The Geneva group, leader in cruises in Europe, now wants to conquer the world’s oceans.
The mayor of Miami and the director of its famous port were in Geneva on Thursday, to sign a contract with the cruise division of the MSC group. Carlos Giménez and Gianluigi Aponte, founder and owner of the Geneva multinational, signed a non-binding agreement on the development by MSC Cruises of a gigantic terminal in this Florida port. Two giants of the seas – liners each capable of accommodating 7,000 passengers – from the private Geneva group must park there.
Ambitious investment plan
MSC Cruises thus crosses a key milestone in its phenomenal expansion. In 2003, the Aponte family, owners of the company, accelerated the development of their cruise division, which then had three ships. An investment plan of 5.5 billion euros to create ten boats is being implemented.
From 2003 to 2014, MSC Cruises grew from 72,000 passengers to 1.7 million. And becomes the main cruise line in Europe, and the fourth in the world, behind Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise.
In 2014, a new investment plan, at 9 billion euros, should enable it to triple the number of its passengers in 2026. Fourteen liners should come to strengthen its fleet in the next eight years. After having focused its development on the seas of the Old Continent, MSC Cruises is now targeting the oceans of the planet. Off South Africa, China, Latin America. Especially in Miami, the world’s main cruise port, gateway to the Caribbean.
A growing market
“Our industry suffers from a false image associated with“ The cruise has fun ”(editor’s note: a television series from the 80s). A cruise allows you to travel in safety and at a lower price, ”Pierfrancesco Vago recently indicated in our columns. The president of MSC Cruises noted that the cruise market is growing by 8% per year. In the United States, where the penetration rate is the highest, just 3% of people have taken a cruise in their lifetime. In Europe, we are at 2%.
MSC Cruises, whose offices are at avenue Eugène-Pittard (its parent company MSC is headquartered at chemin Rieu), also opened a major boutique in Zurich in November. In Switzerland, MSC employs 1,100 people, most of them in Geneva.
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