MOONACHIE, N.J. -- MSC Cruises tapped cruise industry veteran
Richard Sasso to head its North American operations.
Sasso, formerly president of Celebrity Cruises, confirmed he
accepted a position as president and CEO of MSC Cruises U.S.A.
Sasso told TravelWeekly.com that MSC "has been growing very
rapidly and building and buying new ships. There is a need to
create a North American presence to accommodate that kind of
growth. We'll be opening a larger operation in the U.S."
MSC Cruises is based in Naples, Italy. Its parent company is
Mediterranean Shipping Company, a privately owned line based in
Geneva, Switzerland, that operates 225 container vessels.
The line recently was awarded the European Vision, formerly
operated by Festival Cruises, in an auction in Barbados; Sasso said
MSC renamed the ship the Armonia. In March, the line placed orders
for two ships, which would bring the total number of passenger
ships in its fleet to seven.
The company will add a Florida base of operations to supplement
its current New Jersey office, Sasso said.