MSC Cruises passenger numbers almost doubled in 2023

MSC Cruises passenger numbers almost doubled in 2023

Cruise line's 22 ships carried more than 4 million passengers last year

MSC Cruises saw passenger numbers almost double year-on-year to more than four million across its fleet of 22 ships in 2023.

The level increased from 2.1 million the previous year when 21 ships were in operation, new data shows.

The line attributed the rise to a low base in 2022 as the industry was still recovering after Covid, as well as the addition of new capacity and improved occupancy for the existing fleet.

Ship operating days increased from 5,863 to 7,669 over the 12 months.

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The cruise company's luxury arm Explora Journeys carried 8,180 passengers on one ship between its launch in July 2023 and the end of the year.    

In total, across both brands, the group hired 18,866 new crew to bring the ship-based workforce up to 47,303, representing 138 different nationalities.

A new package of crew initiatives was introduced in 2023 with increased salaries, improved staff rotation and more training as the company sailed 385 itineraries to 102 countries and offered 2,150 shore excursions.

The details are outlined in the group’s 2023 sustainability report, which shows a target of increasing shore power plug-in from 44 at eight ports in Norway, Germany, UK and Malta to 220 connections by the end of the year as several new ports introduce the capability.

MSC Euribia (pictured) entered service as the company’s second vessel powered by liquified natural gas (LNG). Fossil LNG offers immediate GHG [greenhouse gas] emission reductions compared to conventional marine fuels and a direct pathway to renewable alternatives like bio-LNG and synthetic renewable LNG.

A third LNG-powered ship, MSC World America, is to join the fleet next year followed by two others in 2026 and 2027. Four Explora ships powered by LNG are set to enter service by 2028.


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