MSC Cruises has announced that it will restart its sailing operations in Germany on July 3 onboard the MSC Seaview, the brand’s innovative Seaside class ship. The voyages will be operating in the Baltic Sea with a brand new itinerary for the region.
The vessel will homeport in Kiel until October and offer seven-night voyages – all to include protected shore excursions – to Visby on Sweden’s largest island of Gotland, the port of Nynashamn for Swedish capital city Stockholm, and Estonia’s capital Tallinn, before returning to the northern Germany port.
The MSC Seaview will be available for guests of all ages from the Schengen area in Europe, plus residents of Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.
“We are looking forward to the resumption of our cruises from Germany, an incredibly important market for us, and provide our guests with an enjoyable, relaxing and safe cruise holiday on MSC Seaview, one of our most innovative ships,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO at MSC Cruises.
“Visiting destinations and going ashore is an integral aspect of a cruise holiday and it is now possible with our Baltic Sea cruises from Germany thanks to the general relaxation of health measures locally, as well as much of Europe, and the confirmed opening of the ports and destinations MSC Seaview will call,” he added.
Onorato said that MSC was “delighted” that the itinerary will provide its guests with “some outstanding destinations to visit ashore where they can safely discover the beauty of the Baltics with the same high health and safety standards as those onboard MSC Seaview, as well as all of our ships.”
MSC’s press release mentioned that Visby, the capital of the Baltic Sea island of Gotland, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with impressive medieval buildings. Stockholm, it said, is famous for its outstanding architecture and abundance of open water, and Tallinn is renowned for its monumental walls, towers and well-preserved ancient buildings.
The ship will comply with MSC Cruises’ industry-leading health and safety protocol that was developed last year with input from international health experts, including MSC Cruises’ ‘COVID-19 Blue-Ribbon Expert Group’, and in close cooperation with health, safety and transport authorities throughout Europe.
According to the press release, measures include universal testing at embarkation and mid-cruise, weekly testing of crew, social distancing, the wearing of masks in public areas and protected shore excursions.
MSC Cruises will closely monitor the situation ashore at all the destinations the MSC Seaview will call and the itinerary may see the possible addition of new ports.
MSC Seaview’s Baltic Sea cruises are another step forward in MSC Cruises’ wider plans for a return to sea for its fleet of ships. The MSC Grandiosa and MSC Seasideare currently sailing in the West Mediterranean and will be joined in August by the MSC Seashore for her maiden season. The Company’s most recent addition MSC Virtuosa is set to start her own maiden season later this week with voyages around the UK.
Three more ships will soon begin cruises in the East Mediterranean – the MSC Orchestra, MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica. With only a few ports in the Baltic and North Seas open for cruising this summer, MSC Cruises said that it has been forced to cancel its proposed summer season sailings from the German ports of Warnemünde and Hamburg for the MSC Preziosa and MSC Musica, respectively.