(12:30 p.m. EST) -- MSC Cruises will deploy its latest and biggest ships to the U.S., according to its CEO.
Speaking to Cruise Critic onboard the line's newest ship, MSC Bellissima, he said the forthcoming newbuilds will be in addition to other ships already based or soon to be based in the U.S. "I imagine … World Class will be there, I imagine … Seaside Evo will be there, in addition to the existing ships."
Seaside Evo is a new class of ships that will debut in 2021, with MSC Seashore. The Seaside Evo class is a variation of the line's Seaside class, whose MSC Seaside ship is already based in Miami. MSC's World Class ships -- the first of which launches in 2022 -- are said to become the biggest afloat, carrying up to 7,000 passengers.
However, he admitted the line would always be a niche player in a highly crowded and competitive market.
"Our ambition is not to be in competition with the big guys there. Even if I put three, four, five ships year-round, our market share will always be below five percent. But let's start to have a reasonable presence out of Miami."
The line will operate a total of four ships in the U.S., throughout 2019. MSC Divina will offer seasonal cruises out of Miami, in addition to Seaside and Armonia's year-round offerings from Miami. Meanwhile, MSC Bellissima's sister, MSC Meraviglia, will reposition to New York in the fall before homeporting in Miami seasonally.
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When asked how many ships he could see MSC operating in the U.S., he said: "It's very difficult to say; it can be five or it can be eight -- it depends on the response of the market."
And in terms of future itineraries he said: "We might be looking at Alaska also, because Europeans might be looking at Alaska."