, 1er journal des professionnels du tourisme francophone

MSC Croisières is entering a new development phase

France: the primary European market for the Yacht Club cabins

The Italian cruising company finished the 2014 year with a total of 160,000 passengers in France, an increase of 6.5% compared to the previous year. And it is now looking forward to the five years to come.

Rédigé par Jean-Baptiste Héguy translated by Joséphine Foucher le Vendredi 13 Mars 2015

Miranda Ford, Marketing Director, and Erminio Eschena, General Director of France and Bénelux at MSC Croisières - Photo JBH
Miranda Ford, Marketing Director, and Erminio Eschena, General Director of France and Bénelux at MSC Croisières - Photo JBH
After years of expansion through important growth spurts, the company MSC Croisières slowed down a bit in 2014 with a growth of “only” 6.5% in its France figures, with 160,000 passengers.

“Knowing that we were in our consolidating year, this performance remains remarkable,” specifies Erminio Eschena, the glowing France CEO of the company.

“And it had been a few years that we’ve seen growths of around 30%.”

“The new factor is that the French market is not only important in terms of volume, but also in adding value. France is the primary European market for our Yacht Club cabins,” specifies Erminio Eschena.

Let’s remember that these cabins, found on only four of the fleet’s ships (Splendida, Divina, Preziosa, and Fantasia), are more spacious and set up in a privatized area of the ship, with access to a lounge and the assistance of a butler.

In 2014, a total of 3,000 French passengers have used these cabins.

More than 10,000 passengers reserved for the 2016-2017 season

For the current year, reservations are going very well and the company set the goal of hosting 170,000 passengers by the end of the year.

“More than ten thousand passengers have already reserved cruises for the 2016-2017 season, which is very positive and proves that the cruises have become completely normalized within France’s tourism sector,” explains Erminio Eschena.

“More than half of the passengers now reserve their cruise more than four months in advance,” specifies Miranda Ford, marketing director at MSC Croisières.

As for travel agencies, 72% of them use the new BtoB website, MSC Book, launched last September with the labeling process still under development.

208 sales outposts already hold the label “MSC Passport,” and will, for the first time, all meet on April 7th in Paris for a first convention.

Capacity of 3.4 million passengers by 2022

In April will also begin the building process of the first of the two new ships that MSC has ordered from the STX manufacturing plants in Saint Nazaire, with a capacity of 5,700 passengers. They are scheduled to be delivered in the first semester of 2017 and first semester of 2019, for an amount of 1.5 billion euros.

The building site is adding a second order of 2.1 billion euros for two other ships of 5,300 passengers, the construction will begin in June at Fincantieri, and should be delivered in November 2017 and May 2018.

This quadruple order, matched with two options at STX and one at Fincantieri, should enable MSC Croisières to have a total passenger capacity of 3.4 million passengers by 2022, meaning more than double its current capacity.

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