MSC Postpones New York-Based Cruise Program

March 22, 2006

Just three months after announcing that it would base a ship in New York year-round beginning in 2007, MSC Cruises has decided to put the move to the Big Apple on the back burner ... indefinitely.

The cruise line has revised its 2006/2007 deployment schedules to accommodate the postponement: MSC Musica was expected to relocate from Europe to Florida this fall, freeing up Ft. Lauderdale-based MSC Lirica for Bermuda cruises roundtrip from New York next spring. Instead, MSC Lirica will remain in Florida for its regularly scheduled itineraries, joined by MSC Opera in the winter for additional 11-night Panama and "Deep Caribbean" cruises; MSC Musica will stay in Europe.

In a statement, President and CEO Richard Sasso chalks the decision up to wanting to focus attention on increased demand for already popular European itineraries and Caribbean voyages sailing from Florida. "With the MSC Musica now scheduled to stay in Europe all year, we will bring MSC Opera back to Florida to join MSC Lirica and revise our fall and winter Caribbean sailing calendar to include many more 11-night cruises to the deep Caribbean and Panama," Sasso is quoted as saying, "itineraries that have been extremely successful for us in previous years."

According to the statement, MSC Cruises has advised Bermuda that it will not be bringing MSC Lirica there in 2007, but will "continue to discuss opportunities for 2008."