ABOVE: MSC Magnifica cruises up Venice's Giudecca Canal on its way to Istanbul.
This year, MSC Crociere is again running 7-night roundtrip cruises from Venice every Saturday from late March through the end of October. Ports of call will include Bari (Italy), Katakolon (Greece), Izmir and Istanbul (Turkey), and Dubrovnik (Croatia).
We took MSC's Eastern Mediterranean cruise in October, 2009, and you can read about our experience in our MSC Poesia cruise review at Europe for Cruisers. The cruise review is accompanied by 241 pages of captioned photos, including several dozen photos of MSC Poesia's Venice departure and its Venice arrival a week later.
MSC is an Italian cruise line that caters to a multinational, multilingual, multigenerational audience. On our voyage, there were five official languages, and we never knew if the passengers approaching us in the halls would say "Buon giorno," "Bonjour," "Buenas dias," "Guten Tag," or "Good morning." It was a fun experience, and we recommend MSC to anyone who wants to enjoy a European ambiance 24/7, not just when the ship is in port.
Note: In 2010, a brand-new ship--MSC Magnifica--has entered service on the Eastern Mediterranean route. The ship is from the same class as the 3,000-passenger MSC Poesia, so we'd expect this year's cruise experience to be much the same as ours was.
Updated with a new video in April, 2010.