On 2nd September MSC Cruises announced that it will launch year-round cruises for the Chinese market, with the MSC Lirica home porting in Shanghai starting May 2016. MSC has entered into a unique two-year partnership with the CAISSA Touristic group, a major tour operator in China.
The MSC Lirica entered Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard on 1st September to take her place in the €200 million renaissance programme to lengthen and remodel the ship. The end result will include a strong Chinese theme to reflect her deployment. More than 30% of the crew will be Mandarin speaking and the 2,000-passenger (double occupancy) ship will be trading from Shanghai’s WusongKou International Cruise Terminal.
The MSC Lirica is scheduled to reach her new homeport on 1st May, after a 60-day grand voyage from Rio de Janeiro via Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa and Dubai.