In a move to enhance its winter season offerings, MSC Cruises announced a brand-new itinerary for MSC Opera, focusing on the picturesque Canary Islands and Madeira, Spain. 

MSC Cruises has announced its plans to position MSC Operain the Canary Islands for the winter 2024-25 season, opening sales for a 7-night itinerary that connects travelers with the Spanish islands nestled off the coast of the coast of Africa.

Running from November 3, 2024, until March 16, 2025, the cruise will navigate between six iconic ports of call, starting and concluding in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife.

“As the Canary Islands and Madeira are a popular warm-weather destination in the winter months, the new programme is easily accessible with regular international flights to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Madeira, and Lanzorote,” MSC Cruises detailed on its website.

The new itinerary comes as a strategic replacement for MSC Opera’s previously planned Red Sea winter 2024-25 sailings, which were cancelled due to the geopolitical turmoil currently taking place in the region.

MSC Opera, a Lirica-class vessel weighing just over 59,000 gross tons and capable of hosting nearly 2,700 passengers, will depart from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the vibrant capital of Tenerife and one of the archipelago’s two capitals, on its new winter route through the Canary Islands.

Here, passengers can explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of La Laguna, a 15th-century town with a well-preserved grid pattern of streets that influenced the layout of cities like Old Havana, and ascend Spain’s highest mountain, Teide Peak, in Teide National Park.

MSC Opera Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: CeltStudio)

MSC Cruises will also take passengers to other notable destinations, including Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria. The city offers a chance to explore the golden sands of Las Canteras beach, delve into history at Casa de Colón museum, and wander the charming streets of the Vegueta historical quarter.

Next, the cruise will sail to Puerto del Rosario in Fuerteventura, showcasing its artistic streets, lively harbor, and pristine beaches, before making its way to Santa Cruz de la Palma, the capital of La Palma. Passengers here can visit the El Salvador Church and venture into the Caldera de Taburiente National Park.

An additional highlight includes a call to Arrecife, Lanzarote’s vibrant capital known for its volcanic landscapes and cultural heritage.

The itinerary is further enhanced by a stop in Madeira, Spain, where passengers can explore botanical gardens, take a cable car to the hilltop town of Monte, and descend back to the port via the Monte Toboggans.

While MSC Cruises is now taking bookings, the full schedule and online booking system are not yet published on MSC Cruises’ website as of press time.

The unveiling of MSC Cruises’ new itinerary to the Canary Islands represents a redirection necessitated by the unforeseen cancellation of MSC Opera’s voyages through the Red Sea. This crucial maritime corridor, bridging the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal, has recently been at the epicenter of escalating geopolitical tensions.

Read Also: MSC Cruises Ships by Size, Age and Class

The region has witnessed a significant uptick in hostiles, largely attributed to activities by Houthi rebels employing armed drones and sea mines to disrupt maritime traffic. Although primarily targeting oil tankers and cargo ships, these disruptions have raised safety concerns for passenger cruises, forcing MSC Cruises and other cruise lines to seek safer waters.

By rerouting MSC Opera to the Canary Islands, MSC Cruises ensures a secure travel experience for passengers.

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