Who owns MSC Cruises?

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Most cruise lines are owned by large parent companies. If you find it tricky to keep track of which company owns which cruise line, you’re not alone!

MSC Cruises ship
MSC Seaside in Nassau

The world’s largest cruise company is Carnival Corporation. It owns nine brands including P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Cunard. Then, we have Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd which owns not only Royal Caribbean International but five more brands including Celebrity Cruises and Azamara.

But what about MSC Cruises? Who owns MSC Cruises, and what other cruise brands do they own? Read on for some more info about the company behind the MSC Cruises brand.

What is MSC Cruises?

MSC Cruises is a global cruise line based in Geneva, Switzerland. It was founded in Naples, Italy in 1989 and today employs over 30,000 people, making it the fastest-growing global cruise brand.

MSC Cruises is part of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) – the world’s second-largest container shipping operator with 570 container ships.

The MSC Group has the following divisions:

Who is MSC Cruises owned by?

MSC Cruises is owned by Italian billionaire Gianluigi Aponte and his family, including wife Rafaela, son Diego and daughter Alexa.

Gianluigi Aponte
Photo credit: Rcdsouza19CC BY-SA 4.0

With a net worth of around $8 billion, the Aponte family are some of the richest people in the shipping industry. [Source]

Is MSC Cruises privately owned?

MSC Cruises is the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company. While other cruise lines are publicly traded and owned by shareholders, MSC Cruises is privately owned by the Aponte family.

What does ‘MSC’ stand for in MSC Cruises?

The ‘MSC’ in MSC Cruises stands for Mediterranean Shipping Company. This is because the MSC Cruises brand is part of the same shipping company that transports cargo around the world.

Shipping containers in Southampton

MSC Cruises History Timeline

MSC Cruises was founded in 1988. However, the Aponte family’s involvement in the shipping industry dates back much further.

  • 1675 First record of the Aponte family’s involvement in shipping to and from Naples
  • 1970 – Gianluigi Aponte purchases a single ship and founds the Mediterranean Shipping Company
  • 1988 – MSC enters the cruise business with the purchase of the first cruise ship, Monterey
  • 2003 – MSC Cruises invests €5.5 billion on12 new ships to build the world’s most modern fleet of cruise ships
  • 2014 – MSC Cruises invests €5.1 billion on seven new cruise ships and the enlargement of four existing ships
  • 2016 – A further €3.9 billion is invested to build four World-class ships
  • 2017 – A further €2.6 billion is invested to build three more ships
  • 2019 – MSC Cruises’ private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, welcomes its first guests
  • 2020 – MSC Cruises is the first major cruise line to restart thanks to its industry-leading health and safety protocol

MSC Cruises FAQs

When was MSC Cruises established?

MSC Cruises was established in 1988 as a subsidiary of the larger MSC Group.

Does Royal Caribbean own MSC?

Royal Caribbean does not own MSC Cruises. While the Royal Caribbean Group owns several brands such as Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises, MSC Cruises is privately owned by an Italian family.

Is MSC owned by Carnival?

Carnival does not own MSC Cruises. While The Carnival Corporation owns several brands such as Princess Cruises and Holland Americal Line, MSC Cruises is privately owned by an Italian family.

What county is MSC Cruises from?

MSC Cruises is an Italian cruise line and was founded in Naples, Italy. The owners, the Aponte family, are Italian.

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