MSC Cruises has reconfirmed its winter 2021-22 sailing program in the South Caribbean where the MSC Seaview will be based during the season for seven- and 14-night cruises from St. Maarten and Barbados from Dec. 5.
The authorities in Martinique and Guadeloupe have decided that cruise ships are not allowed yet to bring guests to the islands due to the situation of the pandemic ashore as well as the low vaccination rates. As such MSC said that it carried out a “full evaluation of alternative options” and amended the original itinerary to include Philipsburg, St Maarten as an embarkation port along with Bridgetown, Barbados so that it can still run the winter program in this region in a safe and healthy way.
According to a press release, the updated itinerary reflects the ports that have guaranteed access to the ship and its guests from December onwards and allows for a full day at each destination, in some cases up to 12 hours.
The MSC Seaview will operate two different seven-night itineraries from its two embarkation ports. The first itinerary will depart the port of Philipsburg, St Maarten’s capital, and Bridgetown, Barbados; with calls at Castries in St Lucia; Saint George, Grenada; Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis, before returning to St Maarten.
The second itinerary will sail from St Maarten and Bridgetown; with calls at Roseau, Dominica; St John’s in Antigua and Barbuda; Road Town in Tortola and then back to St Maarten.
“The southern Caribbean is an area much loved by cruisers from around the world as well as local guests from this region and we have worked hard to find alternative options for the itinerary that would allow us to confirm our usual winter season here, of course supported by our industry leading health and safety protocol. We would like to particularly thank our airline partners who have amended their charter flight schedules to serve the new itinerary to make it accessible for our guests. For this, we are still able to offer our guests an incredible cruise holiday this winter, calling at some of the most beautiful islands in the South Caribbean on board MSC Seaview – the perfect ship for sailing in these waters,” Gianni Onorato, CEO at MSC Cruises, said.
All guests on the MSC Seaview will have to be fully vaccinated or show a proof of negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to embarkation.
In most ports guests will be able to go ashore independently, MSC said, while for select specific destinations guests will need to go ashore with an MSC Cruises protected shore excursion. More specific details will soon be available from the MSC Cruises website, travel agents and the line’s contact center.