Ocean Cay and MSC Cruises’ Commitment to Caribbean Cruising By Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises
s MSC Cruises’ global footprint increases—our fleet’s expansion will see our guest capacity triple in just 10 years—we are strongly growing our presence in the Caribbean. Working with local authorities, travel agents and other partners, every year we increase the number of ships that we deploy in these waters and the number of ports that we reach. This past season we have had five cruise ships deployed across the Caribbean, homeporting in Bridgetown, Cozumel, Havana, Fort de France and Pointe à Pitre. Our partnership has generated a considerable contribution to these islands’ economies, supporting economic activities of strategic importance such as airlines, hotels and the restaurants. In November, MSC Meraviglia will become our sixth cruise ship in the region. More ships will join them from 2020 onwards. In line with our commitment to sustainability, they will all be equipped with the most advanced environmental technologies. 12 SECOND QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
POSITIONING FOR SUCCESS MSC Cruises represents an unusual case within the cruise industry. Challenging conventional wisdom, we grew out of Europe when competition in the Caribbean intensified, focusing instead on the Med and other underpenetrated regions. In just 10 years, we became the number one cruise line in Europe. Today, as the industry seeks to develop new markets across the world, we are extending our footprint in the Caribbean. As part of the MSC Group, one of the world’s biggest shipping conglomerates, we already have a strong presence in the Caribbean. Every year our cargo ships move hundreds of thousands of TEUs across the region. We now seek to establish stronger partnerships for MSC Cruises in this region – with the long-term vision that only a family company can provide. Despite persistent talk of market saturation, we see a great potential to grow in Caribbean waters. Having developed a strong international customer base—last
year we welcomed over 170 nationalities on board our ships—our guests’ diversity is one our strongest assets. We profile the Caribbean as a tourist destination around the entire world, bringing millions of international travelers to the region. Many of them will come back in the future, for longer stays.