While MSC is a global player in the cruise industry, its mark in the United States is noticeably smaller. That, however, is set to change in the near future with news that the cruise line plans to sail from New York beginning in April 2023.
If you’re a frequent cruiser, then you likely have heard of the MSC brand. They are well-known for cruises in Europe and elsewhere. But in the U.S., the line isn’t as big a household name. That looks to be slowly but surely changing.
The cruise line, which has welcomed seven new ships since 2017 and has another two vessels arriving this year, does have a presence in Miami and Port Canaveral. However, that means passengers need to head to Florida to sail the cruise line.
Not anymore. Next year MSC Meraviglia will homeport in New York City (sailing from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal) year-round. The cruise line says trips will range from 6-11 nights, heading to the Caribbean, Bermuda, New England, and Canada.
“New York City was the natural choice when we picked our next U.S. port because it’s so accessible, whether the guest is coming from somewhere nearby or from around the world,” said Ruben Rodriguez, President of MSC Cruises USA. “We designed our mix of itineraries to take advantage of New York’s geographic flexibility, so that you can soak up the springtime sun in the Caribbean, head to Bermuda over the summer, or go north to see Canada’s natural beauty in the fall.”
Whenever cruise lines put a ship in a new port, it’s often a smaller, older ship. Here, MSC is taking a different path and making a splash.
Meraviglia is one of the cruise line’s newest and largest vessels. At more than 1,000 feet long, the ship has 19 decks and can carry nearly 6,000 passengers. Meraviglia also has 20 bars, 12 restaurants, a 6,000 square-foot gym, a nearly 1,000 person theater, indoor and outdoor pools, and more.
She was first put in service in 2017, and a large portion of her life has been spent waiting on cruises to return during the pause in sailing. In other words, the ship is practically new.
With the addition of the ship to New York, it creates a strong presence on the East Coast. Still, the cruise line still has plenty more room to expand.
It is already building a new terminal in Miami that’s capable of servicing three ships when finished. But there are still plenty popular U.S. ports that have yet to see their own MSC ships. This includes ports like Galveston — where Royal Caribbean and Carnival both have plans to place their largest class of ships. As well, cruises to Alaska from Seattle is still an untapped market, as are ports like Los Angeles.
With the health crisis seemingly in the rearview mirror and a fleet that’s growing fast, we wouldn’t be surprised if the move to add year-round trips from New York isn’t the only expansion around the country that we’ll see from MSC in the coming months and years.
If you want to sail from New York, trips are available now for booking on the cruise line’s website.