Countdown To The Caribbean: MSC Cruises Ready For Exciting Season With Msc Orchestra, Msc Lirica

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (SEPTEMBER 2, 2008) – The countdown continues as MSC Cruises prepares for an exciting 2008-09 Caribbean season that includes the much-anticipated arrival of MSC Orchestra in North American waters, several special theme cruises and new itineraries, including the line’s first visits to Bermuda and New York.

Plus, there is still time to visit and enter to win a free cruise or other prizes.

The Italian-owned line is bringing two elegant ships – MSC Orchestra and MSC Lirica – to Fort Lauderdale for a season featuring seven itineraries and 16 enchanting ports. Both ships feature comfortable sophistication, vast public areas and the finest Italian hospitality, cuisine and international entertainment afloat.

MSC Orchestra is the largest of the line’s ships to sail in North American waters. With spacious public areas and 5 restaurants (including the Shanghai Restaurant, an alternative dining option that is the only dedicated Chinese restaurant at sea), 10 bars, a 21-foot by 12-foot outdoor LED screen, and the 16,146 square-foot Body and Mind Spa, MSC Orchestra represents the perfect combination of grace and style.

Explore the Caribbean
Guests can experience the tropical Deep Caribbean, the wonders of the Western Caribbean, the jewels of the Eastern Caribbean, the exotic Caribbean featuring Panama or the pink sand beaches of Bermuda.

A highlight of both the Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries is a call at Cayo Levantado, the line’s private paradise experience in the Dominican Republic. There, guests will have the option to explore pristine beaches, enjoy turquoise waters and natural rainforest or view humpback whales as they arrive in the warmer Caribbean waters off the coast to mate and enjoy their newborns.

MSC Orchestra will arrive in Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 2, 2009, beginning her inaugural season with a special two-night sailing. Then, on Jan. 10, 2009, she will begin her winter schedule, sailing alternating 7-night roundtrip itineraries through April 25, 2009:

  • Eastern Caribbean, calling at Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John’s, Antigua; and Nassau, Bahamas, as well as two days at sea.
  • Western Caribbean, calling at Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic, and two days at sea.

A special 7-night roundtrip Bermuda sailing departs Fort Lauderdale April 25, 2009. This itinerary includes three days in King’s Wharf, Bermuda and a day in Nassau, Bahamas, as well as two sea days.

MSC Orchestra is then scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale May 2, 2009 on an 18-night voyage that will include a two-day visit to New York before heading eastbound to Copenhagen. The itinerary includes calls at Ponta Delgado, Azores; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; La Coruna, Spain; and Dover, England before arriving in Copenhagen.

MSC Lirica will arrive in Fort Lauderdale Dec. 3, 2008 to begin a Caribbean season that includes the following itineraries:

  • 10-night Deep Caribbean, calling at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Port Castries, St. Lucia; St. John’s, Antigua; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Cayo Levantado, as well as three days at sea.
  • 10-night Caribbean featuring Panama, calling at Costa Maya, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cristobal, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; and Cayo Levantado, and four days at sea;
  • 7-night Western Caribbean, calling at Key West, Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cayo Levantado and two sea days. One of the Western Caribbean sailings is the New Year’s cruise.
  • 7-night Eastern Caribbean, calling at Cayo Levantado, Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Nassau, Bahamas, and two days at sea. This is the line’s Christmas cruise.

MSC Lirica begins its eastbound transatlantic crossing on April 23, 2009. The 16-night cruise calls at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Fort de France, Martinique; Funchal, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain and Le Havre, France, before arriving in Dover, England on May 9, 2009.

Special Theme Cruises
In addition to exciting itineraries, MSC Cruises’ 2008-09 Caribbean season offers guests several unique experiences with special theme cruises:

  • Baseball Greats: Mingle and learn from some of the greats of the game on MSC Lirica’s Dec. 13 sailing and MSC Orchestra’s Jan. 24, Feb. 28, March 28 and April 11 departures. Activities include a player-hosted trivia game, question-and-answer and story-telling sessions, passenger pitching contest, player-hosted clinics and a free autograph session.
  • Big Band Cruise: MSC Lirica’s Dec. 3 Deep Caribbean sailing presents the 15-piece Les DeMerle Big Band with vocalist Bonnie Eisele. The band features the sounds of Ellington, Basie, James and Miller, plus Broadway hits, rock ‘n’ roll classics, hot Latin grooves and show-stoppers from the ‘40s through today. The band will perform a Big Band Jazz Concert and lecture on the Big Band era.

Cruise-only prices for MSC Cruises’ 2008-09 Caribbean sailings begin at $449 per person, double occupancy and, on all sailings, kids 17 or younger sail free when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults. Government fees and taxes and a fuel surcharge are additional.

For more information about MSC Orchestra, visit, There is still time to visit the website, where guests will find:

  • Win Instantly – site visitors can register and enter daily for the chance to win a free 7-night cruise on MSC Orchestra in the Caribbean;
  • Information about the ship, including an extensive slide show and flash presentation complete with factoids;
  • Fun & Free Stuff, including free downloadable wallpaper, e-cards, shuffle picture puzzles and memory games; and
  • Offers – special promotions on MSC Orchestra itineraries, including the line’s “Kids Sail Free” offer.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit a local travel professional.