He began his career as a Second Officer with Costa Cruises, subsequently moving to MSC’s Cargo Division, where he worked as a Ship Superintendent from 1979 to 1988. Building on this consolidated experience, Mario joined Ecolmare as a Staff Captain and Ship Supervisor in 1989 before returning to MSC Cargo with the rank of Captain in 2000. Following eight seasons as a captain in the cargo fleet, he gained his first command of a passenger ship as Captain of MSC Lirica in 2004. Now in his fifteenth sailing period as a captain of MSC Cruises ships, Captain Stiffa has commanded ships in every class in the MSC Cruises fleet.
17 years service with MSC Cruises, 8 years experience as Captain