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Tea library and water bottles on a table next to MSC Virtuosa
MSC Cruises introduces tea library on MSC Virtuosa (Photo: MSC Cruises)

MSC Cruises trials tea library and British tap water on MSC Virtuosa sailings from Southampton

Tea library and water bottles on a table next to MSC Virtuosa
MSC Cruises introduces tea library on MSC Virtuosa (Photo: MSC Cruises)
Kerry Spencer

Last updated
May 23, 2024

Read time
2 min read

(4:36 p.m. BST) — MSC Cruises is trialling a new tea library onboard MSC Virtuosa for the ship's Southampton departures this summer, featuring 100 types of tea, from Tetley to PG Tips.

In addition to a wider selection of the country's favourite tea brands, the line has also introduced British regional tap water for a limited period. Yes, you read that correct — the line is serving bottled tap water from London, Birmingham and Dundee to offer a selection of "hard," "moderate," and "soft" water onboard.

This new offering is intended to allow Brits sailing on Virtuosa to make cups of tea just as they are accustomed to at home, with the choice of Yorkshire Tea, Clipper, Twinings and even supermarket brands, among the mix.

There's more, including dozens of varieties of milk, sugar, sweeteners, mugs, cups, teapots and tea cosies.

MSC Cruises commissions tea survey for MSC Virtuosa sailings

A worker in a high-vis vest carries a case of bottled London tap water onto MSC Virtuosa
MSC Virtuosa will offer bottled tap water to "complement" a range of teas on sailings from Southampton (Photo: MSC Cruises)

This follows a One Poll Survey of 2,000 people commissioned by MSC Cruises (May 2024) that found 51 percent of those surveyed take their own tea onboard; 37 percent take their own kettle and mug and 75 percent get stressed when they go abroad in case the quality of tea isn’t up to the standard it is at home.  

Antonio Paradiso, VP of International Sales and Managing Director of MSC Cruises UK and Ireland said: "Brits are very particular about their tea, and they should be. When it doesn’t taste right abroad, it can change the whole experience. It might be that the tea bags are wrong, or the water tastes off or it might be that UHT milk – it’s very hard to replicate the components that make the perfect cuppa when you’re not at home."

MSC Virtuosa is currently sailing a mix of Europe itineraries from Southampton — including to the Norwegian fjords, short cruises to France, the south coast of England, Ireland and Netherlands and Canary Islands — through November 8, 2024.

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