MSC Cruises has achieved strong results in the GCC market with over 20,000 persons sailing from this region in 2023, a 20 per cent growth compared to the previous year. This was revealed as MSC Cruises organised its inaugural awards ceremony to honour the top-selling travel agents in the region.
The event took place in Dubai earlier this month on board MSC Virtuosa, which was docked in Port Rashid. Over 60 agents and partners participated in the ceremony, which included both an award presentation and a comprehensive tour of the ship.
This year, the numbers are already at 45% of the budgeted figures, said Angelo Capurro, Executive Director MSC Cruises SA, giving an update to the travel trade on MSC’s performance, upcoming new ships and itineraries.
Dubai will see MSC Euribia deployed on rotation from November 24 to March 25, he said.
“MSC Cruises is the third largest cruise brand by capacity with 22 vessels. MSC will have an additional three world-class ships coming into service in 2025, 2026 and 2027. Explora will add three new ships by 2027 (Explora II in 2024, Explora III 2026, and Explora IV).
“Our deployments are all over the world except for Alaska and Australia, and we cover all segments of the market on each ship including our affordable luxury offering the MSC Yacht Club. We are leaders in the Mediterranean covering winter and summer, and we are the only cruise line operating out of South Africa,” said Capurro.
“We design our ships based on the customer interest and the area they are cruising with the latest technology,” he added.
“MSC Group is not just about cruising, it is a global business engaged in the transport and logistics sector. We have the cargo side which is our biggest division which this year reached close to 800 ships and during the pandemic, we became the number one cargo company in the world, said Capurro.
“We have our cruise ferries as well as our latest luxury product Explora Journeys. Explora has smaller ships that can accommodate around 1,000 guests,” Capurro said.
“We are also investing all over the world, including in our cruise terminals with new openings in Miami (Dec 2023) and in Barcelona (Dec 2024).”
The award winners at the event are:
• Best FIT Producer: Cruise Center Kuwait
• Best B2B FIT: Cruise Master
• Best Group Producer: CruiseXplore
• Best Initiative: Rayna Destination Management
• Best B2C: Travel Wings
• Best Emerging Agent: Cruise Makers
• Best Yacht Club Sales: Sharaf Holidays
• Over the Top winner (selling in all categories): TBO.com