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Exploring the Best MSC Cruises Itineraries of 2024

Are you looking for the best cruise itineraries offered by MSC Cruises? You have plenty of options. The world’s third-biggest cruise line by passenger capacity offers voyages in almost every corner of the world, from Asia and Europe to the Caribbean and South America.

MSC Cruises currently has 22 cruise ships in operation, more than all but a handful of other major cruise lines. This extensive fleet allows it to deploy vessels on all the classic cruise itineraries in the Caribbean and Europe while still having ships left over for more exotic routes.

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MSC Cruises has a distinct focus on Europe, where it’s the biggest cruise operator. In a typical summer, the Switzerland-based line deploys the vast majority of its ships in the Mediterranean or Northern Europe, and many of the best MSC Cruises itineraries are in Europe. Even in the winter, when many lines move all their vessels out of Europe to warmer locales, MSC Cruises will keep several ships in the Mediterranean and often at least one vessel in Northern Europe.

During summers, MSC Cruises usually only has a couple of ships posted outside of Europe — typically in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. During winters, the line adds more ships to the Caribbean and the Bahamas and also sends a significant number to South America, South Africa, and the Persian Gulf. The line is the largest cruise operator by capacity in all three of the latter destinations.

In addition, MSC Cruises typically offers an around-the-world cruise in the winter on a single ship.

Here are the five best destinations you can visit on an MSC Cruises voyage.

Europe

MSC Cruises got its start offering cruises in Europe, mostly to a European crowd, and Europe remains its biggest focus. The line offers a wide range of itineraries across every corner of the continent, from the Mediterranean to the far reaches of Northern Europe.

Key Itineraries in Europe:

  • Western Mediterranean: Visit Barcelona, Rome, and Cannes, France.
  • Greek Islands and Turkey: Focused itineraries exploring Greece and Turkey.
  • Baltic Cities: Stops in Helsinki, Stockholm, and Tallinn, Estonia.
  • Norwegian Fjords: Multiple itineraries available.

Europe Itineraries

ItineraryDestinations
Western MediterraneanBarcelona, Rome, Cannes
Greek Islands and TurkeyVarious Greek Islands, Turkey
Baltic CitiesHelsinki, Stockholm, Tallinn
Norwegian FjordsVarious Norwegian Fjords

Main Ports in Europe:

  • Mediterranean Hubs: Ancona, Venice, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Bari, and Civitavecchia (Rome) in Italy; Barcelona, Valencia, and Palma de Mallorca in Spain; Marseille, France.
  • Northern Europe Hubs: Southampton, England; Copenhagen; Kiel and Hamburg in Germany.

The Caribbean and the Bahamas

MSC Cruises isn’t the biggest player in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, but its footprint in the region has grown notably in recent years as it has expanded its fleet at a rapid pace and pursued a strategy of wooing more Americans.

Key Itineraries in the Caribbean:

  • Eastern Caribbean: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Nassau, the Bahamas; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
  • Western Caribbean: Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

North American Ports:

  • Miami: MSC Seascape, MSC Divina, MSC Magnifica.
  • Port Canaveral: MSC Seashore.
  • New York City: MSC Meraviglia.
  • Additional Caribbean Departures: Barbados, Martinique, and Guadeloupe.

Caribbean and Bahamas Ports

PortShips
MiamiMSC Seascape, MSC Divina, MSC Magnifica
Port CanaveralMSC Seashore
New York CityMSC Meraviglia
Caribbean IslandsBarbados, Martinique, Guadeloupe

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve:

  • Activities: Beaches, water sports, food outlets, bars.
  • Note: Major stop for MSC Cruises sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas.

Bermuda

MSC Cruises in 2023 significantly expanded its footprint in North America with its first regular sailings from the East Coast of the U.S. to Bermuda.

Bermuda Itinerary:

  • Port: New York City’s Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
  • Duration: Six-night voyages.
  • Highlights: Three full days docked at Bermuda’s King’s Wharf.

Eastern Canada and New England

Also new as of 2023 are MSC Cruises’ first sailings in four years from New York City to Eastern Canada and New England.

Eastern Canada and New England Itineraries:

  • 10-night voyages: Newport, Rhode Island; Boston; Portland, Maine; St. John’s, Newfoundland; Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
  • 11-night itinerary: Adds Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • 16-night itinerary: Adds a three-day stay in Bermuda.

Eastern Canada and New England Itineraries

DurationDestinations
10 nightsNewport, Boston, Portland, St. John’s, Sydney, Charlottetown
11 nightsNewport, Boston, Portland, St. John’s, Sydney, Charlottetown, Halifax
16 nightsNewport, Boston, Portland, St. John’s, Sydney, Charlottetown, Halifax, Bermuda

The Persian Gulf

In recent years, MSC Cruises has become a major player in the growing market for winter sailings in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. The trips include stops at such destinations as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, as well as nearby Oman.

Key Itineraries in the Persian Gulf:

  • Seven-night sailings out of Dubai:
    • Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates.
    • Muscat and Khasab, Oman.
  • Additional Itineraries:
    • Damman, Saudi Arabia; and Doha, Qatar.

Note: For the winter of 2023-24, the line has canceled many of its sailings in the Middle East as a safety precaution due to the outbreak of war between Israeli and Hamas forces in the region.

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