MSC Cruises Provides Update on Protocols for the Winter Season

MSC Cruises provides an update on its protocols for the Winter season including on U.S. and European departures.

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With the Winter cruise season fast approaching, MSC Cruises has provided an update on its protocols across all the regions it operates in. The cruise line, which already has multiple cruise ships sailing, including from the U.S. and Europe, has worked with the relevant authorities to ensure guests and crew remain protected.

MSC Protocols Update

The cruise line aims to keep its health and safety measures through the winter season to make sure everyone remains safe onboard. The protocols were first introduced in August 2020 as MSC Cruises was among the earliest cruise lines to resume operations during the pandemic.

So for the Winter season, most departures are only for fully vaccinated guests. However, for Mediterranean cruises, MSC is also accepting non-vaccinated guests from Schengen countries only. There are also more specific requirements depending on where ships are departing from.

Another critical aspect of the protocols is making sure guests have the relevant cruise insurance with COVID cover. The insurance provides that safety net if something goes wrong, not just generally but also related to COVID.

Here are the details for each of the regions that MSC operates from. The measures for South America and South Africa for the Winter season are to be confirmed soon.

MSC Meraviglia in Miami
Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Caribbean – Cruises out of Miami and Port Canaveral

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated. For U.S. residents, they will need to provide proof of a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of their cruise departure, whilst non-U.S. residents will need a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

Also Read: Second MSC Cruise Ship is Restarting Operations from the U.S.

All guests aged from two years to 11 years will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

Southern Caribbean

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure. All guests aged from two years to 11 years will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

Mediterranean

As with the summer programme, vaccinated and not-fully vaccinated guests from Schengen countries[1] will be able to book these cruises. To embark, these guests will either need to have a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken with 48 hours of departure or be fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months.

Docked MSC Cruise Ships
Photo Via: MSC Cruises

Non-Schengen guests will also be able to book these cruises and will need to be fully vaccinated, as well as providing a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

Guests can only go ashore when participating in an MSC shore excursion and some excursions will require an official COVID certificate (e.g. EU Digital COVID certificate) to access some tourist venues, such as museums or churches.

Northern Europe

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and guests aged from two years to 11 years old will need need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test or antigen taken within 48 hours of their cruise departure.

Non-Schengen guests will also be able to book these cruises and will need to be fully vaccinated as well as providing a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

Red Sea/Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure. Guests aged from two years to 11 years old will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

MSC Fantasia in Doha
Photo credit: Mwani Qatar

For MSC Bellissima cruises in the Red Sea, a visa is required for entry into Saudi Arabia and guests who purchase an MSC Fly & Cruise package will have a visa for Saudi Arabia valued at €30 per person included in the overall cost. Guests need to register their vaccination status with the authorities from Saudi Arabia prior to arriving in the country.

Grand Voyages

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure and guests aged from two years to 11 years will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

MSC Cruise Ship

Feel free to discuss this topic and all things cruise at our new boards. A place where readers can ask questions, help their fellow cruisers and general cruise discussions on cruise lines and ports.

And if you like, feel free to cast your vote in the 2021 Cruise Ship Awards covering a range of categories, including best cruise ship and best cruise line.

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