Latest News

Share this article

MSC reports Aussie cruiser spike, but will they ever see an Australian-based ship?

By its own admission, MSC Cruises needs to raise its profile in Australia, a market saturated with global cruise ships of all shapes and sizes and travellers eager to fill them.

By its own admission, MSC Cruises needs to raise its profile in Australia, a market saturated with global cruise ships of all shapes and sizes and travellers eager to fill them.

Not that its “lower” profile is doing it any harm.

In an update on all things MSC at the cruise line’s recent La Dolce Vita event in Sydney, the MSC Cruises reported that Australian demand for this northern hemisphere winter is up nearly 60 per cent year-on-year for its Mediterranean cruises – the company’s bread and butter (or olive oil, in this case). 

Imagine then what a higher profile Down Under would do for business. 

Specifically, MSC said Aussies are flocking to Croatia, Mykonos and Santorini, and Ancona (Italy) in the East Mediterranean, and in the West Mediterranean, week-long cruises to Italy, Malta, Spain and France.

But it’s not just the cruise line’s Mediterranean cruises that are performing well. 

The MSC Sales Team
The MSC Cruises sales team.

“Our Northern European guest numbers have grown by 27 per cent year-on-year, while in the Caribbean, guest numbers are up a whopping 76 per cent,” MSC Cruises Senior Sales Manager Greater Sydney Brigita Devries told guests at the event, held at Arturo’s Restaurant at the Woolly Bay Hotel.

Elsewhere, the cruise line continues to grow its presence in Asia and South America. 

Speaking to Karryon at the event, MSC Cruises Australasia Managing Director Lisa Teiotu told Karryon that cabins for the brand’s largest ship, MSC World Europa, were solidly “booked out”. 

Teiotu said that MSC’s first ‘World’ class ship, which officially debuted in 2022 and sails within the Mediterranean, was already the “best performing and highest yielding” ship in the fleet. 

She added that the cruise line was also welcoming many more younger travellers.

Australia and America

The Sydney event.
The Sydney event.

With its rising popularity among Aussies, it seems incongruous that the world’s third-biggest cruise line doesn’t have an Australian-based ship. One reason is its profile Down Under, Teiotu says. Once the brand is more visible locally, it could think more seriously about sailing here, which is still a long-term goal for the family-owned company. 

On the other hand, would local cruising help boost its profile?

Speaking to Karryon, MSC Cruises Marketing Manager ANZ Michelle Warren said the cruise line saw large spikes in interest in the brand when its World Cruises sailed into Australia. So it could be a bit like the chicken and the egg thing.

Meanwhile, as anticipation for MSC World America builds, Devries presented a sneak peek at some of the features of the cruise line’s newest World class ship, due to homeport in Miami from April 2025. Among these are an improved MSC Yacht Club, the first Greek Restaurant and the world’s only swing over the sea (think much higher than a normal swing, with better views). The vessel is also LNG-powered.

MSC Orchestra cruise ship docked in Sydney with Harbour Bridge in background.
The MSC Orchestra in Sydney (Image MSC Cruises).

“We are beyond excited for her launch next year and look forward to sharing this experience with Australian travellers and New Zealand travellers,” she said.

The cruise line’s Sydney event brought the Mediterranean vibe of MSC to Woolloomooloo, with guests wined and dined with Aperol spritzes, Crodino aperitifs, gelato and coffee carts, savoury watermelon and lobster rolls among other tasty treats. 

MSC recap

MSC Cruises recently announced that it would be sending nine ships to the Mediterranean to meet growing demand for the European summer. The ships will visit both iconic destinations and off-the-beaten-track destinations from May to October.

Earlier this year, MSC Cruises, together with Qatar Airways and Visit Qatar, hosted Australian and New Zealand travel trade on an Arabian Gulf famil. Read more about the trip here.