MSC Cruises and Port Everglades have entered into a two-year agreement for the use of both a berth and terminal at the port.

The agreement will serve as an interim agreement while a long-term agreement is worked out.

Broward County Mayor Lois Wexler and other senior port officials (including Port Director Phil Allen) met with key MSC Cruises executives to explore the potential of a long-term agreement, which is in development.

MSC Cruises is guaranteeing 135,000 passengers in the first year of the agreement and 160,000 passengers in its second year, said Carlos Buqueras, business development director for the port.

“We have consistently had an excellent relationship with Port Everglades and are looking forward to continuing that relationship well into the future as we anticipate expanding our presence in the North American market,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc.

“This also illustrates our continued commitment to Broward County, which serves as home base to our North American offices,” says Sasso.

“Port Everglades has a long history as the winter home for the cruise industry’s newest ships.  So it is fitting that we continue to develop a strong relationship with MSC, which has the most modern fleet in the industry, and is also one of the Port’s largest cargo customers,” says Port Everglades Director Phillip C. Allen.

In past year, two of the line’s “Lirica” class vessels had been operating from the port during the winter Caribbean season. This year, MSC Lirica will be joined by MSC Orchestra, one of the line’s newest “Musica” class vessels. During the winter 2009-10 season, the line is expected to have two “Musica” class ships – MSC Poesia and the brand new MSC Magnifica – sailing Caribbean itineraries.