(PRESS RELEASE)_Fort Lauderdale, FL (September 12, 2019) — MSC Cruises — the world’s fastest growing and fourth largest cruise line — is continuing to expand its presence in the North American region with the introduction of Tampa as a new homeport for the Company. Starting Nov. 11, 2020, MSC Armonia will begin sailing from Tampa to the Caribbean, Mexico and The Bahamas year-round, with a full Winter season (Nov. 2020 – April 2021) of 4- to 5-night short cruises followed by a Summer season (May 2021-Nov. 2021) of week-long cruise options.
“As MSC Cruises expands its presence in the U.S., the introduction of Tampa as a homeport plays an important role in our long-term deployment strategy for this region,” said Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA. “We’ve seen increased demand for cruise options from Tampa as vacationers from around the world look to explore the city and surrounding areas pre- and post-cruise. We’re looking forward to bringing MSC Armonia, one of our more classic and charming ships, to Tampa and to introducing even more travelers to the MSC Cruises experience, inspired by our European heritage.”
“We are thrilled that MSC Cruises will be offering year-round cruises from Port Tampa Bay next year,” said Paul Anderson, President and CEO of Port Tampa Bay. “MSC Cruises offers an enriching and immersive cruise experience, bringing together people from around the world. Tampa is also known for the unique experiences the city offers its residents and visitors, appealing to a diverse mix of nationalities and cultures. We couldn’t be more excited for MSC Armonia’s new home to be Port Tampa Bay.”
ITINERARIES FROM TAMPA TO THE CARIBBEAN, MEXICO AND THE BAHAMAS
For the Winter 2020-2021 season, MSC Armonia will offer a variety of 4- and 5-night sailings, visiting destinations such as Key West; Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Progreso, Mexico; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises’ new private island destination in The Bahamas. With options for guests to book back-to-back cruises with new destinations on each sailing, travelers also have the ability to extend the length of their vacation with 9- or 10-night options. In addition, for those looking to get away during the holiday season, MSC Armonia will offer several 7-night cruise options in December 2020, including Christmas and New Years.
“With a range of itineraries, including short cruise options, MSC Armonia’s itineraries from Tampa are ideal for groups, including family reunions, meetings, incentives and corporate events, as well as charters,” said Muskat. “In addition, the four- and five-night options are a great opportunity for someone who has never cruised before to try cruising as a vacation option or if they are new to MSC Cruises to check out one of our ships for the first time.”
Sample 4- and 5-night itineraries, include:
· Jan. 10 – Jan. 14, 2021 (4-night): Tampa; Key West; Ocean Cay; At Sea; Tampa. Prices start at $239 per person.
· Jan. 14 – Jan. 19, 2021 (5-night): Tampa; At Sea; Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; At Sea; Tampa. Prices start at $299 per person.
· Jan. 19 – Jan. 24, 2021 (5-night): Tampa; Key West; At Sea; Progreso, Mexico; At Sea; Tampa. Prices start at $289 per person.
Following its inaugural season in Tampa, MSC Armonia will then transition to 7-night sailings from May through Nov. 2021, with stops at Key West; Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve; Cozumel, Mexico; and Progreso, Mexico. Prices start at $299 per person.
DESTINATION AND SHORE EXCURSION HIGHLIGHTS
A key highlight of MSC Armonia’s itinerary from Tampa will be Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, a new breathtaking private island destination in The Bahamas opening Nov. 2019, exclusively to MSC Cruises guests. With endless sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters and over two miles of pristine beachfront across eight white sandy beaches, Ocean Cay is the ideal getaway for guests to escape their busy daily lives and discover nature’s pure, untouched beauty. With MSC Armonia docking at Ocean Cay from early morning until late evening, guests will have plenty of time to soak up the spirit of The Bahamas and enjoy the day as they wish. Island experiences span a range of activities including shore excursions designed to discover the marine life close up, such as snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding, and kayaking; eco-friendly and luxurious spa treatments; shopping areas with authentic Bahamian arts and crafts by local artisans; and one of a kind night events such as traditional Junkanoo parades, lighthouse light shows, and beachside stargazing.
In addition, MSC Cruises is adding Progreso, Mexico to it’s itineraries for the first time, providing guests the opportunity to explore the near by Chichén-Itza or Uxmal, both Mayan archaeological sites and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, or visit the pink salt flats while flamingo spotting.
MSC Armonia and her new itineraries will also continue to feature MSC Cruises’ partnership with home and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart, including exclusive culinary and discovery experiences on board and ashore. Taking place in multiple destinations across the Caribbean, uniquely curated Martha Stewart & MSC Cruises Excursions allow guests to travel like a local as they discover hidden treasures of the destinations they’re visiting. Of note, brand new Martha Stewart and MSC Cruises Excursions are currently being curated in Key West, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, and Progreso, Mexico to complement the existing Martha Stewart excursions for these itineraries in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.
MSC ARMONIA HIGHLIGHTS
MSC Cruises’ signature European style is evident throughout the beautifully designed MSC Armonia, and with just under 2,000 guests (double occupancy), she is one of MSC Cruises’ most classic and charming ships. When she arrives in Tampa, she will recently have been refreshed after undergoing dry dock in November 2019. This follows the renovation and stretching of MSC Armonia in late 2014, when a variety of new onboard features were added to the ship including: a wide range of amenities and services for families, such as a brand new splash park for children; new, beautifully designed balcony staterooms with stunning panoramic sea views; redesigned restaurants and bars; new entertainment space; and an enlarged MSC Aurea Spa.
Ideal for Families
With a year-round Kids Sail Free offer (ages 17 and under) and multitude of staterooms that can accommodate third and fourth guests in one room, MSC Armonia is an ideal option for families looking to travel and explore together. On board, younger kids can enjoy dedicated areas and activities designed with LEGO group, as well as a splash park on the pool deck, while teen programs include dance competitions, a drone academy and new teen web series.
All Day Entertainment
Upon the ship’s arrival in Tampa, MSC Armonia will expand its entertainment offerings. A central location for day and evening activities will be the ship’s expansive pool deck — featuring one of the highest space-to-guest ratios at sea — with live themed music throughout the day, dance classes, and fun evening parties such as the White Party, Silent Disco, and Tropical Night pool parties. Guests will also be able to catch new evening shows in the theater with a different full-scale theatrical production every night.
Enhanced Dining Options
Across the fleet, MSC Cruises provides guests with authentic cuisine from around the world, and the dining experience on board MSC Armonia is no exception. Each night in the main dining room, on top of American favorites, guests have the option of selecting a signature dish from the “Chef’s Mediterranean Selection,” featuring popular dishes inspired by different countries such as Spain, Greece, France, and Portugal. Guests looking for something extra special can opt to dine in the intimate “Surf & Turf” specialty restaurant offering the best of land and sea. New offerings from Tampa will include an all day breakfast station, serving guests’ favorite morning foods; a daily happy hour in the ship’s popular Lions Pub; and a fun sailaway deck party from Tampa.
MSC ARMONIA MIAMI ITINERARIES – SEPT. 2019 – NOV. 2020
For those looking to get on board the charming MSC Armonia before Nov. 2020, the ship will continue to sail attractive 7-night itineraries – as she’s done since arriving in Miami in Dec. 2018 – for the next year from Miami to the Caribbean. Travelers can view itineraries and great deals at: https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Cruise-Deals/Cruise-From/Miami-Florida.aspx.
For more information and to book a MSC Armonia cruise departing from Tampa, contact a preferred travel advisor or visit www.msccruises.com.
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