Italian cruise operator MSC Cruises has joined ABTA.

The cruiseline was one of 66 new members to join the association in the last 12 months. The move comes despite claims earlier this year that the trade is ready for a new association.

MSC Cruises managing chairman UK and Ireland Peter Pate said: “MSC Cruises is pleased to join ABTA, one of the most recognisable brands in the industry.

“We look forward to playing an active part in the activities of the association.”

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer added: “MSC Cruises is known in the industry for the high quality of its product and we are delighted that it has chosen to join the ABTA family.

“We look forward to working closely with MSC and helping to develop the close ties it has with the rest of our membership.”