MSC Cruises announced today that the MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will resume operations in the Mediterranean starting from August 16 and 29, 2020 respectively.
The two ships will be the first to implement a new comprehensive health and safety protocol that has been approved by the relevant national authorities from the countries that the ships will call along their East and West Mediterranean itineraries this summer, according to a press release.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman commented, “During the pause in our operations we focused on developing a comprehensive operating protocol that builds upon already stringent health and safety measures that have long been in place on board our ships. We have worked closely with the relevant EU-level, national health and other authorities from the countries that MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will call along their Mediterranean itineraries to develop a comprehensive set of procedures designed to protect the health and safety of all passengers on board our ships as well as ashore to ensure that local communities feel comfortable welcoming our guests.”
Vago continued: “The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected ashore visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises’ excursion as an added level of protection for our guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for further peace of mind for our guests. With all of these measures in place, we aim to offer our guests the safest possible vacation.”
The MSC Grandiosa will offer seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo and Valetta.
The MSC Magnifica will offer seven-night cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean departing from the Italian ports of Bari and Trieste and calling at the Greek ports of Corfu, Katakolon and Piraeus.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO commented, “We are very pleased to be able to start welcoming back guests for full-experience cruise vacations this summer on board two of our most popular ships — including our flagship MSC Grandiosa — and in the Mediterranean, the very region where our Company’s roots are and we have long been market leaders.”
For this initial phase of the restart of operations, the two MSC Cruises’ ships operating in the Mediterranean for the current summer season will initially only welcome guests who are residents in Schengen countries and subject to any restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities.
MSC Cruises has today cancelled all other cruises in the Mediterranean from August 16 through to and including October 31, 2020. In addition, MSC Cruises announced the cancellation of all U.S. cruise departures through to and including October 31, 2020.
Finally, MSC Cruises also cancelled the Far East cruises from September 10 through to and including October 26.