Geneva, Switzerland, 3 December - MSC Cruises, the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and market leader in Europe, South America and the Gulf, revealed today that its upcoming 2019 World Cruise will feature an all-star cast of uniquely international chefs sure to make for an one-of-a-kind gourmet dining experience while on board. This includes current as well as former three-, two- and one-star Michelin chefs, chefs of the year, award-winning cookbook authors as well as recipients of other international culinary recognitions. 

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises CEO commented, “At MSC Cruises, we are passionate about delivering a high quality, international dining experience for our guests. The 2019 World Cruise top chef programme is taking this commitment to yet the next level. For us, an MSC Cruises holiday is not only about the discovery of new countries and cultures but also marrying that with an unforgettable experience while on board. By bringing together a uniquely international all-star cast of some of the world’s leading chefs to create these dedicated dining experiences, we will truly immerse our guests in the cultures and the flavours of many of the incredible destinations that they will visit along their journey on MSC Magnifica.”

Guests on board MSC Magnifica, on her epic 2019 World Cruise that will depart in just over a month’s time on 5th January 2019 from Genoa, Italy, will be in for a true gastronomic experience where they can enjoy the circumnavigation of the globe also through a uniquely international on-board dining. Bringing flavours and inspiration from their native countries and beyond, this impressive line-up of all-star chefs will create their own special dishes for MSC Cruises guests and will be on board for part of the cruise. The line-up includes chefs from every corner of the globe representing some of the world’s most popular cuisines, including: 

- Michelin-starred Spanish Chef Ramón Freixa 

- Decorated Indian-American Chef Vikas Khanna 

- Award-winning Italian Chef Carlo Cracco 

- Two-time World Champion in pastry, French Chef Jean-Philippe Maury 

- Restauranteur, cookbook author and Chef Roy Yamaguchi 

- Expert in all four schools of Chinese cooking, Chef Jereme Leung 

- Veteran chef and restauranteur, Brazilian Chef Allan Vila Espejo 

- MasterChef Colombia jury member Chef Jorge Rausch 

- And, Sydney Morning Herald’s “Chef of the Year”, French-Canadian Chef Serge Dansereau 

Each acclaimed chef will develop a three or four-course menu to be experienced and enjoyed by guests over the course of a single dedicated special evening, each reflecting the chef’s own particular skill and flair, while Pastry Chef Jean-Philippe Maury will prepare a special dessert. Most of the chefs will embark on board for a section of the cruise together with a select team to join the ship’s on-board chefs to work together in the preparation of their personalised creations. During these uniquely exclusive meals, the chefs will then be on hand to greet and interact with guests in person while they enjoy their delicious dishes. 

The next MSC World Cruise, in 2020

While the 2019 World Cruise is long sold out, for those who wish to join the ship for her next journey around the globe, there are still a few choice cabins available on the 2020 World Cruise departing 5 January 2020. Among the 43 destinations across 23 countries of the 2020 World Cruise are a whole host of brand new and exotic destinations including, among many others: 

• Ushuaia, Argentina – the most southern city in the world, this Argentinian fishing village offers stunning water scenery with often snow-topped mountains 

• Rapa Nui – Easter Island – famed globally for its unique collection of carved-stone figurines dating back to the 13th century 

• Darwin, Australia – located at the northern tip of the country, the region allows guest to experience the true Australia – beaches, lagoons, sports and local wildlife can all be experienced within close proximity 

• Valparaiso, Chile – famed for its small coloured houses on its coastal hills, guests can get a spectacular view out into the Pacific or explore the city, searching for its photo-worthy walls of art 

• Mumbai/Bombay, India – bustling city Mumbai (previously called Bombay) offers smells, tastes and sights around every corner 

• Salalah, Oman – multiple waterfalls, exotic lush flora and unusual animals make this stop hard to forget.

Details and dates of the 2019 World Cruise top chef programme: 

Barcelona, Spain - 8 January 

Spanish Michelin-starred Chef Ramón Freixa will extend his existing collaboration with MSC Cruises with a menu on the evening of 8th January, featuring delightful Duck Royale with cream of foie gras and other Mediterranean flavours, such as sautéed scallops and a white chocolate mousse with champagne jelly. 

At sea – 15 January 

The next chef to feature on board MSC Magnifica will be star Chef Allan Vila Espejo, from Brazil. Giving guests culinary insight into his rich culture, he will present his full signature four courses menu for the Brazilian-themed dinner on 15th January. 

Cartagena, Colombia - 24 January 

A MasterChef Colombia alum, Chef Jorge Rausch knows the ins and outs of what it takes to put together a masterful meal. Sharing his Colombian roots, Chef Rausch has designed a meal experience that will feature octopus and shrimp ceviche, white fish Boronia and his own spin on a local dish, Posta Negra Cartagenera tipo Rausch: braised pork rib cooked in tamarind and panela, with plantain and coconut rice. 

San Diego, U.S. – 5 February 

Considered by many to be one of the best pastry chefs in the world, French-born Chef Jean-Philippe Maury will embark in San Diego, home to his latest venture iDessert. The leading pastry chef and chocolatier will tempt guests’ taste buds with his dessert creation, unveiling a chocolate “CroustiChoc” that anyone with a sweet tooth will enjoy. 

Honolulu, Hawaii – 17 February 

Japanese-American Chef Roy Yamaguchi brings his signature Asian flavours to MSC Magnifica with a mouth-watering dedicated menu, including Misoyaki butter fish, lobster and shrimp char-sui fried rice, grilled teriyaki double pork chop with Hawaiian chimichurri sauce and a vanilla pannacotta with magnolia ice cream for dessert. 

At Sea – 20 March 

Renown Sydney-based Chef Serge Dansereau will join MSC Magnifica in mid-March, where he will entrance guests with an exclusive quintessentially Down Under menu of yellowfin tuna tartar, Lamb loin, potato gratin and a chocolate gateau with lemon curd and hazelnut crumble to finish. 

Singapore – 2 April 

Acclaimed Chinese Chef Jereme Leung has worked with MSC Cruises for the past three years and will once again delight our guests with a delicious menu to be remembered, featuring a three-course dining experience featuring an Asian medley of winter melon soup, Curry chicken and Cheng Teng dessert. 

Male, the Maldives - 10 April 

Indian sensation Chef Vikas Khanna joins the ship for the last leg of her journey, serving a flavour-filled menu inspired by his home country, including Carom fried fish with tamarind date chutney and kale salad, Mumbai coconut lemon and spinach soup and Masala chicken roulade with figs. To top it all off, a Saffron yogurt pudding with spiced, roasted apples and fennel biscotti. 

Finally, Italian Chef Carlo Cracco – another long-time MSC Cruises partner - will join the ship as the final chef in this incredible line-up, as she makes her way back to through the Mediterranean and returns to Italy. The details of the final, one-of-a-kind dining experience featuring Carlo Cracco will be announced separately in due course. 

Between each of these gustatory delights, MSC Cruises’ own star Corporate Chef Francesco Laforgia and Corporate Pastry Chef Bruno Zaza will delight guests with a unprecedented 237 different menus for the main restaurants, including thematic dishes that are linked to the itinerary of the ship and will also be served at the Sahara Buffet.