The new terminal will be ready in 2021 and will be home to MSC Magnifica for its ex-UK season
MSC Cruises is to partner with ABP Southampton on a new fifth cruise terminal at the port.
The new terminal will be ready for the 2021 cruise season and will be home to MSC Magnifica for the ship’s second ex-UK season.
MSC confirmed that it will continue to homeport at least one ship throughout the partnership with Southampton, while it also expects other ships from its 17 strong fleet to make calls there. The new terminal, which has received support from the Solent LEP and the government’s Getting Building Fund, will have Shore Power connectivity – meaning that ships can plug in to shoreside power, reducing emissions.
Antonio Paradiso, managing director MSC Cruises UK & Ireland, said: “Over the last five years we’ve been on a real journey in the UK market. We were delighted to see such strong organic growth which led to our first ever full season sailing from the UK in 2018, followed by the naming ceremony of MSC Bellissima in the Port of Southampton, bringing guests from around the world to the city to celebrate the milestone event in 2019. We ended 2019 with the most successful year of sales ever in the UK and Ireland, something we are incredibly proud of.
“MSC Cruises is serious about the UK market and now more than ever we believe in the potential here and making this long-term commitment to bringing even more passengers to Southampton is evidence of that. In 2017 we invested in a new office in the UK, we then focused on growing our teams and putting the right expertise in place to ensure we can provide the best possible support to our passengers and our travel agent partners, and now we are really proud to be further investing in the UK cruise industry at this incredibly important time for both the industry and the UK economy in having a home for our ships here in the UK.”
The line has further enhanced the itineraries available from Southampton, with two 14-night sailings to the Mediterranean departing in July and August calling at ports including Malaga, Lisbon and Monte Carlo, weekend mini-sailings to Northern Europe and seven-night cruises to the Norwegian fjords.
Paradiso added: “We have seen good demand for our ex-UK sailings for 2021, despite the difficult circumstances, and are sure this demand will continue into 2021 as we see more travel corridors open up and guests start to feel more confident in booking holidays.
“MSC Magnifica ex-UK in 2021 presents a great opportunity for travel agents looking for new and different ex-UK itineraries for their guests. With port intensive itineraries, Saturday departures and the onboard experience offering the Best of British enhancements that were so popular during the 2018 season, there are many reasons MSC Magnifica provides a great sales opportunity for our travel partners.”
To find out more information about sailing from the UK with MSC Cruises visit msccruises.co.uk or speak to your travel agent.
The line aims to simplify the luxury cruise experience with its new Always Included concept
Celebrity Cruises will now include wi-fi, drinks and tips under its new Always Included concept, which it says will simplify the luxury cruise experience.
“Everything we do at Celebrity is driven by the desire to redefine what today’s luxury looks and feels like, with experiences modern travellers want. With the launch of our Edge Series ships, Celebrity Edge and her brand-new sister ship Celebrity Apex, we tapped into a powerful ‘new luxury’ culture – relevant, relaxed, design-focused and inclusive,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises.
“Today, nothing is more luxurious than when things are extra simple and extra special. We wanted to bring that big wonderful feeling of ‘everything is taken care of’ to life for our guests.”
“After this challenging year, ease and peace of mind have become even more invaluable commodities,” said Peter Giorgi, vice president and chief marketing officer of Celebrity Cruises.
“People want to spend more time being inspired, not getting lost in a myriad of booking options. Our new Always Included approach makes the purchase process simple and incredible – one decision and the wonder of a Celebrity cruise awaits.”
Always Included includes: unlimited drinks (classic cocktails, wines by the glass, beer, sodas, speciality coffees and teas, juices and bottled water); wi-fi and daily gratuities. Celebrity is also offering the option to upgrade to one of two packages: Elevate, with unlimited premium drinks and shore excursions up to $200 per person, and Indulge, which includes the Elevate package and adds on unlimited streaming wi-fi and up to $200 per person in onboard credit.
All guests in The Retreat – Celebrity’s all-suite area – will receive the same amenities as the Indulge package at no additional charge.
Celebrity said that to support the launch of Always Included, it will introduce a range of training assets for travel partners, such as webinars, including an evening series for those working from home or with families. There will also be a toolkit available on Celebrity Central that will include a host of useful tools such as flyers, FAQs and videos, as well as personalised training and meetings delivered by sales team members.
The Celebrity Rewards programme will double current points when selling balcony accommodation and above through to the end of February.