MSC Cruises’ focus on South American cruise market has been sharpened by the announcement that the line has started selling its itineraries for 2016-2017 season, a year before the voyages commencing.
For the first time MSC Orchestra will undertake 14 departures of 7- to 10-night cruises out of Buenos Aires, including themed sailings such as Carnival, Dance with Me (Baila Conmigo), Fitness, Christmas and New Year Cruises.
Demonstrating its commitment and confidence in this market, the company will also have three other vessels operating in the region: MSC Preziosa, MSC Musica and MSC Armonia. In total it will offer more than 75 cruises from Argentina and Brazil during the season, making available about 20,000 cabins to the local market.
Despite the high cost of operating ships in the River Plate region, MSC’s commitment to this market appears to be unwearied. According to Javier Massignani, Commercial Director of MSC Cruceros, in Argentina 2015 has been a strategic year for the company, in that it has been looking at deploying different ships and introducing various itineraries to the region.
MSC regards this region as a key source market in a wider context. “For 2016,” said Massignani, “we have more plans and projects: we are discussing a year-round deployment in the Caribbean, with base in Miami; we are also planning to develop the Cuba market, which the Argentineans have already included in their vacation destination choices.”
Clearly, with such a commitment, MSC recognises the potentials of this region and is confidence about its future. Moreover, South America forms a key part of its global expansion programme. It can only become more important with the arrivals of its four planned newbuildings in the coming years and the deleterious geopolitical situation in Eastern Mediterranean.