Some cruise lines are already publicly confirming exciting plans for 2019, and MSC is one of them.
The 1,560-guest ship, MSC Lirica, will depart from China this spring in favour of MSC Splendida, which will sail from Shanghai starting in April.
“In China we will grow from a smaller ship, from the MSC Lirica to the Splendida,” Gianni Onorato, CEO stated.
“I can’t speak for the others. We have a strategy of gradual growth. For us, it was a normal strategy to move from the Lirica to the Splendida. We feel safe and comfortable with that move.
“The Splendida will be there this summer and then sail in Dubai next winter. Then the plan is that the ship will be based in China permanently year-round starting in May 2019.”
Onorato continued to comment on potential pricing concerns in China: “The market fixes its problems. There is a distribution issue there. I think the market itself will solve the problem.
There will be different ways of distributing the product and more B2C, and this will add to the growth of the cruise industry there.
“It’s not about going away from the charter model. We will follow the market. It will not be 100 percent charter; there will be different channels.”
MSC Splendida will debut into China this April with an upgraded connectivity package for internet-focused Chinese passengers whilst the MSC for Me app will also be refreshed for the Chinese market.
The app includes 30 new smart features designed to give guests a fully optimized holiday experience where the ship has been fitted with 16,000 points of connectivity, 700 digital access points and 114 interactive screens aswell as allowing lock access to 2,244 staterooms.
What do you think about MSC heading to China? Would you like to sail out of Shanghai with MSC Splendida? Where else would you love to cruise to with the line? Are you excited about the MSC For Me app? Leave us your comments!
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