History

First record of the Aponte family’s involvement in maritime transport to and from Naples.

1675

First record of the Aponte family’s involvement in maritime transport to and from Naples.

The Aponte family records date back to the 17th century and testify to its long and unbroken activity in an area with ancient seafaring traditions - the Sorrento Peninsula. The first mention of them is from 1675 and concerns the felucca Giovannina, which for many years plied the routes between Naples and Castellamare on the one hand, and Calabria and Sicily on the other.

Gianluigi Aponte founds the Mediterranean Shipping Company with the purchase of single ship. MSC has since grown to become a world leader in global container shipping operating over 560 vessels.

1970

Gianluigi Aponte founds the Mediterranean Shipping Company with the purchase of single ship. MSC has since grown to become a world leader in global container shipping operating over 560 vessels.

MSC was founded by Gianluigi Aponte, a young Italian seaman and former bank teller who had the courage and foresight to purchase his first ship, Patricia, in 1970. He acquired an even bigger vessel in 1971, which he named after his wife, Rafaela, followed by the carrier, Ilse, in 1973. These three cargo ships represented the pioneering beginnings of MSC, which has since grown to become a world leader in global container shipping operating over 560 vessels.

MSC announces its entry into the cruise business, purchasing the iconic liner Monterey.

1988

MSC announces its entry into the cruise business, purchasing the iconic liner Monterey.

Following the purchase of the Monterey, MSC took over the Lauro cruise line structures in honour of Gianluigi Aponte’s mentor, the Italian shipping magnate Achille Lauro. When two more ships, Rhapsody and Melody, were added to the fleet, MSC Cruises was formally established as a subsidiary of the larger MSC Group.

Start of a €5.5 billion investment programme to build the world’s most modern cruise fleet.

2003

Start of a €5.5 billion investment programme to build the world’s most modern cruise fleet.

MSC Cruises boasts one of the most modern and dynamic fleets in the world, thanks to a massive €5.5 billion investment programme started in 2003. In just over a decade the company has built 4 beautiful ‘Lirica' class liners, followed by 4 majestic ‘Musica' class vessels and the 4 stunning flagships of the ‘Fantasia’ class. All of them feature MSC Cruises’ trademark blend of traditional elegance and innovative design.

MSC Cruises is the first cruise company in the world to be awarded the coveted ‘6 Golden Pearls’ for its outstanding standards in environmental protection, health and safety.

2008

MSC Cruises is the first cruise company in the world to be awarded the coveted ‘6 Golden Pearls’ for its outstanding standards in environmental protection, health and safety.

This unprecedented award was given by the international classification agency Bureau Veritas in recognition of the company’s compliance with the three highest international standards in the areas of environmental protection, health & safety and food safety. The company remains committed to safeguarding the marine environment and ensuring outstanding quality for its guests.

MSC Cruises launched an ambitious €5.1 billion investment plan that comprises the order of up to seven new ships and the Renaissance Programme to enlarge four existing ships of the MSC Cruises fleet.

2014

MSC Cruises launched an ambitious €5.1 billion investment plan that comprises the order of up to seven new ships and the Renaissance Programme to enlarge four existing ships of the MSC Cruises fleet.

MSC launched a new €5bn investment plan to build four revolutionary new ships, plus options for three more, with STX France and Fincantieri, in Italy. In addition, the Lirica class ships are being enlarged and renewed by Fincantieri under the €200m ”Renaissance Programme”, which will be completed by late 2015. These ships have a GT of 60,000 tonnes and carry nearly 2,000 travellers, except for MSC Armonia, which has already undergone the Renaissance work. MSC Armonia now has a GT of 65,600 tonnes and can carry more than 2,500 travellers.

This second phase investment plan is increased from €5.1 billion to €9 billion with the signing of a letter of intent to build a further four World class ships.

2016

This second phase investment plan is increased from €5.1 billion to €9 billion with the signing of a letter of intent to build a further four World class ships.

This second phase investment plan rose to €9 billion with the signing of a letter of intent to build a further four World class ships, each with next-generation LNG propulsion technology. Consequently, between 2017 and 2026 a total of up to 11 new, next-generation MSC Cruises ships will come into service. MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude, spanning an horizon of over ten years, from 2014 through 2026.

MSC Cruises consolidates its second fleet expansion plan with orders for two additional Seaside ships and a fifth Meraviglia vessel, bringing the total investment for the 2014-2026 period to €11.6 billion.

2017-2018

MSC Cruises consolidates its second fleet expansion plan with orders for two additional Seaside ships and a fifth Meraviglia vessel, bringing the total investment for the 2014-2026 period to €11.6 billion.

Due to be delivered in 2021 and 2023, the two Seaside EVO ships will present an evolution of the successful Seaside platform and have a capacity of 5,646 guests. The fifth Meraviglia ship, which will be delivered in 2023, will have capacity for 6,334 guests. Like the World class ships, she will be equipped with a new generation of LNG-powered engines that will strongly reduce her environmental footprint.

MSC Cruises’ fleet grows with the delivery of MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa. Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve welcomes its first guests

2019

MSC Cruises’ fleet grows with the delivery of MSC Bellissima and MSC Grandiosa. Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve welcomes its first guests

Two Meraviglia generation cruise ships are built in Saint-Nazaire, France and delivered to MSC Cruises, increasing the fleet’s size to 17 ships. Capable of accommodating up to 5,714 guests, MSC Bellissima enters service in March, offering West Mediterranean itineraries before being deployed to Dubai, United Arab Emirates in the autumn. With a capacity for 6,334 guests, her bigger sister MSC Grandiosa starts service in November, becoming the biggest ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet. She also starts operating in the West Mediterranean. Also in 2019, and after three years of intensive work, MSC Cruises’ private island destination in the Bahamas Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve welcomes its first guests in December. As part of a multi-faceted restoration strategy, MSC Cruises has transformed this former industrial sand excavation site into a stunning tropical destination, working with environmental engineers and other experts to revitalize the surrounding ocean beds, marine life and endangered coral. 1,500 tons of scrap metal were removed and throughout the clean-up process, a team of expert divers and marine biologists carefully removed individual hard coral colonies from debris on the ocean bed and relocated them to an approved location outside the construction area. Actions were taken to create a biodiverse and sustainable environment and more than 75,000 plants and shrubs were planted across the island.

MSC Cruises first major cruise line to restart thanks to its industry leading health and safety protocol. MSC Cruises publishes first Sustainability Report

2020

MSC Cruises first major cruise line to restart thanks to its industry leading health and safety protocol. MSC Cruises publishes first Sustainability Report

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and a temporary halt to the entire global cruise industry, MSC Cruises develops and implements a comprehensive Health and Sfety protocol that enables it to become the first major cruise line to restart operations in August in the Mediterranean with its flagship MSC Grandiosa. Having worked with internationally renowned health experts and in partnership with relevant international, national and local authorities, MSC Cruises’ new operational protocol has been designed to protect the health and safety of guests, crew and the coastal communities that MSC Cruises’ ships reach. In 2020 we have also published our first Sustainability Report. Built on MSC Cruises’ long-term sustainability ambitions, this report outlines our vision to continue our longstanding journey towards becoming an environmental leader in the global maritime sector and draws a pathway for us to embrace a sustainable future. The Report is structured around four key pillars: Planet, People, Place and Procurement. The Report also highlights key sustainability milestones achieved in the past year.