MSC CRUISES LOOKING TO CONQUER NORTHERN EUROPE BY 2008 FOUR MSC CRUISES SHIPS TO ENJOY AN EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES Copenhagen, 19 May 2006 Today Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO for MSC Cruises, spoke at a press conference in Copenhagen. In the presence of official representatives from SAS – Scandinavian Airlines – set out MSC Cruises expansion programme for Northern Europe based on a strong relationship between both companies. Successful summer seasons have made MSC Cruises a leader in Northern Europe. Due to the continued interest by Italians and other Europeans for these cruises, MSC has doubled capacity this summer. Two ships MSC Lirica and MSC Rhapsody are offering new and exclusive itineraries. MSC Lirica and MSC Rhapsody are two ships that symbolise elegance and MSC Cruises style. ‘We believe in the success of our Northern Europe cruise programme and for this reason we have decided to concentrate in this part of the globe’ declared Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO for MSC Cruises. ‘In 2007 MSC Opera will also be positioned to sail in Northern Europe, whilst in 2008 we will have four ships here: MSC Melody, MSC Lirica, MSC Opera and MSC Poesia looking to carry a total of 126,000 passengers.’ This expansion programme represents extraordinary numbers: o The total number of Italian cruise passengers in Northern Europe increases from 8,500 in 2004 to 126,000 forecast for 2008; o The number of ports of call in Northern Europe will grow four times, from 12 in 2004 to 44 in 2008. For our partner SAS and the local tourist economy, this passenger throughput is indeed very significant: the number of airline tickets from Italy to Scandinavia for MSC passengers will increase from 1,020 in 2004 to a forecast of 17,000 for 2008. Thanks to the promotions carried out by MSC Cruises, even Scandinavians are booking more Mediterranean cruises. Numbers have increased by 144% from 2005 (4,900 cruising passengers) to 2008 (more than 12,000 cruise passengers). According to cruise research those joining cruises in Copenhagen spend an average of 120 euro per person, a total of 4.6 million euros. MSC Rhapsody will be positioned in Amsterdam from 20 May 2006 offering 7-night itineraries to the Norwegian Fjords plus a new route for the discovery of the Shetland Isles and the Scottish coastline. In June, she will also sail from Amsterdam to the North Cape. MSC Lirica, instead will be positioned in Copenhagen, where she will sail every week to the Norwegian Fjords and the Baltic Capitals. MSC Cruises is looking for market leadership on all fronts as it expands its fleet further. By 2009 there will be 12 ships in the fleet all offering excellent service, the key company’s success. MSC Cruises has a current fleet of eight ships: MSC Musica sailing from Venice on 01 July 2006 for the first time, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera, MSC Armonia, MSC Lirica, MSC Melody, MSC Rhapsody, MSC Monterey and offers itineraries in the Mediterranean all year round, in Northern Europe, Transatlantic, the Caribbean, South America and South Africa. The MSC Cruises fleet will increase to 12 ships when MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia, MSC Fantasia and MSC Serenata also join the fleet. MSC Cruises co-sponsors Alinghi in the 32nd America’s Cup, culminating in the final races in Valencia in June 2007 and also sponsor Series A – Rome, Fiorentina and Milan Football Clubs for the 2005-2006 championship.
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