As a family owned-and-run cruise operator, family values lie firmly at the heart of the MSC holiday offering. MSC Cruises’ permanent ‘Kids Under 18 Cruise Free’ guarantee means that children are well catered for on the entire fleet, entertained with day-long activities and supervised in Kids Clubs. However, cruise passengers may not know that MSC offers a wide range of excursions that are specially designed for children too, which means that the whole family can enjoy quality time together, both on-board, and on shore.

MSC is delighted to announce a carefully compiled action-packed programme of shore excursions for summer 2011, sure to satisfy the whole family, together with two super new promotions on great family days out. All around the Mediterranean, from Genoa to Malaga, families travelling with MSC benefit from great value on child-friendly destinations designed to delight kids of all ages - and please parents, too.

In Palma, on the Spanish island of Majorca, families can plunge into fun at Marineland, a superb aqua park crammed with visitor attractions from world-class parrot houses to renowned seal and dolphin shows. The four-hour excursion includes plenty of free time in the Park, Aquarium or Tropical House, as well as at Marineland’s nearby beach and playground. This excursion runs throughout the summer from June until September inclusive.

Just along the same coast, in Magaluf, families with older children will have a hearty time at the swashbuckling pirates show, Pirates - The Ultimate Adventure. This long-running show of 26 years has entertained an audience of 3 million with exciting acrobatics, thrilling gymnastics and breathtaking choreography. The spectacle takes place on a galleon stage and tells the tale of Captain Morgan and his crew, depicting their battle to rule the seven seas. This evening excursion lasts 3.5 hours and includes a meal and Pirate Punch.

In Malta, the excellent Popeye Village truly caters to the whole family, with splash pools and playgrounds for youngsters and a Popeye movie set for older children. Popeye Village is located on Malta’s picturesque Anchor Bay and is the location of the 1980s film of the classic cartoon. A full day out (6 hours), Popeye Village offers animated Popeye themed shows combined with the attractions of a water park with boat rides, pools, water trampolines, private beach and restaurant.

Families cruising the Mediterranean with MSC and calling at Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily will not want to miss the Monreale Aquapark. This full day excursion (5 hours) offers something for the whole family in a 22,000 square metre watery wonderland. Children will love the selection of multi-slides whilst thrill-seeking teenagers will want to try the Great Ball, Kamikaze and Black Hole. Mums and dads seeking shade and sun can relax in the sun lounge areas and watch little ones splashing in pools where they will also find sun beds and shady parasols. Swim in the many pools or the lagoon, and continue the fun with group games, tournaments, aqua gym and Latin American dance. The facilities at Monreale Aquapark ensure this day out is perfect from start to finish, with its showers, coffee bars and ice cream stands.

MSC’s special excursion from Civitavecchia into Rome brings ancient history to life in a fantastic full-day outing with special 3D museum visit. Parents and children can enjoy an amazing journey through time as they experience a 3D tour of Imperial Rome in the Virtual Museum of Ancient Via Flaminia. Set along a bustling main street, a series of stunning special effects transports audiences to the underground chambers of the Coliseum, inside a Roman villa and into daily life of 310 AD. The excursion also includes a guided tour of the Coliseum and free time around the Vatican district for shopping, lunch and exploring.

In addition to these exceptional family days out, MSC is running special promotional deals in August for one of his popular homeports. In Genoa, for every adult visiting the Genoa Aquarium one child goes free. The Genoa Aquarium is a superb educational-entertainment facility and the second-largest aquarium in Europe. This vast complex is one of the most natural and environmentally friendly aquariums in the world, and everyone will enjoy the collections of multi-coloured tropical fish, sharks, natural corals, penguins and dolphins.