The privately-owned cruise line, MSC Cruises, has announced the launch of its new 'MSC Voyagers Club' loyalty programme, designed to provide even greater benefits to members than its previous 'MSC Club' programme. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

MSC Voyagers Club replaces MSC's former loyalty programme, MSC Club, and is designed to reward MSC's repeat customers and reinforce the company's consistent commitment to offer guests an exceptional all-around experience before, during and after their cruise.

Joining the MSC Voyagers Club is free of charge, and guests are now able to join a "Welcome Level" before taking their first cruise - all that is needed is a confirmed booking. Other levels of the five-tiered membership programme include Classic, Silver, Gold and Black. Personalised cruise cards will be provided to MSC Voyagers Club members directly on board at the beginning of each sailing with their membership level.

As part of the new programme, MSC has revamped its points structure so that guests now earn points according to the inclusive experience booked (Bella, Fantastica, Aurea or MSC Yacht Club) as well as length of stay. In addition, points are rewarded for onboard spend as well as pre-paid services, such as shore excursions, spa treatments and beverage packages.

Another benefit of the new programme is that all MSC Voyagers Club members will have exclusive access to significant discounts on future cruises. Starting in July 2015, members receive a 5% discount on all cruise departures (with the exception of the Welcome level). In addition, MSC will make available a broad array of select cruises, called Voyages Selection, that offer an extra 15% off - meaning that all members could receive up to a total of 20% off future cruises.

To further sweeten the deal for higher-tier members, when booking a cruise from the Voyages Selection, Silver, Gold and Black level members will receive US$50 of onboard credit per person.

The range of other privileges extended to MSC Voyagers Club members includes, among others, an invite to a welcome back cocktail party, complimentary basket of fresh fruit in the stateroom and exclusive onboard offers with discounts on items such as internet packages, spa treatments, logo shop items, in-stateroom movies, photos, and the minibar.

Top tier members also enjoy added benefits such as priority boarding, priority disembarkation in ports where a tender boat is required, late stateroom check out when the ship returns to port, an invite to a private Black Card member party, complimentary spumante with chocolate-dipped fruit in the stateroom, increased onboard discounts, free one-hour thermal area session in MSC Aurea Spa, and complimentary dining in a specialty restaurant.

Recognising that many travellers have built up loyalty with other travel reward programmes, MSC Cruises has also announced a 'loyalty match' programme in which frequent travellers who have a rewards card from another travel land or sea programme can receive instant status and perks with MSC. After signing up for MSC Cruises' Voyages Club, guests who participate in other leisure travel programmes will automatically acquire similar or higher status with MSC and be enrolled in the Classic, Silver, Gold, or Black level. In addition, these travellers automatically receive the 5% discount on any booking given to MSC Voyagers Club members and can also take advantage of the discounts associated with Voyages Selection.