MSC Cruises has announced its Mediterranean itineraries for the 2017 summer season, and its itineraries in the Caribbean and the Antilles for the 2017-2018 winter season.
New this season is the addition of calls at Sarande, Albania, on the MSC Poesia, making MSC the first cruise line to call at the UNESCO-protected port on a weekly basis. Starting in April 2017, guests departing from Venice will have the opportunity to discover Sarande on an itinerary that stops at seven destinations in seven days, which also includes visits to Bari, Italy; Katakolon/Olympia, Mykonos, and Athens/Piraeus in Greece; and Dubrovnik in Croatia.
Sarande was founded in the 6th century B.C. and guests can either learn about the region’s past or visit the Blue Eye Spring and enjoy the beauties of this natural park. This historic town on the Albanian Riviera has a wealth of UNESCO protected archaeological sites.
Starting in November 2017, MSC Fantasia will replace MSC Orchestra in the Antilles and the south Caribbean. MSC Fantasia will depart from Fort de France, Martinique and Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, with two different itineraries that can be combined to make one longer journey. One itinerary explores the Antilles with calls in St. Maarten, Philipsburg; Road Town, Tortola; the new port of Kingstown, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines – instead of La Romana, Dominican Republic; Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis; and St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda. The other itinerary visits Castries, Saint Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; St. George’s, Grenada; and Roseau, Dominica.
MSC Fantasia has 1,637 staterooms, of which 72 percent have balconies offering a panoramic sea view. Onboard facilities include the MSC Yacht Club, the line’s ship-within-a-ship concept; five restaurants serving international cuisine; a Balinese spa; and the MSC Cruises on-board entertainment offering, with a theatre with a seating plan for 1,603 guests.
MSC Orchestra will head to the Mediterranean, visiting Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona and Civitavecchia (Rome), as well as Valencia and Malaga in Spain; the Canary Islands and Madeira; Valleta in Malta; Corfu and Crete in the Greek Islands; and Messina and Livorno in Italy on cruise itineraries ranging in length up to 12 nights.
In the Caribbean, in conjunction with the additional enhancements that have been planned ahead of the opening of the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve destination – now scheduled for October 2018 - the MSC Cruises ships in the region that previously were scheduled to call at this new destination between December 2017 and May 2018, will now call at ports in other destinations in the Caribbean. As a result:
- For the eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary, MSC Seaside will be calling at Philipsburg (St. Maarten), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Nassau (Bahamas), instead of Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas), Nassau (Bahamas) and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
- For the western Caribbean seven-night itinerary, instead of visiting the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Mexico, MSC Seaside will now be calling at Nassau (Bahamas) instead of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
- MSC Cruises' other ship in the region, MSC Divina, on its 10- and 11-night cruises to Panama or the Antilles, will call now at Nassau or Freeport (Bahamas), Fort de France (Martinique) or San Juan (Puerto Rico), instead of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.