MSC Cruises, the first cruise line in Europe to resume operations in the summer of 2020, has extended the comprehensive booking policies the line has had in place since the restart. The Cruise With Confidence policy, which gives guests much more freedom and peace of mind before their cruise to make changes, will remain in effect through the summer of 2022.
The MSC policy has been designed to give guests peace of mind before departing on a cruise. Besides carefree booking, guests are also fully protected by COVID-19 insurance, should they test positive before boarding or during the cruise.
As COVID-19 evolves, cruise lines adapt their booking policies to offer guests more peace of mind when booking a cruise vacation. MSC is the next to do so as it extends its Cruise with Confidence program through the summer of 2022.
The previous policy only included cruises through March 2022. The announcement comes shortly after the cruise line confirmed it would have all of its ships operational during summer 2022.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said: “With the pandemic continuing to evolve, we understand the importance of having clear information to reassure our guests that they can book a cruise with confidence and with flexibility to give them total peace of mind. We are thus extending our successful ‘Cruise with Confidence’ guarantee to all cruises through summer 2022 to continue to offer new and existing guests a safe, flexible and enjoyable vacation option.”
The Cruise with Confidence program has been designed so guests can book a cruise with complete peace of mind. Should there be any need to cancel a voyage, guests can do so free of charge up to 48 hours before sailing or 21 days before sailing if guests purchased a fly & cruise package. Guests can reschedule their voyage to a later date.
Guests can also opt-in to the company’s COVID-19 insurance plan, which can be added during booking. Guests are then covered from the confirmation of their booking through the end of the cruise or cruise and flight package. This is in place for all events, including cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance, and related expenses, as well as hospitalization.
The cruise line also brings back independent shore excursions where local regulations allow. Something that has been sorely missing from several European ports of call and elsewhere in the world.
MSC Looks to Build on Successful Year
Swiss-based MSC Cruises is looking to build on the successful year the cruise line has had since it became one of the first cruise lines worldwide to start cruises after the pandemic broke out early in 2020.
“We were able to lead the restart of our industry in August last year thanks to a comprehensive and flexible health and safety protocol that was designed to adapt to the evolution of the pandemic ashore and has since set the standard across the travel and hospitality sector. With this, we were able to continue to offer the highest level of protection to our guests, crew and communities where our ships call to responsibly and safely welcome on board over one million guests for their getaway at sea.”
Currently, the cruise line is operational in North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East including Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states. Plans to start-up operations in South Africa have been put on the back burner for now, while Asia remains closed for all but a few ships.
The hope is that the extension of the Cruise with Confidence program will entice guests to book a cruise with MSC. The company suffered a setback this week as several countries introduced strict measures to combat the spread of Omicron.
This forced the cruise line to cancel upcoming voyages onboard MSC Magnifica, scheduled to sail to Hamburg, Germany; Le Havre, France; Southampton, England; Zeebrugge, Belgium; and Ijmuiden, the Netherlands.