Who Owns MSC Cruises – Behind the World Cruise Line

Initially based in Naples, Italy, in 1989, MSC Cruises is now situated in Geneva, Switzerland. They’ve 19 cruise ships of their fleet and make use of about 30,000 individuals. These statistics make this firm one of the quickly rising international cruise manufacturers. We discover in depth who owns MSC Cruises and its historical past.

MSC Cruises gives luxurious lodging with a soothing and upscale expertise on board. It’s most recognized for its European hospitality. It attracts a barely youthful crowd, with the typical age being 45 years, whereas different cruise strains common those that are 46 years of age.

Till lately, MSC Cruises usually catered to Europeans, with most prospects coming from Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

MSC Cruises is an upscale cruise ship line designed to be a magnet for luxurious vacationers, with MSC Yacht Membership being on the prime of its fleet. The MSC Yacht Membership has a pool, personal lounge, restaurant, and solar areas. In addition they have a 24-hour butler with a devoted concierge.

In 2017, they expanded their fleet to create a location in North America. Beforehand, they solely had one vessel in North America. Nevertheless, they now have three MSC cruise ships which are primarily based out of United States ports.

They’re at present constructing MSC cruise ships which are massive and resort-like to cater to the North American crowd. They supply varied types of leisure starting from race automotive simulators to large waterparks.

Who Owns MSC Cruises?

Mediterranean Delivery Firm (MSC) is the proprietor of MSC Cruises. They’re the second-largest enterprise within the container transport {industry}. They’ve 570 container ships. Mediterranean Delivery Firm contains these divisions:

  • Mediterranean Delivery Firm – cargo transport
  • MSC Cruises – vacation cruises
  • Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) – ferries
  • Società Navigazione Alta Velocità (SNAV) – ferry operation
  • Terminal Funding Restricted – port operations
  • MSC Ship Administration Restricted – shoreside and onboard crew
  • MEDLOG – inland logistics

The Founder

Gianluigi Aponte is the one who owns MSC Cruises, alongside his household: spouse Rafaela, daughter Alexa, and son Diego. Aponte is an Italian billionaire and MSC’s proprietor, founder, and chairman. His household is concerned in essential roles all through the enterprise. 

Gianluigi and Rafaela Aponte have a web price of $13.2 billion, making them one of many wealthiest {couples} within the transport {industry}. They’re additionally recognized to be the 126th richest individuals on the earth.

Gianluigi Aponte (Picture: MSC)

Gianluigi was born June 27, 1940, and owned the Mediterranean Delivery Firm, which was the dad or mum firm of MSC Cruises. MSC operates 510 cargo ships. 

Gianluigi began out as a ship captain and entered the transport {industry} in 1970 together with his spouse alongside. Since then, MSC has grown to be the second-largest transport firm globally by vessel capability, solely barely behind AP Moller Maersk. 

When it comes to their cruise line, they rank fourth largest behind Carnival Company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and Royal Caribbean Group. Gianluigi retired from his place as CEO of MSC in 2014, turning into chairman. Diego, his son, took over the function from his father.

Is MSC Cruises Privately or Publicly Owned?

Different cruise strains are publicly traded and owned by shareholders. However, MSC Cruises is privately owned by the Aponte household and is likely one of the world’s largest privately owned cruise strains.

MSC Cruises in Miami
Picture Credit score: Solarisys / Shutterstock

For the reason that firm is privately owned, it doesn’t have inventory. Individuals can not purchase shares on this firm as they will with Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line. 

The present CEO of the enterprise is Gianni Onorato. Gianni Onorato has 30 years of expertise throughout the cruise ship {industry}, having beforehand been the president of Costa Cruises, and has held the place since 2013. 

Historical past of MSC Cruises

Regardless of MSC Cruises being based in 1989, the Aponte household was concerned within the transport {industry} a lot sooner than this. 

The primary recognized file of their involvement was in 1675, with transport going out and in of Naples, Italy. This operation included the ship felucca Giovannina, which went across the Sorrento Peninsula for a few years. 

The cargo division of the Mediterranean Delivery Firm started in 1970 when Gianluigi borrowed cash to purchase his first ship, the Patricia, then the Rafaela, and based the corporate. Gianluigi began the primary route between the Mediterranean and Somalia.

MSC Shipping
MSC Delivery (Picture Credit score: Mariusz Bugno / Shutterstock)

In 1989, MSC bought Lauro Strains and was renamed StarLauro Cruises with the 2 ships, Achille Lauro and Monterey. Achille Lauro initially based Lauro Strains in the course of the Sixties. It started working the MS Achille Lauro and MS Angelina Lauro. Mr. Lauro was a mentor to Aponte. This marked MSC’s first cruise line.

In 1979, Angelina Lauro sank at a pier in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. This occasion spiraled the corporate (then Lauro Strains) into monetary challenges. The fleet remained at two ships till Achille Lauro caught fireplace in December 1994. It sank off the coast of Somalia whereas it was headed to South Africa. The monetary difficulties allowed the corporate to be open to being bought by MSC.

Former Cruise Ship
Picture Credit score: beagle84 / Artistic Commons

In 1995, the cruise line once more modified names to MSC Cruises. That very same yr, they purchased the Cunard Princess, renaming it MSC Rhapsody. In addition they bought MSC Symphony. Melody joined the MSC Cruises fleet in 1997, bringing the corporate to 4 cruise ships.

Fifteen years later, the corporate invested 5.5 billion euros in constructing 12 new cruise ships to ascertain probably the most trendy fleet. In 2014, they once more invested 5.1 billion euros for seven new ships, together with the enlargement of 4 pre-existing vessels.

Two years later, they invested 3.9 billion euros for 4 world-class ships and paid 2.6 billion euros for an additional three vessels the next yr. This yr, MSC Cruises introduced it could create a further cruise terminal in Miami for these ships. It’s to be an growth of their North American program, which was initially slated for completion in 2022, however is now anticipated to be accomplished in December 2023.

MSC Cruises Miami Terminal
Render Courtesy: MSC Cruises

Later that very same yr, MSC unveiled that they had bought 4 luxurious ships that have been 64,000 gross tons. These cruise strains have been to be ultra-luxury vessels primarily based on the posh idea of MSC Yacht Membership. The primary of those ships will launch in the course of the spring of 2023.

The yr 2019 marked the start of a 100-year lease on an island known as Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. They opened their doorways that yr to obtain visitors and introduced the primary digital cruise assistant known as ZOE. Harman Worldwide created this synthetic intelligence machine, featured on MSC Grandiosa and MSC Bellissima. It’ll even be on future builds as soon as delivered.

After the pandemic in 2020, MSC Cruises was the primary massive cruise line to restart operations, because of their industry-leading protocols in well being and security. 

In January 2021, MSC introduced MSC Grandiosa would start a seven-night cruise and that MSC Magnifica would resume ten-night cruises in February. Each cruises have been within the Mediterranean and solely open to Schengen nations.

MSC Grandiosa in Barcelona, Spain
Picture Courtesy: MSC Cruises

In June, MSC said it was starting a luxurious model known as Explora Journeys together with 4 ships starting with Explora. In addition they unveiled the primary robotic bartender discovered at sea known as Rob. It appeared on the MSC Virtuosa

MSC Cruises is registered in Switzerland, with its headquarters in Geneva. It has operational workplaces in Venice, Genoa, and Naples. The corporate gives cruises on a world scale, catering to totally different nationalities. Subsequently, it has many languages spoken whereas visitors are on board. Bulletins are incessantly made in German, French, Spanish, Italian, and English. 

They’ve lately signed a deal spanning a number of years with Formulation 1 as an official cruise associate. They’re in the course of a major growth, constructing 4 mega-ships designed to weigh 200,000 tonnes. Every of those ships will carry 6,761 passengers.

Learn Additionally: MSC Cruises Ships by Measurement, Age and Class

MSC Cruises will construct one other class of huge ships that may arrive later this decade, together with a collection of smaller luxurious cruise strains working below separate divisions. The onboard leisure facilities round visuals like acrobats, dancers, or music. 

The place Are MSC Cruise Locations?

Whereas it sails in every single place globally, the MSC group is generally concentrated in Europe, the place it’s the largest cruise operator. Through the summer season, they deploy most ships in Northern Europe or the Mediterranean. Not too long ago, they’ve run two ships in Florida over the summer season months to the Caribbean islands and the Bahamas.

MSC Cruise Ships
Picture Credit score: Luciavonu / Shutterstock

Throughout winter, extra ships are added to the Bahamas and Caribbean routes. 4 ships can even be despatched to South America, though there are plans for a fifth. Vessels are additionally deployed to go to the Center East and South Africa.

Fascinating Details

Sophia Loren was requested if she was excited by being MSC Lirica’s godmother for its launch in 2003. Since then, she has christened each fleet vessel up till the MSC Virtuosa

Regrettably, due to the COVID pandemic, she didn’t christen the MSC World Europa and MSC Virtuosa, however Zoe Vago, Aponte’s granddaughter, did.


Who owns MSC Cruises? The cruise line continues to be proudly owned by the Aponte household, whose members of the family work in varied capacities throughout the enterprise. It has an fascinating historical past of success and regular progress, making it the fourth-largest cruise fleet on the earth.

MSC Cruises FAQ

When did MSC Cruises start?

MSC Cruises was established in 1988, beginning with the cruise ship Monterey. Beforehand, the cruise line was referred to as Lauro Strains.

Are MSC Cruises privately owned?

Sure, MSC Cruises is a privately owned firm primarily based in Geneva, Switzerland. The cruise line is a part of the Mediterranean Delivery Firm, based by Gianluigi Aponte.

Who owns MSC Cruises

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