London, United Kingdom 04 October 2021 - Following the UK cruise industry’s strong return this Summer thanks to Seacations proving a popular choice with holidaymakers, and due to ongoing demand from guests to cruise through Northern Europe, MSC Cruises announced today the introduction of a Northern Europe itinerary for this winter – the first time that the Company has offered a winter programme in the region. UK holidaymakers will have direct access to cosmopolitan cities, medieval culture and quaint villages right on their doorstep with weekly embarkation at Southampton’s brand-new Horizon Cruise terminal from November to April.
Starting from 14 November 2021, MSC Magnifica will offer 7-night cruises visiting five of Europe’s most popular cities – the Northern Pearls. The ship will call Hamburg, Germany; IJmuiden/Amsterdam,Netherlands; Zeebrugge for Bruges and Brussels,Belgium; Le Havre for Paris, France; Southampton for London,UK. With extended stays in port of up to 12 hours, guests can really make the most of their time ashore. Embarkation will be possible in each port, ensuring that there are plenty of convenient connections close for guests.
Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director of MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said “Following on from a full summer season with one of our newest ships, MSC Virtuosa, sailing in the UK, we are pleased to be able to bring another first to our British guests with a winter itinerary in Northern Europe. MSC Magnifica, a popular ship with our guests, will offer weekly embarkation in Southampton from the brand-new Horizon Terminal at ABP Southampton that opened this summer. This gives holidaymakers direct and convenient access to some of Europe’s best cities for a great winter cruise.”
Winter is one of the best times of year to visit Northern Europe - the cities are not as busy with tourists, the holiday season brings festive decorations and Christmas markets creating a magical atmosphere and many of the landscapes are transformed into winter wonderlands! This is also a unique opportunity to visit some of Europe’s capitals all in one trip.
Sales will open on Wednesday 6 October - to find out more and book visit www.msccruises.co.uk
The Northern Pearls
Hamburg, Germany, is renowned for its elegant boulevards, stately buildings, and emerald green parks and in November and December, you can enjoy one of the city’s 30 Christmas markets whilst sipping on mulled wine or nibbling roasted chestnuts! From Hamburg you can visit magnificent the Hanseatic city of Lubeck - a UNESCO World Heritage Site or Lüneburg's - the "City of White Gold" with its many richly decorated historical buildings and small, cobbled alleyways.
Amsterdam is the charming city made-up of picture-perfect canals and bridges with stunning 16th century architecture. Popular attractions include Anne Frank’s house, the Van Gogh Museum For food lovers, visit the famous town of Gouda – renowned worldwide for its delicious creamy cheese but also for stroopwafels – syrup waffles. Or for those looking to get out of the city, the visit the the windmill village of Zaanse Schans, where most of the houses are made of wood and sport the pretty green painted façades typical of the Zaan area. The village is home to traditional Dutch craft production, including a wooden shoe factory where you can see how the Dutch clogs are made.
Zeebrugge, Belgium is close to the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage city of Bruges, one of Europe’s best-preserved Medieval cities with quaint cobbled streets and tranquil canals. Indulge in traditionally Belgian treats such as waffles and chocolate, the world-famous beers and French fries – actually a truly Belgian creation – or shop for the beautiful local lace and tapestries. Or spend the day exploring Belgium’s capital city, Brussels where skyscrapers and hotels have modernized the skyline of this French and Flemish speaking city. Step back in time and wander around the "Grand Place", one of Europe's most beautiful squares. The extraordinary ensemble of baroque façades was built on the very spot where Brussels first inhabitants held their market in the 12th-century, the heart of the community in the Middle Ages.
From Le Havre, France guests can visit Rouen, historical capital of Normandy, or Honfleur, a tiny town known for its picturesque harbour and beautifully preserved old buildings with slate-covered frontages. A favourite motif of many painters, Honfleur is known to have particularly inspired Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet, Eugène Boudin and Johan Jongkind. Or visit Paris and soak up the charms of France’s romantic capital city and see the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde and many other world-famous landmarks.
The UK port of Southampton provides convenient access to a number of top tourist attractions in Southern England including the nearby historic cities of Winchester or Salisbury with their world-famous cathedrals Windsor Castle dating back to the 1tth Century or to the stone circle of Stonehenge, one of the most intriguing and ancient sites in the U.K. Situated on a vast plain, the site is truly impressive; shrouded in magic and mystery, many believe this sacred site emanates a special atmosphere. For those wishing to visit another capital city, spend the day in London, where you can visit Oxford Street, explore Hyde Park, check out Covent Garden market, immerse yourself in culture in one of the many museums or art galleries or simply enjoy a pint of ale and relax in a typical English pub.
To find out more about the Shore Excursion programme visit HERE.
About MSC Magnifica
MSC Magnifica will enable guests to travel in true comfort and style featuring an elegant design and relaxed refinement, with all the features that distinguish MSC Cruises ships, including high quality service, a varied choice of dining options including four restaurants and 11 bars, modern and comfortable cabins, as well as a wide range of entertainment and leisure activities including a swimming pool with a retractable roof, a sports centre, bowling, a high-tech gym and the MSC Aurea Spa. There is never a dull moment as the wide variety of entertainment offerings include a stylish casino, panoramic discotheque, 4D cinema and a 1,200-seater theatre with original theatre productions as well as live entertainment throughout the ship. And of course, the ship offers award-winning family facilities and activities with dedicated kids’ areas and clubs for all ages. To find out more about MSC Magnifica visit HERE.
Health and Safety
All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and guests aged from 2 years to 11 years old will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test or antigen taken within 48 hours of their cruise departure.
Non-Schengen guests will also be able to book these cruises and will need to be fully vaccinated as well as providing a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.
The ship will follow MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol with measures that include elevated sanitation on board, wearing of masks in indoor public areas, a fully-equipped medical centre, a contingency response plan agreed in collaboration with the authorities ashore as well as other key measures to protect the health and safety of the guests, crew and communities that the ship will visit. To find out more about the embarkation requirements and the health and safety measures visit HERE.