MSC Cruise Line will use the port of Santo Domingo as a home port during the 2012-2013 seasons. In addition, it has also scheduled a call on the port of La Romana, on the country’s eastern region. Operations are scheduled to begin on December 20, 2012 and will run until February, 2013.
The country’s Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, said that MSC Cruise, a division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company, will use the 795-room MSC Lirica for its Santo Domingo route. The Lirica, with capacity for 2,199 passengers,features two main restaurants – The Bussolla and L’Ippocampo – and La Pergola, an outdoor facility. The cabins of this luxury liner can be inter-connected. All include full bath, television, mini bar and air conditioning.
MSC Cruise ships travel throughout Northern Europe, the Atlantic and the Caribbean, North America and Canada, South America, India, and southern and eastern Africa.
Treasures of the Sixteenth Century
The port of Santo Domingo is the same port used by the Spanish conquistadors upon their arrival in what is now the Dominican Republic’s capital city in the 16th century. A few yards from the port is the city’s Colonial Zone, built by Nicolas de Ovando, the island’s first governor.
Found in the Zone are an inventory of colonial buildings (the first built in the Americas), including the Cathedral of Santa Maria, Columbus’ “Alcazar”, or castle, home to Diego Columbus (son of Christopher Columbus) – Viceroy of the Indies – the Monastery of San Francisco, the “Museo de las Casas Reales,” the Palace of the Governor General, the “Palacio de la Real Audiencia,” the Ozama Fortress, the National Pantheon, and other important religious buildings.