Along Florida's Space Coast, Port Canaveral will become a year-round home port for MSC Cruises. The contemporary line will sail for the first time from the central Florida port later in November, and will continue service year-round by bringing in another home ported ship in March 2021.
This news follows on the heels of MSC Cruises recently announcing a myriad of schedule changes for this fall, winter and spring.
Starting in November, MSC Seaside will sail a mix of three-, four- and seven-night cruises throughout the winter season (through March 2021). The vessel will call at George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas.
Built specifically for warm weather sailing, MSC Seaside launched in December 2017, with an innovative beach condo design. Guests can stroll along the widest waterfront boardwalk at sea, cross glass-floor catwalks on either the port or starboard side, and enjoy plenty of outdoor spa space and outdoor leisure areas.
MSC Seaside also has expanded internationally inspired dining, including a partnership with pan-Asian pioneer Roy Yamaguchi who created the Asian Market Kitchen onboard. The ship’s MSC Aurea Spa is one of the cruise industry's largest spas at sea, with a variety of body and facial treatments.
Other thrilling onboard activities? MSC Seaside has a multi-story aqua park with four water slides; two of the longest zip lines at sea; full-size bowling lanes; a Formula 1 simulator; and full-scale theatrical productions each night of the cruise.
Starting in March 2021, MSC Divina will replace MSC Seaside in Port Canaveral and will continue the line's three-, four- and seven-night cruises through November 2021. Those cruises will call at George Town, Cozumel, Nassau and Ocean Cay.
MSC Divina has seven dining venues, so guests can taste prime cuts of meat at Butcher’s Cut and fresh sushi and sashimi at Galaxy Kaito. Its MSC Aurea Spa offers cruisers a range of treatments as well as a thermal area. Entertainment options include a waterslide, F1 Simulator, 4D cinema and a gaming arcade.
This ship also has one of the largest theaters at sea, with 1,600 unobstructed seats, showcasing full-scale theatrical productions each evening.
Port Canaveral's Draw
Port Canaveral as a cruise embarkation port offers easy access to the attractions of the Space Coast, including beaches and the NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, as well as access to Orlando, its theme parks, attractions and Orlando International Airport.
"Port Canaveral has always been an extremely popular port with cruisers," says Ruben Rodriguez, president, MSC Cruises USA. "It is easily accessible, offers innovative and modern terminals and provides convenient access to many attractions in the surrounding area."
Ocean Cay Experience
One highlight of MSC Cruises’ Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral is that cruisers will experience the cruise line’s new, private Bahamian destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. It opened in late 2019.
MSC Cruises has transformed Ocean Cay into a one-of-a-kind destination within a marine reserve. It's home to two miles of white sand beaches, including a dedicated family beach.
During at day ashore at Ocean Cay, guests can discover local marine life, soak up the spirit of Bahamian culture and reconnect with themselves and each other. Water activities in Ocean Cay include snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and more.
MSC offers private cabanas for rent, or guests can book a massage at The Spa at Ocean Cay. In addition, with late evening stays on several itineraries, guests also can enjoy such activities as an evening lighthouse light show, stargazing and a high-energy Junkanoo parade.
New Health/Safety Protocol
Rodriguez also said that as MSC "looks forward to the upcoming year. We are eager to bring our guests back to sea when the time is right, with health and safety as a top priority,"
MSC Seaside and MSC Divina’s sailings from Port Canaveral will follow MSC Cruises’ new comprehensive and enhanced health and safety protocol, being developed in collaboration with national and international health authorities and a team of external medical experts. Details will be announced soon.
For more information on the new Port Canaveral sailings, now available for booking, or MSC Cruises, visit www.msccruises.com.