MSC Cruises has received approval from European nations to resume cruises with MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica after submitting a comprehensive set of new health and safety protocols to protect passengers and the public amid the pandemic.
The MSC Grandiosa will offer seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean from August 16, calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo and Valetta.
The MSC Magnifica will offer seven-night cruises from August 29 in the Eastern Mediterranean, departing from the Italian ports of Bari and Trieste and calling at the Greek ports of Corfu, Katakolon and Piraeus.
The cruise lines has received approval to operate the cruises from all the countries the ships will be visiting, according to a statement.
“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,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises.
“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,” he added.
The new procedures include COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected shore visits at each destination with only MSC Cruises’ excursions offered, and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan.
“With all of these measures in place, we aim to offer our guests the safest possible vacation,” said Vago.
As an added layer of protection, MSC Cruises will initially only be offering cruises to residents in Schengen countries, subject to any restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities.
All other cruises in the Mediterranean from August 16th through to and including October 31st, 2020, have been cancelled.
MSC Cruises has also cancellation of all US cruise departures through to and including October 31st, 2020, as well as all Far East cruises from September 10th through to and including October 26th.