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Wednesday 15 March 2023

Italian family business shines at hospitality at sea

It is 10 years - almost to the day - since I was invited to join the launch cruise of the MSC Presziosa, an impressive tour of the Mediterranean from its base in Genoa. 

I was introduced to MSC "godmother" Sophia Loren and enjoyed several magical days on board the new luxury vessel. 

It was someone at MSC - perhaps current Australia/NZ chairperson CEO Lynne Clark - who suggested I should add a blog to my list of print and online outlets and write about my experience.

Thus it was that Gourmet on the Road was born. 

From small beginnings, GOTR has enjoyed over 3 million visits and has built a solid following of travel, wine and food lovers. 

It was a timely coincidence, then, that I spent today having lunch and exploring the MSC Magnifica when she docked in Hobart - the first Australian port on her current round the world voyage. 

The sun was shining and the ship dominated the low-rise Hobart skyline. 

For those not familiar with the name, MSC is a family-owned and -operated cruise line, founded by the Aponte family over 50 years ago. 

Today the business has over 150,000 employees and 22 cruise ships that sail all five continents and serve 250 destinations.

The MSC Group - with a strong sustainability message - will this year begin to launch six ultra-luxe vessels under the Explora brand as it continues to expand. 

My few hours on board today - with a delightful lunch (images above) - reminded me of what a good time I had a decade ago. MSC does hospitality well. 

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