Geneva, Switzerland (May 7, 2019) – MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe, South America, South Africa and the Gulf, today announced a further extension of the highly successful partnership with two Michelin-starred Spanish chef Ramón Freixa with the opening of an additional two HOLA! Tapas Bar restaurants on board MSC Meraviglia from May and MSC Grandiosa when the new ship launches later this year.
Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises commented: “We have a number of criteria for finding the right chefs to partner with. Firstly, we look for a chef that brings industry-leading expertise in their respective cuisines and will offer something outstanding for our guests to enhance their dining experience on board our ships. Secondly, we aim to work with chefs that share the same values as us. Ramón not only embodies excellence in Spanish gastronomy with an innovative and modern style, but he also shares with us a passion for Mediterranean cuisine. It is a true collaboration with Ramón and we are delighted to be continuing to develop this successful partnership so that more guests can experience his vision.”
Freixa is part of an impressive line-up of top international chefs that includes renowned German chef Harald Wohlfahrt who held a three Michelin Star rating for 25 years in a row, two Michelin starred chef Raymond Blanc, innovative pan-Asian chef Roy Yamaguchi, award-winning pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury and acclaimed Chinese chef Jereme Leung. Each of these talents represent some of the world’s most sought after cuisines, with their own distinct style and vision, creating a memorable fine-dining experience for guests across the fleet.
Ramón Freixa commented: “I am very happy to extend the HOLA! Tapas Bar concept to two more ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet, allowing guests from all over the world to enjoy a true taste of Spain through appetizing tapas in our cheerful bar atmosphere – it is a wonderful way to celebrate the Mediterranean style of life.”
Guests sailing with MSC Cruises over the last year have already been able to experience Ramón’s innovative gastronomy in a number of ways:
- An exquisite Elegant Dinner dish in the main restaurants across MSC Cruises’ fleet
- Exclusive tapas items and a signature dish for MSC Yacht Club guests across the fleet
- His first restaurant at sea, Ocean Cay by Ramón Freixa, which opened on board MSC Seaview in 2018, offering guests luxury fish and shellfish in this specialty restaurant
- Special menus for selected ships for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve celebrations
- Most recently, his exclusive HOLA! Tapas Bar concept, which opened with the launch of MSC Bellissima earlier this year and will now be available on MSC Meraviglia and MSC Grandiosa
HOLA! TAPAS BAR
Located on the bustling Mediterranean-style promenade at the heart of the Meraviglia class ships, the HOLA! Tapas Bar concept has been designed to offer a social and warm dining experience where guests can enjoy a range of traditional and modern shared plates and small bites inspired by some of Spain’s most popular dishes.
With an open environment containing a mixture of communal and individual seating, guests can savour a quick bite, glass of Spanish wine, or enjoy a full meal. Some of the menu highlights include authentic Spanish tortilla, olive, anchovy & pepper Gilda and for those with a sweet-tooth, the quintessential Catalan dessert: Catalan Cream.
THE MSC CRUISES’ AWARD-WINNING TEAM OF INTERNATIONAL CHEFS
In addition to Ramón Freixa, Roy Yamaguchi, Jean Philippe-Maury and Jereme Leung, MSC Cruises recently partnered with:
- Renowned German chef Harald Wohlfahrt. Voted one of the Top 10 Chefs in the World and the only German chef to hold a three Michelin Star rating for 25 years in a row, Chef Wohlfahrt represents the best of Germany’s cuisine and embodies MSC Cruises’ commitment to offering new and exciting food options for its guests. He has developed a number of dishes for ships based in the Northern Europe region.
- One of the finest chefs in the world, Raymond Blanc, OBE. The two Michelin starred chef has had a profound influence on Britain’s culinary landscape and is currently developing a dish for the fleets’ Elegant Dinner menus.
MSC MERAVIGLIA’S ARRIVAL TO NORTH AMERICA
Ramón Freixa’s HOLA! Tapas will arrive stateside along with MSC Meraviglia for the first time this October, as the ship prepares to begin sailing from Miami to the Caribbean. After a transatlantic sailing from Northern Europe, MSC Meraviglia will arrive to New York, offering two cruises from New York visiting Canada and New England before journeying through the Caribbean to home port in Miami. MSC Meraviglia’s first three sailings embarking from North America include:
- October 8, 2019: 10-night sailing embarking from New York, NY and sailing to destinations in Canada including Sydney, Nova Scotia; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Quebec City, Québec. Prices start at $1,229 per person for a balcony stateroom.
- October 18, 2019: 10-night sailing embarking from New York, NY and sailing to Bar Harbor, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Portland, Maine; and Boston, Massachusetts. Prices start at $1,169 per person for a balcony stateroom.
- October 28, 2019: 13-night sailing embarking from New York, NY and sailing to Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort de France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint George, Grenada; Willemstad, Curaçao; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve; and ending in Miami, Florida. Prices start at $1,559 per person for a balcony stateroom.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RAMÓN FREIXA
Ramón Freixa’s sumptuously bold creations have won worldwide recognition, with multiple awards for best chef and best restaurant, two Michelin stars, three Repsol Suns, a host appearance in the 2016 Spanish Celebrity MasterChef final.
Chef Freixa first joined MSC Cruises’ Top Chef Dining Program in 2018, and over the last year has brought guests a number of different dining experiences influenced by his experience in Spanish gastronomy including Elegant Dinner dishes, exclusive Tapas and restaurants Ocean Cay and HOLA!
Chef Freixa’s creations follow a distinctive approach that he describes as “based on three elements: produce, technique and feeling, plus a search for magic.” Every dish is conceived to tell a story in sequences of flavor, texture and color.