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Hamilton Travel has been representing Mediterranean Shipping Cruises since 1996.
MSC Cruises, based in Naples, is the largest all-Italian financed cruise company. It has offices throughout Italy, in Milan, Venice, Genoa, Rome, Palermo and Bari. It also has numerous international offices, in 26 different countries.
The company was founded in 1987 on the strength of the prestigious cruise company STARLAURO SpA. In 1995 it changed its name to Mediterranean Shipping Cruises. In 1995 MSC started selling cruises on the ships MSC Rhapsody, MSC Monterey and MSC Symphony.
In 1997 the company included MSC Melody to its fleet, while in 2000 MSC Symphony temporarily bowed off the scene. During that same year, MSC Cruises signed an order for the construction of two new ships with a capacity of around 2000 passengers, MSC Lirica and MSC Opera, respectively inaugurated in April 2003 and June 2004 by Sophia Loren.
With the introduction of the first new MSC ship in 2003, the company took yet another strategic step: creating a new logo. The MSC acronym, inserted at the centre of wind rose, symbolises the central role that the guest plays in the world of MSC Cruises. On the other hand, the wind rose represents the diverse horizons towards which the company has projected itself in order to reach the objectives set for the next few years.
To date, the company can count on a fleet of 8 cruise ships: the new flagship MSC Musica, operational since 1st July 2006, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica, MSC Armonia, MSC Melody, MSC Rhapsody and MSC Monterey. The fleet will increase to 9 units in 2007, with the launch of MSC Orchestra. MSC Musica and MSC Orchestra, which weigh 90,000 tonnes, are fully able to meet market needs, flaunting 22,000m2 of public areas and 80% of their cabins boasting a sea view. The construction of a further two cutting-edge ships, MSC Fantasia and MSC Serenata, has also been confirmed, and these are to be launched in 2008 and 2009 respectively. With a 133,000 tonnage each, these will be the largest ships ever built by a European shipyard.
MSC Cruises was the first company operating in the cruise sector to obtain important quality certifications, namely UNI EN ISO 9002/1994 and UNI EN ISO 9001:2000. The all-Italian MSC ships are continuing to obtain international certifications for the high standards of its service and the safety ensured onboard. Furthermore, in 2004 the prestigious Berlitz Guide gave four MSC units positions at the top of the rankings for ships operating in the Mediterranean.
Thus, it can be said that MSC Cruises is making its significant mark on the market, with an increasingly competitive fleet offering a wide range of itineraries and products in the best all-Italian tradition of hospitality and quality services. In the space of a few years the company has grown considerably, becoming known the world over as the only Italian cruise company able to meet the needs of those who wish to travel “Italian-style”, without renouncing on a touch of internationality.
Indeed, an all-Italian style has always been the distinguishing feature of the MSC Cruises fleet, in terms of hospitality, furnishings, design, cuisine, atmosphere and a careful eye to its guests – perfect expressions of Italian refinement, and ideal ingredients for a unique cruise.