A diva is coming to PortMiami in fall 2013. MSC Cruises' new 3,502-passenger MSC Divina, a Fantasia-class ship that will launch in May 2012, will be the newest MSC ship ever to sail from the South Florida port.
But perhaps the bigger news is that MSC is clearly planning a more robust presence in North America.
Rick Sasso, the line's president and CEO for North American operations, told Travel Agent and other media attending a press conference at Cruise Lines International Association's (CLIA) cruise3sixty conference at Port Everglades that agents can expect to hear soon about even more news.
MSC Cruises, which is the fastest expanding line in the industry, will likely have more than one ship sailing from South Florida in the future, he noted.
The line is also looking at basing a ship in Miami that will sail more than just six months of the year during the wintertime. And, Sasso said, it's looking at other North American ports for home porting.
While no specifics were revealed beyond the commitment for MSC Divina, Sasso clearly indicated that the line has growth in its future.
MSC Divina Features
What are the differences between MSC Divina and her sister ships, MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida?
MSC Divina has more capacity with 1,751 staterooms; the ship will be the largest in the line's fleet.
The new ship also has an Infinity Garden Pool and “beach zone” aft.
MSC Divina's technical change include more powerful propulsion motors, new alternators and state-of-the-art HVAC chillers A new fresh water production system requires 40 percent less power, assuring less environmental impact.
Like her sister ships, MSC Divina will feature the MSC Yacht Club, the ship-within-a-ship upscale concept. This ship will have 69 suites (versus 72 on the sister ships).
All MSC Divina guests have access to three restaurants and a Tex-Mex alternative dining restaurant, Acqua Park (with fountains and water jets, whirlpools and pool bar), a full-service spa with Balinese-inspired treatments, children’s and teen areas, interactive 4-D Cinema, virtual Formula 1 auto racing, and entertainment in the 1,603-seat Pantheon Theater.
Following her May 26 christening in Marseille, France, MSC Divina sails May 27 on a six-night cruise to Venice, calling at Civitavecchia, Messina, Valetta and Dubrovnik.
The ship will then begin a series of seven-night Eastern Mediterranean roundtrip itineraries from Venice and Bari, calling in Katakalon, Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik, through October 2012.