(9 a.m. EST) -- Through a new partnership with acclaimed home and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart, MSC Cruises has developed new shore excursions, surprise gift packages and holiday dinner menus that will debut on select ships beginning in summer 2019.
Miami-based MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia will be the first to debut the line's new Martha Stewart shore excursions, which include a food and culture walking tour of Old San Juan, with stops at five different establishments for local bites and drinks; a horseback-riding tour through Barker's National Park in Grand Cayman, followed by lunch at a vegan restaurant; and an off-the-beaten-path tour of Roatan, where passengers will have the chance to visit small fishing villages, explore Oakridge (known as the Venice of Roatan) by traditional cayuco boat, and enjoy a Honduran lunch at a "local hangout" restaurant.
Martha Stewart-branded excursions will be available in all Caribbean and Bahamian destinations visited by the two ships, starting on June 1; other ports include Nassau, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Ocho Rios, Cozumel and Costa Maya. Additional excursions will be offered on MSC Divina and MSC Meraviglia when the ships are in the Caribbean, beginning in November 2019.
Prices for the new excursions range from $115 to $199 per adult, with discounts available for children.
"As MSC Cruises significantly expands its presence in the North American market, we are continually seeking to introduce new offerings in the region that are appealing to the North American traveler," said Ken Muskat, EVP & Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises (USA).
"MSC Cruises' guests are curious travelers who seek learning opportunities and are looking for authentic experiences that help them travel like a local. In addition to being designed around Martha Stewart’s interests, together we created these shore excursions with insight from the local tourism boards to identify the true, hidden treasures of the islands and really provide our guests with an exceptional and rare experience."
In addition to shore excursions, MSC Cruises and Martha Stewart will unveil new celebration surprise packages that passengers on MSC Seaside, MSC Armonia, MSC Divina and MSC Meraviglia can order and have delivered to their cabin, to celebrate various special occasions.
Among the new celebration surprise packages are the Martha Stewart Delightful Surprise, which includes a personalized letter from Martha Stewart, a Martha Stewart dessert and a recipe card ($10); the Martha Stewart Sweet Delight & Cheers package, which comes with a personalized letter, a dessert and recipe card, as well as a bottle of wine ($30); and the Martha Steward Sensational Celebration, which includes all of the above, plus digital and print versions of a professional photo taken by an MSC Cruises' photographer, a 5-by-7 picture frame and a canvas beach tote ($89).
During the holidays of Easter, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's Eve, passengers on the four select ships also can enjoy special, Martha Stewart holiday dinner menus in the ships' main dining rooms; those staying in the Yacht Club will have a separate menu in their dedicated restaurant. Holiday menus -- offered free of charge -- will be comprised of a starter, main course and dessert. Passengers also will receive the meal recipes to take home as a souvenir.
"I've always enjoyed introducing people to new experiences, and I'm thrilled to be working with MSC Cruises on a partnership that embodies the true celebratory nature of travel, exploration and discovery," said Martha Stewart.
"The excursions showcase some of my favorite activities and help MSC Cruises' guests discover some of the authentic and hidden treasures of destinations throughout the Caribbean. The holiday dinner menus and surprise gift packages encompass what I believe celebrations should include: good food, good company and commemorating great adventures and inspiration wherever we are."
The excursions set to be introduced in November will be revealed at a later date; however, MSC Cruises said there would be a tour developed specifically for the line's new Bahamian private island, Ocean Cay, which welcomes its first passengers in November.