MSC Cruises is set to double its capacity from the UK in autumn next year, with a second ship operating out of Southampton.

The line’s product and operations director Oliviero Morelli said the decision demonstrated a commitment to the British market.

The cruise line is sending a second ship, MSC Magnifica, to join MSC Opera in Southampton, for four seven-night cruises in September and October 2014.

The seven-night cruises, covering five Northern Europe destinations including Zeebrugge, Amsterdam and Hamburg, will start from £429.

Morelli said: “MSC continues demonstrating its commitment to the British market by bringing a second and bigger ship to the English shores for the very first time.

“In addition to MSC Opera already based in Southampton during the summer 2014, MSC Magnifica is providing additional capacity to a market that has considerably grown in the recent years.

“MSC Cruises has also seen a sustained increase of its own bookings and, with MSC Magnifica, is hoping to respond to the demand of its own customers.”

The vessel has a maximum capacity of 2,518 guests, with a choice of 17 bars and five restaurants on board.

The cruises include free parking in Southampton or free coach transfers. The sailings will embark from Southampton on September 17, September 24, October 1 and October 8.