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Cruise firm MSC to bring larger ship Magnifica to city next year
A MAJOR international cruise operator is throwing down a challenge to Southampton’s long established companies by bringing a second, bigger ship to the city next year.
MSC, the Mediterranean Shipping Company, intends to go head-tohead with Cunard, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises by repositioning its vessel, the 95,000-ton Magnifica for a series of voyages from the city.
Cruising giant MSC, which already has one vessel, MSC Opera, operating from Southampton, is aiming to win an even larger slice of the expanding British market by increasing its presence in Southampton, now Europe’s busiest cruising port.
If MSC’s move proves successful, it has already said the company will further increase the number of cruises from Southampton in 2015.
Completed in 2010, the 2,518-berth MSC Magnifica will join the slightly smaller MSC Opera in the autumn of next year.
MSC Magnifica, which can accommodate up to 3,605 passengers and more than 1,000 crew, is scheduled to undertake a series of North European cruises in September and October, 2014.
A MSC spokesman said: “At a time when other cruise operators are withdrawing ships from Europe, we are showing our commitment to the UK market by offering more cruises than ever with four additional seven-night voyages from Southampton.”
MSC Magnifica is due to arrive in Southampton on September 17 and complete her time in the city on October 15 next year.
MSC Cruises’ state-of-the-art fleet of 12 ships is the result of a £5billion investment programme started in 2003.
Among the many attractions on board MSC Magnifica is a bowling alley, a 4D cinema, a shopping complex, five restaurants, 17 bars, three swimming pools, one with an allweather retractable roof, and a 1,240 seater theatre.
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