MSC sets out plans to triple UK passengers
MSC Cruises has set out ambitious plans to grow the number of UK passengers it serves.
According to chief executive Giles Hawke, the company reckons it can attract 200,000 Britons per year by 2017 - up from 60,000 today and an almost threefold increase.
Mr Hawke made these comments in an interview with Travel Weekly, mentioning a raft of new marketing initiatives intended to support the campaign.
MSC, which mostly serves the Mediterranean cruise market and recently announced it will add a further four ships to its fleet, also plans to charter three flights per week from Heathrow to ferry Britons into Italian ports.
Two of the planes will fly to Genoa, with the other landing in Venice.
In time, though, MSC wants to reintroduce Mediterranean cruises that actually depart from the UK itself, potentially by launching a Fantasia-class ship in 2016.