The christening ceremony of MSC Cruises’ at the cruise terminal in New York City was as much a blessing of the newest vessel as it was a celebration of the cruise line’s vision to homeport from NY throughout the year.
While the champagne bottle crashed into the bow of the 170,000-gross-ton vessel — the MSC Seascape, executives from the shipping firm and the cruise spent the entire evening ceremony emphasizing the line’s dedication to the North American market, particularly NY, where it’s trying to gain its market share. It envisages homeporting the MSC Meraviglia in 2023.
MSC, for years, has enjoyed a large footprint in Europe’s cruise market and the international shipping industry, which includes about 700 vessels. It has reportedly cruised year-round as well as seasonally from South Florida. However, the line is going to be based full-time in April 2022 with the arrival of Meraviglia and is going to homeport five vessels in the US by 2025.
The relationship with NY is a crucial one for MSC. That is working to grow the market share in North America in competition with cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International.
Homeporting at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is expected to give the line access to about 32 million customers in the tristate area’s drive market, mentioned Ruben Rodriguez, the MSC Cruises USA’s president.
Why fly on a cruise when one can simply hop on the subway, Rodriguez asked.
Gianni Onorato, the CEO of MSC Cruises, consistently urged travel advisors to launch the brand to cultured travelers to aid MSC Cruises to emerge as an essential option for customers when they consider a cruise.
The line championed the organization’s work for safeguarding the environment via UNICEF and MSC Foundation, namely via projects to help communities based in Africa and safeguarding sea life at the Ocean Key Marine Reserve.
Sophia Loren the Godmother, who’s served as the godmother for ships in the MSC fleet from 2002, appeared at the ceremony via a pre-recorded video. She mentioned that she couldn’t attend owing to the ongoing pandemic. However, added that the sea has captured a special place in her heart and that she was “possessive” of her “godchildren.” She also asked Alexa Aponte, the CFO of MSC Group, to cut the ribbon and also see the vessel off for her.
Loren told Aponte to not get too accustomed to it. Right after the pandemic ends, she looks forward to being there in person and christening many more vessels.
References: PR Newswire, Travel Weekly, Travel Pulse