Friday, May 19, 2006

MSC Coming on Strong ...

Targeting Northern Europe: MSC Cruises plans big-time Northern Europe expansion. Pierfrancesco Vago, top dog at MSC, detailed his Northern Europe strategy at a press confab in Copenhagen. Key to success: Strong ties between MSC Cruises and SAS (Scandinavian Air). MSC doubled capacity in the region this summer, with both MSC Lirica and MSC Rhapsody sailing new itineraries. In 2007, MSC Opera also positions in Northern Europe, and in 2008 MSC will have three ships there -- MSC Melody, MSC Opera and MSC Poesia. Projections: Northern Europe port calls will grow four times, from 12 in '04 to 44 in '08. This season, MSC Rhapsody cruises for the first time from Amsterdam on 7-nighters to the Norwegian Fjords plus a new route for Shetland Isles discovery. By '09, 12 MSC ships will offer "excellent service, the key to the company’s success,” says Rick Sasso, MSC (USA) president and CEO.

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