By Ingrid Fernandez
The cruise tourism industry is set to have a busy year in 2016, with the entry of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) cruiseline into the market, which called on Belize for the first time on New Year’s Eve.
The MSC Divina made its maiden voyage to Belize this week. The ship, based in Jamaica, arrived in Belizean waters at around 8:00 a.m. on December 31st.
The MSC Divina departed from Falmouth, Jamaica and cruised around Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Mexico before calling at the Port in Belize.
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is expecting to have a robust year, expecting over 300 cruise arrivals for the year and an additional cruise line coming to Belize.
The Divina is a state-of-the-art, extra large vessel – one of the largest ships in the MSC line, with a boarding capacity of 4,363 passengers and crew.
Built in May of 2012, the Divina, has many features to entertain its guests, including multiple sun decks, infinity pools, spas and numerous luxurious restaurants.
It also features unique entertaiment, such as a Formula-One simulator, a 4-D cinema, kids club and the exclusive MSC Yacht Club.
The MSC line was awarded “6 Golden Pearls”, which recognizes lines that maintain leveled environmental, health and safety awareness. MSC had an 800 percent growth rate from 2004-2014.
MSC sails throughout northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, Cuba and the Antilles, South America, South Africa, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman.