MSC Cruises

Owned by one of the world’s biggest shipping families, this traditional Italian outfit boasts a modern, high-tech fleet. The ships all feature a chic European style, with good standard cuisine and imaginative alternative dining. The newest mega-ships – Divina, Fantasia, Preziosa and Splendida – have ship-within-a-ship Yacht Clubs with luxury accommodation in a gated community, with butlers and exclusive restaurants and bars. Four ships, starting with Armonia, are being stretched to provide extra cabins, new restaurants, and improved entertainment and kids’ club facilities.

MSC no longer has ships sailing from the UK, but operates in the Mediterranean and to the Canaries year-round, with northern Europe every summer and in the Caribbean, South Africa and South America in winter – leading to some good-value repositioning voyages. Kids sail free. Gratuities not included.