EUROPE. MSC Cruises is set to launch its new flagship, MSC Bellissima, with the largest shopping area in the fleet at 750sq m. The company has revealed fresh details of the retail offer onboard (early details were released last year), which will house a range of luxury brands and high street names.
The experiential retail space will feature three additional shops – for a total of 13 – with over 200 brands represented. It will feature an enhanced beauty offer, including Guerlain and a comprehensive Dior selection.
In the three luxury watch and jewellery boutiques on board, brands include Bvlgari, Damiani and Chopard, as well as Omega, Longines and Tag Heuer. Other brands include Furla and Coccinelle, Armani Exchange, Lacoste and Calvin Klein.
For the first time on board an MSC Cruises ship, MSC Bellissima will include a technology shop, with brands such as Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Apple, Samsung and more.
MSC Cruises said it is also the only in-house operator of sunglasses retail onboard cruise ships, offering a broad selection of sunglasses brands aboard MSC Bellissima, which aims to cater to the tastes of 150-plus nationalities on the ship.
Some brands will offer exclusives onboard, among them Swarovski with its Statement Collection or its partnership with chocolatier Jean-Philippe Maury, while Mandarina Duck carries a limited range of 300 items.
For children, partner brands Lego and Chicco each offer exclusive MSC Cruises ship toys, while Danish jewellery brand Trollbeads offers the new MSC Tattoo bead, featuring a sterling silver ship sailing through the MSC Cruises wind rose. British jewellery brand Infinity & Co also offers exclusive captain’s wheel charms created exclusively for MSC.
MSC Cruises Head of Retail Adrian Pittaway said: “The beauty of cruise travel is that guests have time on their hands while the ship is at sea unlike other travel retail touchpoints. We are continuously looking to further enrich the onboard experience so when it comes to retail we want to offer more than just a classic shopping plaza with souvenirs and essentials. We are seeking to take shopping at sea to the next level with an experiential approach and combining shopping with entertainment. We work hand in hand with our partner brands to find ways to tailor their products to the setting of the cruise.”
One of the key features of MSC Bellissima will be the 96m Mediterranean-style promenade. Designed as the social hub of the ship, with an 80m LED dome, it will combine retail and entertainment activities.
A notable element is the 1960s-themed Flower Glory party, developed with partner Ray-Ban, where guests can shop and party together, win exclusive t-shirts or purchase limited edition sunglasses.
The programme onboard will also feature nightly retail events, including competitions, offers, fashion shows and lucky draws.
Pittaway added: “With each new ship we look at how to enhance the retail space. As an international company that welcomes more than 170 nationalities on board, we need to ensure that what we offer can be tailored to the needs of our guests depending on where the ship is positioned.”
With plans for the ship to head to Asia in spring 2020, the retail offering will be tailored to cater to the shopping preferences of Asian guests. Available modifications include the ability to swap out language, service and style, including changing the purpose of certain areas. The range of luxury and beauty products will feature brands that resonate with an Asian market, with a particular focus on beauty and luxury, said MSC Cruises.