MSC Cruises announced that it will operate two ships in the Chinese homeport market for the first time in 2022.
MSC Virtuosa, the future flagship of the company and the biggest cruise ship in Europe, will join her sister ship MSC Bellissima, the largest in Asia, to service the Chinese market.
MSC Cruises will be the first major international cruise line to deploy two flagships in China, marking the start of a new age of “double flagship deployment”of the Chinese cruise market.
Founded and owned by the Aponte family, MSC Cruises is the brand leader in Europe, South America, the Gulf region and Southern Africa. The company started its homeport operations in China since 2016.
Previous to the announcement, MSC Cruises’ strategy in the market has been operating one vessel but periodically upgrading the deployed ship, from MSC Lirica in 2016 to MSC Splendida in 2018, to the upcoming flagship MSC Bellissima in 2021.
The deployment of MSC Virtuosa, jointly with MSC Bellissima’s operations, will see a major increase to the company’s capacity and business scale in 2022.
“Operating two vessels is a crucial upgrade to our development strategy in China. Deploying two of our fleet’s flagships, in addition, is a testimonial to our commitment and sincerity to develop hand-in-hand with the Chinese cruise industry,” says Ms Helen Huang, President, China, MSC Cruises.
“To MSC Cruises, China is a key strategic market. Though as an industry we are faced with the challenges of the pandemic, our confidence in the potential of Chinese cruise market remains unshaken. Looking forward, we believe that China is still a promising land for the cruise industry to grow, and we hope to bring new prospects and prosperities with the deployment of our two flagships to this market, to support the recovery of the industry.”