The MSC Magnifica made its maiden call into Dublin Port yesterday and agents were invited aboard for hospitality including lunch and a theatre show – and for the first event in Ireland of the recently renamed CLIA UK & Ireland organisation.
Lorenzo Diamantini, MSC Director of Sales Ireland, welcomed the guests onboard and said that MSC Cruises, which began in 1994, is now the third largest cruise line by capacity and has 12 ships in three classes. Berth capacity has increased by 640% over the past 10 years to accommodate 40,000 guests.
The MSC Magnifica will be calling into Belfast, Dublin and Cork on its 11-night Northern Europe cruise that departs Amsterdam on 11th August 2013 – and a unique selling point for MSC Cruises is that children cruise for free all year round.
Andy Harmer, Director of CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) UK & Ireland, revealed that in 2012 one in eight of all package holidays were cruises, incldung river cruises (14%) and luxury cruises (10%). “There are now 48 cruises lines with a cruise ship stopping in the UK and Ireland,” he said, “and there are 52 active cruise ports for them to choose from.
“Training is most important for agents and as well as webinars CLIA offers its ‘Oceans of Opportunity’ e-learning programme – which has just received City & Guilds accreditation, the first cruise programme to achieve this.
“CLIA is committed to returning to Ireland for an event later this year – and next year,” he concluded.
The MSC Magnifica is aptly named, with its magnificent interior carrying 2,500 passengers and a 1,000-strong crew.
At the heart of this Musica-class luxury ship is the luxurious MSC Aurea Spa, a sumptuous wellness centre offering a myriad of relaxation options from saunas and Turkish baths to a fitness centre, beauty salon, Thalassotherapy room, relaxation area and massage rooms.
Recreation options onboard include a solarium and three swimming pools, one under the ‘Magrodome’ retractable roof – ideal for winter cruising.
There’s a choice of five restaurants, numerous bars, an Internet café and cigar lounge – not forgetting the plush 1,200-seat theatre, cinema, casino and disco.
Here are just some of the many entertainment facilities onboard…