Will MSC Magnifica mark the return to Australia of MSC Cruises?

Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle will all feature on the first world voyage for European-based giant MSC Cruises, after the company yesterday opened stateroom reservations for its maiden circumnavigation around the globe.

The 2,550-passenger MSC Magnifica will depart Genoa on 05 January 2019 on the voyage, which will loop the planet and return to the Swiss port 119 days later. During this time, the ship will call in six continents, with the three Australian cities featuring among a list of 49 ports in 32 countries to be visited during the maiden sailing.

Highlights of the west-bound voyage will see the ship cross the Atlantic Ocean into the Caribbean and passing through the Panama Canal to a number of ports on the west coast of the USA. Moving to Hawaii and across the Pacific Ocean, the ship will visit Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji before making the line’s first ever calls in New Zealand.

The circular art-deco style theatre on MSC Magnifica offers seating for 1,250 passengers.
The circular art-deco style theatre on MSC Magnifica offers seating for 1,250 passengers.

After its three Australian ports, MSC Magnifica will continue north and head to Asia, stopping in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia before visiting the Arabian Peninsula. A passage through the Suez Canal will return the ship into the Mediterranean and eventually back to Genoa.

On average, guests will spend 13 hours in each port, with extended stays in ten different ports. San Francisco will be a particular highlight, with the ship to stay in port for two nights to allow guests to really immerse themselves in the Bay City’s around-the-clock activity.

Unlike most world cruises, with the MSC itinerary offering guests 15 shore excursions to take from a selected range in ports throughout the cruise. Additional tours taken on top of that will be charged to passengers’ onboard accounts as normal. Fares will also include a meal time beverage package, meaning drinks will be included during lunch and dinner serving times. A 30% discount on laundry costs will also be offered as part of the fare.

Among many other passenger amenities, MSC Magnifica features a multi-lane bowling alley.
Among many other passenger amenities, MSC Magnifica features a multi-lane bowling alley.

MSC Magnifica is one of newer ships in the MSC Cruises fleet, having been christened in March 2010. The 13-deck vessel features three swimming pools, one of which is housed under a retractable roof to enable use in all weather. Guests can enjoy two main restaurants included in their fare, a 20-hour buffet and two speciality dining venues available at an extra charge. Added to that are 17 different bars and lounges, a spa facility, gym and wellness centre. Entertainment comes in the form of a 1,250-seat theatre, casino, 4D cinema, bowling alley and virtual games centre.

As far as world cruises go, the MSC itinerary is surprisingly affordable. The entire 119-day adventure starts from AUD$18,999 per person twin share for an interior cabin, or $27,999pp twin share for a balcony. Reservations are now open for MSC Voyagers Club members and will open to the general public in the middle of next month.

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