"We need to let more people know that MSC cruises is a solid alternative," said Pierfrancesco Vaga, CEO of MSC CRUISES. "We have played a minor role in the cruise market and have been a niche player. Our name has not been widely known. We intend to change all that," he added.

With an aggressive building program, MSC will not only expand, but will also have newer ships than its competition, with more outside cabins and more balconies, according to Vaga. He explained that the same scenario played out for MSC in the cargo sector 10 to 15 years ago. The company grew as fast in tonnage then as it plans to do in the cruise sector now. Today, the MSC cargo fleet counts 250 ships.

Vaga is talking planned growth, however, because MSC already has the infrastructure in place to support a larger fleet with its own sales offices in the main European markets as well as sales representatives in other European countries, while also building a larger organization in the North American market.