MSC Cruises will operate Caribbean itineraries out of St Maarten and Barbados starting in December 2021 with the MSC Seaview cruise ship. It comes as the cruise line adjusts its Winter program in the region due to port limitations.
MSC Seaview Caribbean Winter Sailings
There’s been plenty of coverage on MSC Cruises out of Florida, including the major ports of PortMiami and Port Canaveral, but the cruise line is also offering Caribbean itineraries based out of St. Maarten and Barbados.
MSC Seaview will sail seven- and 14-night cruises with St. Maarten and Barbados as embarkation ports starting from December 5, 2021.
There will be two different week-long itineraries, with the first departing from Philipsburg in St. Maarten 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 week-long cruise will also sail from the two embarkation ports and includes visits to Roseau, Dominica; St John’s in Antigua and Barbuda; Road Town in Tortola, and then back to St Maarten. Both sailings can also be combined back-to-back for a longer 14-night itinerary.
Gianni Onorato, CEO MSC Cruises, said, “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.”
Adjusted Caribbean Offerings
The cruises in the Caribbean are adjusted due to port limitations. Authorities in Martinique and Guadeloupe, where MSC Seaview was originally scheduled to call, are currently not accepting cruise ship visits due to the ongoing pandemic.
After MSC Cruises completed a full evaluation for alternative ports, it was decided to add St. Maarten as an embarkation port along with Barbados. Without the two ports, it would have been challenging to move forward with the Winter program in the region. Both ports are already able to operate as homeports efficiently due to previous and ongoing deployments with other cruise lines.
The Caribbean cruise offerings for MSC Seaview will be for fully vaccinated guests or those showing proof of a negative test result taken within 72 hours before departure. Most guests should be allowed to go ashore independently depending on specific ports of call; otherwise, guests will have to take a so-called Bubble Tour to enjoy a destination.
MSC Seaview is 153,516 gross tons and has a guest capacity of 5,329 along with 1,413 international crew members. She is the second of the Seaside-class ships and restarted cruise operations in July 2021 from Germany.