Geneva, 5 March 2015 – As she is currently undertaking her hugely popular first 33-night Grand Voyage from Dubai to Perth (Australia), MSC Orchestra has arrived in Singapore, the sixth of 13 ports along her journey.

In honour of MSC Cruises’ maiden call at the Asian city state, a special event to showcase the MSC Cruises experience was held on stunning 2,550-guest MSC Orchestra in the presence of key media, travel agents, local officials, business leaders and VIPs.

Welcoming the visitors, MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said: “This is a historic moment in our company’s journey – the first time an MSC Cruises ship has called at the magnificent city of Singapore. In fact, all 13 ports of call on MSC Orchestra’s pioneering Grand Voyage are firsts for MSC Cruises.”

He added: “We are in Singapore to show how firmly we believe in the Asian market’s potential, which is only going to grow further in the foreseeable future.”
Leading the presentations at the event, MSC Cruises Executive Director for Emerging Markets, Antonio Paradiso, said: “MSC Cruises has grown 800% since 2004. In 2014, we carried 40,000 guests per day on our fleet of 12 ships, and with up to seven ultra-modern ships in two state-of-the-art prototypes coming online by 2022 we’ll double our current capacity. We used to carry 80,000 guests per year at the start and we’ll carry 80,000 guests a day at the end of our investment plan. This growth will unlock fresh opportunities, including new markets and regions, and untried itineraries.”

2014 saw MSC Cruises report another strong year and with the progressive return to service of the remaining ships undergoing the Renaissance programme, the company is expecting a 10% further growth this year. What’s more, in 2015, MSC Cruises is poised to become the undisputed leader in the Mediterranean, currently forecasting some 810,000 guests for the full year.

Paradiso added: “Asia is an already robust source market for our cruises around the world, and MSC Cruises is the cruise line of reference for thousands of Asians travellers who want to entrust their European adventures to the biggest privately-owned cruise company in the world.”

Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive, Business Development Group, Singapore Tourism Board, also lauded the move, and warmly welcomed MSC Orchestra to Singapore.

She said: “This development is testament to the potential of Southeast Asia, where Singapore serves as the regional cruise hub. Singapore’s strong air connectivity and seamless transport network augments cruise itineraries and enables more travellers to use Singapore to discover Southeast Asia.”

“Unknown to many, Southeast Asia is a cruising playground in its own right – with over 25,000 islands and diverse attractions ranging from cosmopolitan cities to pristine beaches and UNESCO Heritage sites. We are excited that travellers from all over the world will get to experience so much of Asia through MSC Orchestra.”
Antonio Paradiso concluded “We want to thank all those who took part in this event, and especially those who came a long way. We are sincerely grateful for the warm reception the city has given us.”

On 20 February, MSC Orchestra left Dubai for Mumbai, India, to embark on MSC Cruises’ inaugural Grand Voyage to Australia, covering 13 ports of call in eight countries across three continents. After Mumbai, MSC Orchestra call at Cochin before heading due south to Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 27 February.
She then headed to Phuket (Thailand), Langkawi (Malaysia) and Singapore for an overnight stay, before setting sail for Benoa, in Bali (Indonesia) on 8 March. Four sea days follow, on a heading for Cairns, Australia.

MSC Orchestra’s time Down Under covers maiden calls in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, before her final destination of Freemantle, the port serving Perth.

Singapore’s breathtaking skyline was the backdrop for this event held on MSC Orchestra. At the crossroads of many cultures, it allowed MSC guests to soak up the charms of this city-state where history and modernity exist side by side – a unique feature shared by MSC Cruises with its long seafaring traditions and commitment to modernity in every aspect of the guest experience.

While MSC Orchestra’s Grand Voyage marked the first time an MSC cruise ship has called in Asia. MSC Cruises has become the cruise line of reference for Asians wishing to visit the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

Note for editors
Please note that this event was attended by the following dignitaries:

Mr S. Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, the Republic of Singapore;
HE Mr Thomas Kupfer, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Republic of Singapore;
HE Mr Alfredo Alberto Aponte Spiegel, Ambassador of Panama to the Republic of Singapore
HE Mr Gianluca Rubagotti, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Embassy of Italy, the Republic of Singapore.

MSC Cruises, founded in its current form in 2004, in Geneva, operates one of the most modern cruise fleets in service anywhere. Its 12 state-of-the-art ships in three classes (Fantasia, Musica and Lirica class) offer unparalleled experiences during itineraries that cover some of the world’s most desirable destinations.
MSC Cruises will invest €5,1 billion to modernize four of its existing ships (Renaissance programme) and build up to seven ultra-modern ships in two state-of-the-art prototypes new ships between 2017 and 2022.