Skip to content

Fast-growing MSC Cruises sails into the New York market, heats up competition

March 8 2022
5 min read
Fast-growing MSC Cruises sails into the New York market, heats up competition
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Get ready for a major new option when it comes to cruises from New York City.

On Tuesday, fast-growing MSC Cruises announced it would begin year-round sailings from the Big Apple in 2023 — a move that will put it head-to-head with Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line in the market.

The world's third-largest cruise brand said it would move a single ship, the 4,500-passenger MSC Meraviglia, from Port Canaveral, Florida, to New York City in April 2023 to operate a range of six- to 11-night voyages to the Caribbean, Bermuda, New England and Canada.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

For more cruise news, guides and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter.

It'll be the first time the 19-ship brand has sailed from New York City.

The new sailings will open for bookings on Wednesday.

The announcement marks a significant milestone for MSC Cruises, a Europe-based brand that, until now, has only offered sailings in North America out of Miami and Port Canaveral.

"New York City was the natural choice when we picked our next U.S. port because it’s so accessible, whether the guest is coming from somewhere nearby or from around the world," MSC Cruises USA president Rubén Rodríguez said in a statement.

Related: New York is home to one of the world's biggest cruise ships

MSC Cruises USA is the U.S. division of MSC Cruises, which is based in Switzerland.

The MSC Meraviglia is home to a large water park. (Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises)

As part of Tuesday's announcement, MSC Cruises said MSC Meraviglia would operate:

  • Seven- and eight-night voyages to the Bahamian port of Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the line's private island in the Bahamas.
  • Six-night trips to Bermuda that feature three days docked at King’s Wharf.
  • Ten and 11-night sailings to New England and Canada that bring calls at Boston; Portland, Maine; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick. The 11-night itinerary also includes a stop at Newport, Rhode Island.

MSC Cruises will join Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line in basing ships in the New York area year-round for sailings to the above regions. Other lines that sail regularly out of New York-area ports on a seasonal basis include Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises. Cunard Line also has a major presence in New York City with regular transatlantic sailings from New York to the U.K. out of a port in Brooklyn.

The announcement comes amid a flurry of expansion at MSC Cruises, which has been growing faster than any other major line in recent years. The line has added seven new vessels since 2017 and has two new ships joining its fleet this year.

While it's well known to Europeans, MSC Cruises has far less name recognition among Americans than such big, U.S.-based lines as Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line. However, the line has been moving aggressively to change that.

Related: The 7 most anticipated new ships of 2022

As part of its expansion, MSC Cruises has been rapidly building its footprint in North America in an effort to woo more Americans. In 2017, MSC Cruises only had a single vessel based in North America. It now has two vessels based in Miami and one more sailing out of Port Canaveral.

All of the North America-based ships are marketed heavily to Americans.

Founded in 1989 in Naples, Italy, and now based in Switzerland, MSC Cruises in recent years has been building big, resort-like vessels that compete with the biggest ships from the likes of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. It currently operates five of the 20 biggest cruise ships in the world.

The line is also in the midst of building the largest cruise terminal in North America, at PortMiami. It'll be able to accommodate three of the line’s largest ships at once.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured photo by Havas Production
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees