MSC Cruises has officially announced plans to make its first sailing to China, with the newly-renovated MSC Lirica calling in Shanghai on May 1, 2016 after having traveled across continents.
The 65,000-ton ship will make the company’s maiden call in China’s biggest megalopolis after a 60-day round-the-world Grand Voyage which departs on March 3, 2016 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“We are delighted to once more be able to offer our guests a brand new itinerary – from Brazil to China via Europe – which offers the chance to visit some of the most appealing places on earth, certainly across a huge array of people and cultures,” said MSC Cruises CEO, Gianni Onorato.
Onorato added: “This new Grand Voyage offering is proof of our steadfast commitment to offer our guests innovative and sought-after destinations. As MSC Cruises continues to expand the destinations it calls – such as Cuba which we recently announced – we are further enhancing our global offering while providing travelers best-in-class experiences and service.”
MSC Cruises is offering travelers the opportunity to choose from three different versions of the Grand Voyage, with the ability to embark in either Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (60 nights), Genoa in Italy (41 nights) or Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (26 nights), before arriving in Shanghai.
Shanghai at night taken by Dave Jones
Before setting sail, MSC Lirica will be fully renovated and enlarged under MSC Cruises’ Renaissance Program, which entails a comprehensive overhaul of the ship due to be completed in November 2015.
Prices for the full 60-day Grand Voyage on MSC Lirica will start at $4,799 per person. Included in the price are beverage and laundry packages as well as 8 shore excursions.
During the first leg of MSC Lirica’s 60-day journey, the ship will depart on March 3, 2016 from Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro and sail north along the coast of Brazil – with calls in Buzios, Salvador, Maceio and Fortaleza. The ship will then cross the Atlantic on a northeast course towards the Canary Islands – with a stop in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife – before reaching mainland Europe and visiting Cadiz, Spain.
From there, MSC Lirica will call the three largest ports in the Mediterranean – Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France; and Genoa, Italy – providing travelers an opportunity to embark in any of these ports in Europe and providing maximum flexibility as guests journey towards Asia.
After leaving Genoa, MSC Lirica will call Naples, Italy and the island of Crete with Heraklion in Greece. The ship then heads south to Aqaba in Jordan; Muscat, Oman; and Khor Al Fakhan and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The ship is scheduled to stay in Dubai overnight and travelers interested in sailing from Dubai to Shanghai will have the ability to embark.
During the last leg of the journey, MSC Lirica sets sail towards the East and the Indian cities of Goa and Cochin, prior to calling Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. She then heads to Phuket, Thailand, and Penang and Port Kelang/Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, before reaching Singapore.
After an overnight stay in Singapore, the ship will bring its guests to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and then to visit Hong Kong. Shanghai is the next call and includes an overnight stay before sailing across the China sea to Fukuoka in Japan. From the Land of the Rising Sun, MSC Lirica heads back to the high seas one more time, returning to Shanghai on May 1, 2016.