MSC Cruises Newest Ship MSC Orchestra To Join MSC Lirica For 2008-09 Caribbean Season

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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (January 24, 2008) – MSC Cruises will be bringing two state-of-the-art ships – including its newest – to Fort Lauderdale for an exciting 2008-09 Caribbean season that features seven itineraries, 16 enchanting ports, the line’s first call in Bermuda and several special theme cruises.

Guests can select itineraries that feature the tropical Deep Caribbean, the wonders of the Western Caribbean, the jewels of the Eastern Caribbean, the exotic Caribbean featuring Panama and the pink sand beaches of Bermuda as well as transatlantic voyages between Fort Lauderdale and some of Europe’s most intriguing ports of call.

Most of the itineraries include visits to Cayo Levantado, the line’s private island experience in the Dominican Republic, where guests have the option to explore the waters around the island and view humpback whales as they arrive in the warmer Caribbean waters off the coast of the Dominican Republic to mate and enjoy their newborns.

MSC Cruises’ newest ship, MSC Orchestra, which debuted in 2007, will sail her inaugural Caribbean season, joining MSC Lirica, which has sailed Caribbean waters for several seasons. At 92,400 gross tons, 196 feet high and 961 feet long, with 16 decks (13 of which are passenger decks), MSC Orchestra is the largest member of the line’s fleet to sail the Caribbean. It can carry 2,550 passengers (double occupancy) in 1,275 staterooms (80% outside staterooms, most with a private balcony).

“MSC Orchestra is ideally suited for the preferences of our American and Canadian guests,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA). “It is an elegant ship that epitomizes the line’s ‘Beautiful. Passionate. Italian.’ approach to cruising.”

With more than 236,800 square feet of public areas and 5 restaurants (L’Ibiscus, Villa Borghese, La Piazzetta, Four Seasons, the Shanghai Chinese Restaurant – the only dedicated Chinese restaurant at sea), 10 bars (two of which are open air), 3 meeting and conference rooms, a 21-foot by 12-foot outdoor LED screen that airs movies on the pool deck, and the 16,146 square feet for the Body and Mind Spa, MSC Orchestra represents the perfect combination of grace and style.

MSC Orchestra will arrive in Fort Lauderdale Jan. 2, 2009. The following day she will begin sailing alternating 7-night roundtrip itineraries through April 25, 2009:

  • Eastern Caribbean, calling at Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John, 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 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’S ITINERARIES

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.

Theme Cruises

The 2008-09 Caribbean season will also feature several special theme cruises:

  • Baseball Theme Cruises: Because MSC Cruises has received such strong response from previous seasons to guests who have had the opportunity to mingle and learn from some of the greats of the game, five baseball theme cruises are slated for the 2008-09 Caribbean season, including MSC Lirica’s Dec. 13 sailing and MSC Orchestra’s Jan. 24, Feb. 28, March 28 and April 11 departures.
  • Big Band Cruise: MSC Lirica’s Dec. 3 Deep Caribbean itinerary will featuring the 15-piece Les DeMerle Big Band with vocalist Bonnie Eisele. Featuring 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 also perform a Big Band Jazz Concert and conduct a lecture on the Big Band era.

Cruise-only prices begin at $449 per person, double occupancy for the 7-night sailings and $699 per person, double occupancy for the 10-night sailings; government fees and taxes and fuel surcharge are additional.

In addition, “Kids Sail Free” with MSC Cruises on all sailings all the time. Children ages 17 and younger sail free when they accompany two full-fare-paying adults in a stateroom (government fees and taxes are additional; additional restrictions may apply).

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit a local travel professional or www.msccruisesusa.com.