29 March 2021 – MSC Cruises revealed today further details of the recently announced short breaks and week-long summer sailings around the British Isles departing from the port of Southampton. Starting 20 May, MSC Virtuosa – the line’s recently delivered and newest flagship – will be deployed to the UK for her inaugural season and replace MSC Magnifica to spend summer operating this special range of sailings to some of the UK’s most popular ports such as Portland, Liverpool, Greenock and Belfast. All operations will be conducted in accordance with relevant government requirements and will see the implementation of MSC Cruises’ industry-leading health and safety protocol. The sailings are available to UK residents only, both vaccinated and unvaccinated at the present time.
- Sailings taking place under the protection of MSC Cruises tried and tested health and safety protocol, available to UK residents only of all ages both vaccinated and unvaccinated
- Ashore visits only as protected excursions
- Cruise line to initially offer three and four-night sailings departing from Southampton
- From June 12th, embarkation also available in Liverpool and Greenock, Scotland on 7-night cruises
Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said:
Following our recent announcement that we intend to offer cruises in the UK we have been overwhelmed by the response from MSC Cruises customers and avid cruisers eager to get back on board and experience a cruise with us this summer. I am personally very proud to be able to bring our newest ship MSC Virtuosa to the UK so that our valued British guests are the first to officially come on board and the first to experience this incredible next generation ship. She is the latest, most-innovative and environmentally advanced to join the MSC Cruises fleet and we couldn’t be more delighted to offer UK holidaymakers and their families the chance to discover her world class facilities. We have all been waiting for something exciting to look forward to and this ship has lots of new features for our guests to experience including new speciality restaurants and a brand-new immersive entertainment lounge with a humanoid robotic bartender and much more.”
MSC Virtuosa will initially operate six mini-cruises that with embarkation in Southampton will include a stop in Portland. These will be followed by a series of seven-night sailings providing embarkation also in the ports of Liverpool and Greenock, giving holidaymakers across the UK the option to easily escape on holiday with minimal travel.
The range of four-night mini-cruises will offer a late sail from Southampton and will provide the ultimate short getaway for couples or friends in search of a quick escape. The ship will call at the Isle of Portland in Dorset, part of the Jurassic Coast, where guests will be able to go ashore to enjoy the perfect day out at the beach. The itinerary will also include two days at sea so that guests can enjoy the incredible array of facilities that MSC Virtuosa has to offer.
From June 12th, holidaymakers can join seven-night sailings that will include stops in Portland and the cultural city of Belfast and offer multiple ports of embarkation including Liverpool and Greenock, close to Glasgow.
MSC Virtuosa is designed to offer a dynamic and dazzling guest experience with innovative features and facilities and she is also one of the most environmentally-advanced ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet. Some of the highlights include:
- An enhanced MSC Yacht Club, with stylish private facilities and accommodation including a panoramic lounge, gourmet restaurant and private pool and sun deck
- MSC for Me – the multi-channel digital experience to help guests make the most of their holiday experience
- A choice of 10 restaurants and 21 bars including two brand-new specialty restaurant concepts – HOLA! Tacos & Cantina and Indochine
- The brand-new MSC Starship Club featuring the world’s first humanoid robotic bartender offering a futuristic immersive bar and entertainment experience
- A 945-seater theatre and the stunning Carousel Lounge at the aft of the ship with live productions and shows every night
- Extensive kids’ facilities including with LEGO® play areas and a Chicco baby club
- 112-metre-long Mediterranean promenade lined with boutiques bars and restaurants topped with a breathtaking LED sky screen with animations throughout the day and night
- Five swimming pools including an extensive magrodome pool and a 1,000sqm aquapark
- A dedicated entertainment area with an FI simulator, bowling, XD cinema
- The luxurious MSC Aurea Spa with full range of treatments and the state-of-the-art MSC Gym by Technogym®
- The largest shopping area at sea with 1,168 sqm of retail space with 11 boutiques and 250 different brands