MSC Cruises continues on its quest to have the majority of its fleet sailing by the end of the year. This week the company announced a new itinerary in Europe, and now comes the news that both Brazil and South Africa will be opening their borders for cruise ships.
It’s excellent news for MSC Cruises as the company is the market leader in both countries. Three MSC cruise ships will be operating in Brazil, while the company is only awaiting the final health and safety guidelines that will be in place in South Africa.
Cruising in South America
The Brazilian government announced this week the country would be opening up its border for cruise ships once again before the end of the year. The local health authority Anvisa gave the ok for cruises to resume.
Under which protocols the MSC ships will need to operate in Brazil is not 100% clear yet; what is clear is that the vessels will need to follow the Anvisa requirements, while different states and cities may also impose different rules on the vessels, as is common practice in Brazil.
It does mean that MSC Cruises can now start preparations for MSC Seaside, MSC Preziosa, and MSC Splendida. These three ships will be operating in the country for the 2021-2022 winter season.
MSC Seaside will be homeporting in Santos, close to Sao Paolo, sailing to Ilha Grande, Salvador de Bahia, Maceio, and Buzios, before sailing back to Santos. Guests also have the opportunity to board the vessel in Salvador and follow the same itinerary from there. The first cruise will be departing on December 4, 2021.
MSC Preziosa will be sailing from Rio de Janeiro on December 7, 2021, calling in Ilheus and Salvador, Brazil, with a sea day on either side of the port calls. When MSC Splendida is arriving in Brazil is not clear as of yet. The vessel is currently scheduled to be sailing the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Islands of Madeira and the Canary Islands until the end of November.
MSC will be happy to be able to operate once again in what is one of its biggest cruise markets. The company has a long history of cruises in Brazil and South America and has always been hugely popular on the continent.
With the positive newsflow from MSC in Europe and South America comes the news that the company has gotten permission to resume cruises in South Africa. Cruise ships have been absent from the country’s shores since the start of the pandemic early last year.
The South African government said recently that cruise ships would be able to operate this coming winter 2021. MSC said to IOL.co.za:
“We are delighted that the new measures will allow cruise ships to operate in line with national health protocols. We are now waiting for the government’s guidelines for the resumption of cruises for South African holidaymakers,”
MSC said it would work with the authorities in South Africa to prepare its return and share the vast amounts of data the company amassed since they first resumed sailings in the summer of 2020.
“We will share with them the great amount of data we have accumulated and knowledge we have learned since we resumed safe sailing in August 2020 for cruises in the Mediterranean Sea. We now look forward to welcoming our South African guests on board in the near future for a wonderful holiday with a health and safety protocol that has led the way in the global cruise industry,”
Which ships will be operating in South Africa has not been announced yet. MSC Cruises has 12 ships operating across the globe, with plans of 15 vessels to be in operation for the 2021 winter season.