MSC Armonia to Homeport in Tampa

MSC Armonia

MSC Cruises announced it is sending the Armonia to homeport in Tampa for the 2020-2021 cruise season, adding a key new homeport to the company’s arsenal.

Starting Nov. 11, 2020, MSC Armonia will begin sailing from Tampa to the Caribbean, Mexico and the Bahamas year-round, with a full Winter season (Nov. 2020 – April 2021) of four- to five-night short cruises followed by a Summer season (May 2021-Nov. 2021) of week-long cruise options.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, said: “The introduction of Tampa as a homeport is another important milestone as we continue to grow our presence and profile in North America to meet the growing demand for our product.

“MSC Armonia’s short cruises will be perfect for the first time U.S. guests to experience our European heritage and I’m sure that our seven-night product will appeal greatly to families.  With every sailing from Tampa including our exclusive Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve private island, all of the ship’s itineraries should also be extremely attractive for large U.S. groups and charters.”

“As MSC Cruises expands its presence in the U.S., the introduction of Tampa as a homeport plays an important role in our long-term deployment strategy for this region,” added Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA. “We’ve seen increased demand for cruise options from Tampa as vacationers from around the world look to explore the city and surrounding areas pre- and post-cruise. We’re looking forward to bringing MSC Armonia, one of our more classic and charming ships, to Tampa and to introducing even more travellers to the MSC Cruises experience, inspired by our European heritage.”

“We are thrilled that MSC Cruises will be offering year-round cruises from Port Tampa Bay next year,” said Paul Anderson, President and CEO of Port Tampa Bay. “MSC Cruises offers an enriching and immersive cruise experience, bringing together people from around the world. Tampa is also known for the unique experiences the city offers its residents and visitors, appealing to a diverse mix of nationalities and cultures. We couldn’t be more excited for MSC Armonia’s new home to be Port Tampa Bay.”

For the Winter 2020-2021 season, MSC Armonia will offer a variety of four- and five-night sailings, visiting destinations such as Key West; Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Progreso, Mexico; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

“With a range of itineraries, including short cruise options, MSC Armonia’s itineraries from Tampa are ideal for groups, including family reunions, meetings, incentives and corporate events, as well as charters,” said Muskat. “In addition, the four- and five-night options are a great opportunity for someone who has never cruised before to try cruising as a vacation option or if they are new to MSC Cruises to check out one of our ships for the first time.”

Following its inaugural season in Tampa, MSC Armonia will then transition to 7-night sailings from May through Nov. 2021, with stops at Key West; Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve; Cozumel, Mexico; and Progreso, Mexico. Prices start at $299 per person.

Carnival schedules 20 more Cuba cruises in 2019

Carnival Paradise in Havana.

Carnival Cruise Line scheduled an additional 20 cruises in 2019 that will include visits to Cuba.

The cruises will be roundtrip from Tampa on the Carnival Paradise, which will sail five-day itineraries with a full day or an overnight in Havana.

The schedule includes:
Ten cruises overnighting in Havana with a visit to Key West — departing March 2, April 13, May 25, June 22, July 6, Aug. 3 and 17, Sept. 14 and 28 and Oct. 26.

Six voyages featuring a day-long call in Havana and a visit to Cozumel — departure dates are Jan. 5, March 16, May 11, Aug. 31, Nov. 9 and Dec. 7.

Four sailings featuring day-long calls to Havana, Key West and Cozumel — departing Feb. 16, June 8, July 20 and Oct. 12.

The new schedule is in addition to the 17 recently announced Cuba cruises aboard Carnival Sensation departing from Miami in 2019.

Carnival to sail Miami cruises to Havana

Image result for carnival sensation cruise ship
Carnival Sensation

Carnival Cruise Line will add Havana as a regular destination for a second ship in 2019, as the Carnival Sensation will sail Cuba-bound voyages from Miami.

The Carnival Paradise, sailing from Tampa, currently operates cruises that visit Havana.

In 2019, the Sensation will sail a series of 17 five-day cruises. The first voyage to feature Havana will depart April 22, 2019, and include Havana, Nassau and Princess Cays.