ennio Morricone.

The line’s UK and Ireland managing director, Antonio Paradiso (pictured), said the campaign will help agents to “present cruise in a different way” to the customer.

Speaking as new ship MSC Grandiosa called in Southampton, he said: “The new brand campaign is supposed to support your daily business. You are travel agents, so you know the complexities of selling a cruise to customers.

More: MSC Cruises ‘very close’ to fulfilling UK market ambition

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“We always have high expectations for Wave and in Q1 we have the opportunities to get the message out and we know that the customers are more willing to buy a holiday.

“Over the years, we have been challenging those misconceptions and stereotypes about the cruise industry. We always focus on the word ‘cruise’ but we forget we are selling a holiday.

“[The campaign] will help present cruise in a different way and reduce all those questions about what it is really all about.”

Earlier, chief executive Gianni Onorato outlined plans for the line to carry three million passengers in 2020 and hit 5.5 million by 2027, by which time 12 more ship is expected to have been added to the fleet.

“We will continue to build ships and be as innovative and creative as we can,” Onorato said.

MSC Cruises ‘very close’ to fulfilling UK market ambition

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MSC Cruises’ UK boss says the line is “very close” to fulfilling a long-term ambition to have a 10% share of the UK cruise market.

In late 2017, the line pledged to one-day sell one in every ten cruises taken by the UK and become “a leading international player” within five years.

Antonio Paradiso, the line’s the UK and Ireland managing director said MSC currently has 7.9% of the market but believes a lengthened MSC Magnifica would add a further 90,000 berths to the market in 2021.

Speaking on new Meraviglia-Plus class ship MSC Grandiosa in Southampton, Paradiso said: “I am really confident that by 2022, MSC will be the number one international cruise line in this country. We are getting very close to that.

“We’re are at about 7.9%, so we’re getting there. A big boost will be when MSC Magnifica will sail out of Southampton [in summer 2021].”

Southampton will be MSC Magnifica’s only embarkation port when it is based in the UK in summer 2021.

Paradiso said: “It is a great opportunity for the travel agents. [Magnifica] alone will boost our production by 90,000 passengers.”

The line also has plans to further bolster its growing sales team in 2020. Paradiso said he would recruit for a strategic account manager – a new role – early next year.

“The strategic account manager will help [head of retail] Andrea Stafford strengthen the relationship with all the head offices in the UK and some important key accounts,” he said.

Paradiso said the sales team expansion goes “hand in hand” with the growth the line was experiencing in the UK.

MSC launched MSC Bellissima earlier this year. MSC Grandiosa is 16 metres longer than the Meraviglia-class ship.

On Grandiosa, the line has exhibited an art collection on a ship for the first time, expanded its French Bistrot L’Atelier Bistrot and launched two exclusive Cirque du Soleil shows onboard.

The line has welcomed around 4,200 UK agents across its fleet since the launch of MSC Bellissima in Southampton in March this year.

Ship visits would be arranged when MSC ships called in the UK and Ireland, said Paradiso, who added: “One thing we do very successfully is fam trips every year which are normally fly-and-cruise out of Barcelona or Rome which allow agents to spend time onboard.

“The ex-UK sailings represent a good portion of our business. However, the Mediterranean is still the number one destination for the UK market.

“It is important that agents get to experience the ships that we have in the Med.”

From 2023, the line will launch four 64,000-ton luxury vessels which have yet to be named. Paradiso said the name would be announced between March and April next year.

“The first step would be to announce the brand,” he said. “We will disclose a bit more information about the luxury ships that we are building. The UK will be one of the first countries in the world to go on sale.”

MSC to Stretch Magnifica, Add 215 New Staterooms

MSC Magnifica

The MSC Magnifica will be stretched by 23 meters, adding 215 new cabins ahead of her 2021 summer season from Southampton, the company announced today.

The stretch project is valued at $140 million, according to company officials; the 215 new rooms will include 92 balcony cabins.

Other additions will include a new water park, a new shopping area, two new restaurants and a redesigned kids area.

When work is completed, the MSC Magnifica will feature two new onboard environmental advances to complement a wide range of existing environmental technologies across the company’s entire fleet: a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system. The ship will also get a shorepower system.

MSC Stretch Image

The UK summer season will run from May to October with cruises ranging from two to 14 nights, sailing to the Canary Islands and Madeira, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltic. Sales are set to open on Sept. 12.

The Magnifica is one of four ships in MSC’s Musica class of vessels, built at Chantiers de l’Atlantique and launched in 2010. She has a capacity for 2,550 guests at double occupancy.

Other Musica class vessels include the Musica, Orchestra and Poesia.

MSC previously stretched its four Lirica-class ships as more cruise operators turn to stretching vessels to add capacity.