Rick Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises USA has a lot to tell us about the way cruise lines are expanding travelers’ perspectives on international destinations.
Chairman, MSC Cruises USA
What are some of the most popular destinations you have seen trending in cruises?
As a global cruise line, MSC Cruises keeps a close eye on international travel trends — where people are going, from where, when and why. Recently, we’ve seen the Mediterranean take off as one of our most popular cruise destinations for North American travelers, with ports in Marseille, Barcelona, Mallorca, Naples, Mykonos and Santorini to name a few. These are familiar seas for MSC Cruises, whose deep Mediterranean roots are evident in each of its ships and on each of its sailings. This heritage is something that our guests notice as soon as they step on board. This is evidenced by our international clientele, elegant décor, authentic cuisines and elevated onboard entertainment.
Our guests are also interested in unique destinations and experiences, and we’ve been working to develop itineraries that bring travelers to some of the most beautiful, exclusive destinations in the world. Recently, we launched the Sir Bani Yas Island beach oasis on our Abu Dhabi and Dubai itineraries. Next year, we will debut Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas — a private island destination that will be a flourishing marine reserve with uninterrupted 360-degree ocean views.
How is the cruise line industry working to provide their passengers with a truly international cultural experience?
We travel to experience new cultures, meet new people and expand our horizons. As a company with European roots, MSC Cruises makes every effort to create an international atmosphere with local flavor from around the world. You can taste it in our internationally inspired cuisine crafted by world-class chefs, including Chef Roy Yamaguchi on MSC Seaside and Spanish chef Ramón Freixa on MSC Seaview. It can be heard in our locally inspired onboard entertainment, like the authentic Cuban band on our Miami-Cuba cruises on MSC Armonia. Or it can be experienced in our on-shore immersive excursions, like the Grand Tour of Rome available on MSC Meraviglia.
MSC Cruises attracts a wide variety of people from different backgrounds, cultures and regions of the world, offering guests the unique opportunity to meet and interact with people of all nationalities and creeds.