Following news that MSC Cruises was expanding its fleet, with an order for three new Meraviglia class ships back in June, the ambitious cruise line has now announced its partnership with Miami-Dade County, by signing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of a new ‘CruiseTerminal AAA’ at PortMiami.
The deal also includes the agreement that MSC will receive extended preferential berthing rights at PortMiami, MSC’s North America home port, updating the extant arrangement to include Sundays, as well as Saturdays.
Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, commented: “The new agreement and expanded partnership with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County is another key step forward in the business growth of MSC Cruises, as we continue to strengthen our global footprint, with a strategic focus on North America.”
The new terminal, slated for completion by the end of October 2022, aims to provide ample moorings for the company’s incoming Meraviglia class vessels, each capable of carrying up to 7,000 guests. Indeed the class’s eponymous ship, the MSC Meraviglia, MSC’s largest ever ship, will begin operations, alongside the incumbent MSC Seaside as well as the MSC Divina and MSC Armonia (both set to arrive by the end of this year), as of November 2019.
“PortMiami is committed to providing a world-class experience to its guests and thanks to a long-standing collaborative relationship with Miami-Dade County we are thrilled that in less than 18 months MSC Cruises will have four ships sailing from the Port,” said Rick Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises USA.
“This will also allow us to make a significant additional contribution to the economy of Miami and the county in its role as the Capital of the Cruise World, especially thanks to the large percentage of international guests traveling to Miami and South Florida to embark and disembark from MSC Cruises ships calling PortMiami. We now look forward to further extending our partnership with the Port and working closely on the development of the new cruise terminal AAA.”
“Investing in PortMiami’s infrastructure positions Miami-Dade County as a global destination for visitors,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The construction of a new cruise terminal AAA with the capacity to berth an additional 7,000-passenger cruise ship represents thousands of jobs and increased opportunities for our community. We are grateful for MSC Cruises continued partnership.”
Roberto Fusaro, president of MSC Cruises USA added: “The construction of another cruise terminal is further testament of our commitment to the US travel partners and their guests, as it will allow us to continue to enhance our service, starting right from embarkation.”