With the introduction of severe movement restrictions in France and Germany, MSC Cruises has been forced to cancel its voyages onboard MSC Magnifica.
The cancellations are from November 8 until December 18. After the vessel has concluded her operations pause, she will resume again on a one-off Christmas Cruise and then continue her current 10-night itinerary across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean.
The restrictions that have affected France and Germany are of such a nature that travel to the vessel is almost impossible for guests from France and Germany, two key source markets for the ship’s 10-night voyages. These voyages call at destinations in Italy, Greece, and Malta.
Meanwhile, MSC Grandiosa is scheduled to continue and extend her current sailings into next year. The Company’s flagship will perform her current 7-night itinerary in the Western Mediterranean with embarkation in Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples, and Palermo, Italy, and call on Valetta, Malta, until March 27, 2021.
New health procedures onboard MSC Grandiosa
MSC Grandiosa will now see the application of newly activated measures under the MSC Cruises existing and comprehensive health and safety operating protocol, which include the following:
- Additional onboard testing for all guests mid-way through their cruise (on top of the existing pre-boarding universal testing for all guests)
- Increased testing of all crew during their time onboard from twice-a-month to weekly (in addition to pre-boarding testing for all crew and other ongoing health monitoring measures)
- Increased frequency of onboard sanitation, in particular of public areas and high traffic touchpoints
- Tightening of the definition of close contact for tracing purposes, reducing the time that individuals are in contact from 15 minutes to 10 minutes
The Company said the following regarding the chance in procedures:
The MSC Cruises health and safety protocol was designed from the very beginning to adapt to the evolution of the pandemic situation ashore to ensure the best protection possible for guests, crew, and the communities the ships visit. The additional measures were activated over the past two weeks on board the Company’s two ships currently at sea for this reason.
World Cruise Also Canceled
In a press statement released by the Company, MSC announces that the World Cruise, scheduled for January 5, 2021, has also been canceled. The voyage, which would be on board MSC Magnifica, had initially been scheduled to go to 52 destinations in 30 countries.
Also Read: MSC Cruises Suspends U.S. Departures Until Next Year
This included San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo, and Aqaba (Jordan). Whether the World Cruise will be re-scheduled or guests booked can re-book remains unclear at this point.
To recap, the following has now been implemented or will be implemented by MSC:
- Due to the introduction of significant restrictions of movement, in particular in France and Germany, two of MSC Magnifica’s key source markets, MSC Cruises will temporarily suspend further sailings of MSC Magnifica from November 8 through to December 18, 2020
- MSC Grandiosa will meanwhile continue and extend her current sailings in the Western Mediterranean through to March 2021 with additional rigorous measures under the Company’s existing health and safety operating protocol
- The MSC 2021 World Cruise has been canceled due to many ports on the itinerary unavailable due to the pandemic.
- Upon her return to sailing after a temporary pause, MSC Magnifica will continue to perform her current itinerary through to April 2021
While we are seeing more and more of these cancelations, the hits the cruise industry is taking does not seem to be letting up any time soon.
Photo Courtesy: MSC Cruises