Every month we’ll take a cruise line and look at the history, the fleet and its people to find out what really makes its cruises worthwhile. This month, we’re looking at classy Italian cruise line MSC Cruises, who’ve built a sterling reputation after just over two decades in the industry.

Led by Captain Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Cruises entered the cruise industry in 1988 to become specialists in Mediterranean cruises. Driven by the philosophy ‘Innovation = tradition’, the company focuses on providing key services, from top-drawer gastronomy worthy of their Italian heritage to an emphasis on personal hospitality. Their cultural programme of events and activities means you’ll receive true insight into the places you visit, with everything from learning local crafts to participating in a floating Oktoberfest.

The Fleet

MSC Cruises proudly takes to the seas with a fleet of 12 cruise liners, all with a crew of anything between 800 and 1300 or more to carry guests across the seas to their destination in comfort and style. With Italianised names such as Splendida, Divina and Fantasia, each liner has its own quirky features that make the MSC cruise experience extra special.

Take the MSC Fantasia, with its Swarovski crystal stairs, not to mention the transparent ceilings which allow guests to gaze up at the stars. The MSC Splendida’s top sail lounge rewards them with this same pleasure, in the form of the Skydome. Meanwhile — ever heard of a cruise ship that has a Zen garden? You have now, since the MSC Musica gives travellers the chance to truly relax and let the last of those land-based worries slide away.

Onboard MSC Cruises

The fun gets underway almost immediately with MSC Cruises. En route to destinations, guests can also compete in contests, such as cookery and dance, or if you just want to jive for the fun of it you can get your kicks at one of the many themed events in the evenings. Just looking to keep trim while on board? There are all kinds of sports and active pursuits, such as gym, squash, vo
lleyball and basketball.

You won’t want to be constantly on the go, though, and can relax in spas and beauty salons with a welcome herbal tea and specialist treatments like lava stone massage and reflexology. Sip coffee or cocktails as you please at design-led venues like The Golden Jazz Bar. Naturally, Italian is on the menu in the many onboard restaurants, but Tex-Mex, Chinese, Japanese and several other international cuisines are all cooked with flair as well.

Where do MSC Cruises sail?

It’s almost more a question of where don’t MSC Cruises go, branching out from their core Mediterranean offering and travelling to some of the world’s most popular destinations: the Caribbean, Europe, South Africa, Dubai and South America. Barcelona, Venice and Naples are just a few of this mad-about-the Med company’s ports of call in their home region, but further afield, you can cruise to fun-loving Durban, gorgeous St Lucia, colourful Rio de Janeiro or the cool Norwegian Fjords.

With MSC Cruises offering a limited-time free drinks deal for cruises in 2014 and 2015, now’s a good time to explore the reasons why MSC Cruises have become a discerning cruise-goers’s top choice.

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