(6:10 a.m. EDT) -- MSC Cruises will base a second and bigger ship, MSC Magnifica, in Southampton from next year.
The 86,600-ton, 2,550-passenger Musica class ship will join the 58,600-ton, 1,756-passenger MSC Opera in Southampton on September 17, 2014.
The ship will offer four seven-night, round-trip cruises departing from Southampton and calling in Zeebrugge (for Bruges), Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Le Havre (for Paris). Prices start from £429 per person including free car parking or free national express coach transfer to Southampton.
MSC is also running its first mini-cruise next year, which will be over the second Bank Holiday weekend in May and depart Southampton to Guernsey from £179 per person.
MSC's announcement comes as it confirmed Carnival U.K.'s former head of sales and customer service director Giles Hawke, would be joining the line in November as managing director of U.K. and Ireland.
--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor