MSC Cruises today announced that all guests for its winter sailings fleetwide must now be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and also take a COVID-19 test before their scheduled embarkation date, according to a press release.
The measures have already been in place for all of the line’s winter voyages in other regions and now Mediterranean sailings have been added with the new requirements thus extending to guests booked on both MSC Grandiosa and MSC Fantasia.
Guests on any of the line’s winter sailings on its two ships operating in the Mediterranean travelling from Dec. 4 will now also need to be fully vaccinated.
Guests are considered vaccinated if they have received the full set of COVID-19 shots more than 14 days before the start of their holiday at sea.
All guests will also be required to undertake a COVID-19 test up to 72 hours of the ship’s departure time, the company said.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said: “Our health and safety protocol has led the way in the industry not just because we were the first major cruise line to resume international operations but also because of its flexibility to adapt to the evolution of the pandemic ashore.
“This approach has reassured our guests, our crew and the destinations we visit with our ships and we saw last winter with our sailings in the Mediterranean that even during a new peak of the pandemic ashore we were able to adapt our health and safety measures appropriately and continue to offer the highest level of protection to our guests and crew.
“This is the case once more as some countries in Europe are seeing an increase in infection rates ashore and to ensure the wellbeing of those on board our ships and at the communities they call, our approach again demonstrates that health and safety is our number one priority.”
Any existing guest who will not be fully vaccinated in time for their departure date can opt to either postpone their cruise with MSC to a later date or request a refund.
Guests under 12 years of age, since not eligible for vaccination, will continue to be welcome onboard under the current measures.