Cruise line MSC Cruises has announced that it will return to the UK in 2018 with the ship Magnifica sailing its first full-season ex-UK programme.

The ship, which launched in 2009, will make Southampton its home for eight months from April until November.

There will be five new itineraries out of Southampton including a 14-day sailing calling at Le Havre, La Coruna, Leixoes, Lisbon, Malaga then Amsterdam and Hamburg.

Groups will also be able to take a North Sea sailing that will travel to Stavanger, Bergen, Olden and Alesund in Norway, or a round-UK sailing calling at Southampton, Newcastle, South Queensferry in Edinburgh and Invergordon.

Around the world in 119 days

MSC Cruises has also revealed that it will operate its first world cruise in January 2019.

The 119-day itinerary will visit 32 countries with 49 ports of call with some destinations including Panama, San Francisco, Melbourne and Petra in Jordan.

There will be a reduced number of days at sea on board this cruise; during the 119 days there will be no more than five consecutive days of sailing.

MSC Cruises UK managing director Antonio Paradiso said: “We are coming back to the UK with our ship Magnifica for a whole season, it is a big comeback for us and we are very excited.

“It marks a new dedication from MSC to the UK market and how we want to be one of the most popular cruise lines in the country. We have created itineraries that make the most of the British Isles and the best of what our customers can experience out of their own country.”

Group travel organisers will able to book onto the ex-UK Magnifica sailings from early 2017.

For further group travel information visit