MSC Cruises, part of the MSC Group is the Swiss-based, world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, sailing year-round in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Seasonal itineraries cover northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, Cuba and the French Antilles, South America, southern Africa, China and Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sir Bani Yas.
The MSC Cruise experience embodies the elegant side of the Mediterranean to create unique and unforgettable emotions for guests, through discovery of the world’s cultures, beauties and tastes. Its fleet comprises 12 of the most modern ships at sea.
In 2014, MSC Cruises launched an investment plan to support the second phase of its growth through the order of two ships of the Meraviglia generation and two others of the Seaside generation (plus an option for a third) and in February 2016, confirmed the existing options to build a further two now Meraviglia Plus ships with an even greater capacity. In April 2016 this rose to €9 billion with the announcement of signing of the letter of intent to build a further four ships, each with next-generation LNG propulsion technology. Consequently, between 2017 and 2026 a total of up to 11 new, next-generation MSC Cruises ships will come into service.
MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude, spanning an horizon of over ten years, from 2014 through 2026.
MSC Cruises’ current modern fleet is the result of a 6 billion euro investment programme started in 2003. Following the addition of Fantasia flagship MSC Preziosa in March 2013, the fleet currently comprises 12 ships, four of each different generation.
The four Fantasia class flagships – MSC Preziosa (2013), MSC Divina (2012), MSC Splendida (2009) and MSC Fantasia (2008) – are MSC Cruises’ largest vessels, each with a GRT of approximately 140,000 tonnes and measuring 333m in length and 38m in width. MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia both accommodate 4,363 travellers each, while MSC Divina and MSC Preziosa each accommodate 4,345 travellers.
Complementing them are the four vessels in the Musica Class – MSC Magnifica (2010), MSC Poesia (2008), MSC Orchestra (2007) and MSC Musica (2006) – each with a GRT of 90,000 tonnes and carrying just under 3,000 travellers each.
The fleet is completed by the Lirica Class – MSC Sinfonia (2005), MSC Armonia (2004), MSC Opera (2004) and MSC Lirica (2003) – each with a GRT of around 65,500 tonnes and carrying over 2,000 guests.
Respecting people and the planet
Respecting People and the Planet
MSC Cruises believes that global leadership brings increased responsibility for the physical and human environments in which a company operates. Its commitment to safeguarding the marine ecosystem, as well as protecting the health and safety of its staff and the travellers on board its fleet, has earned numerous awards and certifications.
In 2013, international certification body Bureau Veritas granted MSC Cruises the honour of becoming the first company to receive ‘7 Golden Pearls’ for environmental care, for MSC’s Fantasia class ships. This unique award comprises Cleanship 2 Class notation for advanced air, water and waste treatment systems, as well as new ISO 50001 certification for the highest standards of Energy Performance, ISO 14001 certification for environmental management, ISO 22000 for food safety and OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety. The quality and food safety of all aspects of the company’s catering, both ashore and on board, have also been officially recognized through ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 certification. Reflecting its commitment to protecting the seas, MSC Cruises was one of the first cruise lines to voluntarily reduce emissions in ports to levels far below the legally required minimum.
In 2014, international classification society RINA certified MSC Cruises under its Best Management Scheme. The innovative goal based scheme recognized management excellence going beyond the requirements of statutory rules and codes such as ISM (International Safety Management), ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security) and MLC 2006 (Maritime Labour Convention).
Embracing the philosophy of corporate social responsibility still further, MSC Cruises entered a long-term partnership with UNICEF in 2009. The Get On Board For Children project benefited disadvantaged children and adolescents in vulnerable urban communities in Brazil by helping to ensure they receive a proper education. The partnership was renewed in early 2014, this time to support UNICEF’s efforts to tackle malnutrition in developing countries and in emergency situations. Since the beginning of the partnership in 2009 three million euros has been raised.
Top management profiles
Pierfrancesco Vago - Executive Chairman
Pierfrancesco Vago is the Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises since 2013. Prior to that, as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, he led MSC Cruises to over 800% growth since its inception. In his new position, Mr Vago leads the company’s ongoing strategy and long-term vision from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. He also oversees all of MSC Group’s subsidiaries with strategic relevance to the tourism sector.
Additionally, Mr Vago spearheaded the launch of the Company’s unprecedented 10-plus years investment plan supporting the next phase of MSC Cruises’ growth. The plan encompasses a staggering 11 new next-generation mega cruise ships coming into service between 2017 and 2026, reflecting an investment of €9 billion – the largest-ever in the industry.
Mr Vago entered the MSC Group in 2000, piloting a joint venture between the Italian-based ferry company SNAV and the Hoverspeed Seacontainer Group. In 2001, he rose to the position of Line Manager for the USA, Mexico and Canada within the Group’s container shipping business, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company.
On January 1, 2014, Mr Vago was also appointed Chairman of CLIA Europe, the European chapter of the Cruise Line International Association, the industry’s leading association, a role to which he was recently re-appointed for a second consecutive term. Over his time Mr Vago has led CLIA Europe, amongst other, to take an increasingly more central role in engaging with all the cruise lines-relevant authorities and legislative bodies across the Continent – with a particular focus on Brussels- , all in close cooperation with CLIA Global.
Gianni Onorato - Chief Executive Officer
Today, MSC Cruises is the market leading cruise company in the Mediterranean, South Africa and Brazil, employing 16,300 staff with offices in 45 countries.
With almost 30 years’ experience in the cruise industry, Onorato has a thorough understanding of the cruise business and extensive experience in senior executive leadership, serving most recently as President of Costa Crociere from April 2004 to June 2013.
He began his career in the industry in 1986, working on board as Food and Beverage Manager before moving shore side to take on the role of Cruise Product Director of Costa Crociere, in Genoa. From 1997 until 2004, he then served as Vice President Cruise Operations for the same company, managing all aspects of on board operations.
Italian born, Onorato graduated from the Istituto Orientale of Naples with a degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures in 1983, and specialized at SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy, and INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.
Onorato has also held a number of executive roles in tourism and cruise associations. He served as Vice President of ASTOI, the Italian tourism association and was a member of the European Cruise Council, now CLIA Europe, the leading cruise industry association in Europe.
Emilio La Scala - President - Cruise Management UK
“Sail before the wind” are the words that best express the spirit of Emilio La Scala, President , Cruise Management UK. Passionate about ships from a young age, La Scala studied at the famous Nautical Institute in his native city of Naples, graduating in 1978. He then embarked with MSC Cargo vessels as a deck officer, obtaining all the necessary certifications needed to meet the requirements of a maritime career. Seagoing changed to a shore-based profession in 1984 when he started as the assistant to the MSC Technical Director, taking part in several major projects involving the renovation and repurposing of traditional cargo ships to container ships.