Following the inauguration ceremony in Shanghai, MSC Silvia will join the Empire service between the Far East and US East Coast ports.
Built at the Hudong shipyard, in China, the new ship sails under the Panama flag.
As a family-owned group with a strong culture of maritime traditions, MSC’s new container vessels usually bear the names of relatives of MSC Group founder and Executive Chairman, Gianluigi Aponte, or those of the wives, mothers or daughters of MSC employees.
This latest container ship, which follows the deliveries of four 19,224-TEU Oscar class ships already this year, demonstrates MSC’s unstinting commitment to customer service. And it is further evidence of the MSC Group’s increased focus on China, following the September announcement by MSC Cruises of a new strategic partnership with China’s leading outbound tourism service provider, CAISSA Touristic.
Under the partnership, MSC Lirica will homeport in Shanghai from May 2016, marking the first ever deployment of an MSC Cruises ship in Chinese waters.
MSC Cruises, already Europe’s number one cruise line, has been present in mainland China since 2010, working in partnership with the Shanghai International Port Group to bring Chinese cruise travellers to Europe. But this latest advancement signals an assertive new push into the booming Chinese cruise market and the further expansion of MSC Cruises’ growing global footprint.