However, the big Italian line will not operate any ex-UK sailings for a year from "early 2015," although it insists it WILL return to the UK after next year.
MSC Opera (above), which is currently sailing out of Southampton, will be out of action for part of summer 2015 as part of the company's two-year 'Renaissance Programme' to refurbish its Lirica-class ships in dry dock for 38 weeks.
The cruise line has already announced its redevelopment of MSC Armonia, Sinfonia, Opera and Lirica as part of its new Med voyage focus in 2015. And Giles Hawke, managing director for UK and Ireland, explained: "As market leader for Mediterranean cruises it is important that we work to reinforce this position by increasing our fly-cruise capacity, along with improving our ships to include more balcony cabins, more on board entertainment and additional technological advancements.
"We are considering various charter options and working with our air partners to come up with the best approach to keep up with the current customer demand for fly-cruises direct to the Mediterranean. We will also be introducing tools supporting travel agents in order to make the fly-cruise booking process easier than ever."
MSC Opera will be cruising from Southampton in 2014 on a selection of mini cruises, Baltic cruises, Fjord cruises and the 'Continental Discovery' cruise, while MSC Magnifica also starts a short programme of 7-night cruises in the autumn from Southampton, featuring an overnight stay in Amsterdam plus visits to Belgium, France and Hamburg.
More info: call 0844 561 1955 or visit www.msccruises.co.uk.
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