Gianni Onorato, the former president of Costa Cruises, has been announced as the new CEO of MSC Cruises.

Onorato, who has spent almost 30 years in the cruise industry and has worked at Costa since 1986, replaces Pierfrancesco Vago, who will serve as the group’s executive chairman.

"I will do everything I can to add value to the company and help MSC Cruises maximise its industry-leading position," Onorato said.

Since his appointment in 2003, Vago led MSC Cruises through a €6-billion investment plan, transforming the company into the third-largest cruise operator in the world.

Onorato will be based in Geneva at the MSC Cruises headquarters, and will report to the MSC board of directors and its executive chairman.