“We will close 2019 with over 2.8 million passengers compared to 2.4 million in 2018. In 2020 we hope to exceed 3 million. While, in Hamburg, the Geneva shipping company is christening its new flagship, MSC Grandiosa, first vessel of the Meraviglia Plus class, delivered a few days ago by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, MSC’s Country Manager, Leonardo Massa, illustrates MSC Cruises’ estimates and objectives.
He does so on board their latest arrival, just as the ribbon-cutting ceremony is drawing to a close: “At the end of the business plan, with the arrival of the other 12 vessels that we are going to launch between now and 2027, we will have more than 5.5 million guests. We have gone from 127,000 guests in 2003 to 2.8 million in 2019 and the number will double to over 5.5 million over the next few years.”
This growth goes hand-in-hand with the expansion of the fleet, which is proceeding rapidly. “We are experiencing an important moment of growth as a company – he says – Today is the Christening of MSC Grandiosa, but over the last few weeks many things have been happening: the inauguration of our private island in the Caribbean, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, and there is a plan for new construction that will follow in the coming years.”
The island, rented for 99 years by the government of the Bahamas “is an unprecedented project: we have completely reclaimed an island where, until 3 years ago, sand was extracted for construction. We have removed tons of ferrous materials, planted 2,300 trees, made an agreement with the University for the protection of marine species.”
Translation by Giles Foster