The next internationally popular cruise port to open is Barcelona in Spain. The port has long been one of the main features and central hubs for cruising in the Mediterranean.
MSC Cruises announced it would be adding Barcelona to its current itinerary for MSC Grandiosa, which will start sailing on June 26. The cruise line has been hard at work to resume with as many cruise ships as possible from various ports and countries in Europe.
Spain Opens Up For Cruise Ships
While the Canary Islands have been open for cruise ships throughout most of the pandemic, either as a port of call or for crew changes, the Spanish mainland has been closed.
The country has been hit hard by COVID-19 and has been slowly opening for more and more activities. With Barcelona being a central hub for cruise lines in the Mediterranean and one of the largest cruise ports in Europe, MSC Cruises has been eager to start-up operations as soon as possible from here.
MSC Grandiosa will be sailing from Barcelona starting June 26, with embarkations on Saturdays. MSC will add a second Spanish port at the end of July; the ever-popular Valencia.
MSC: “We will add new ports as they become available.”
MSC Cruises has been adamant they will be adding new ports to their itineraries as they become available. The line has announced restart operations in Germany, France, the Baltic, and itineraries in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean. The company is also sailing in the UK with the cruise line’s newest flagship MSC Virtuosa, which Cruise Hive sailed on for its maiden voyage just a few weeks ago.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said:
“When we first announced our confirmed programs for summer 2021, we indicated that we would enrich them with any new ports and destinations as they became available. This is the case today with Spain and Barcelona, thus allowing our guests to visit this magnificent destination that has been unavailable since March of last year.”
Although the line added Barcelona, guests will not yet be able to visit the city and popular tourist hotspots like La Rambla and the Sagrada Familia by themselves. Guests will still need to stay under the secure bubble MSC demands of guests. Partly this is because the cruise line accepts both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. Although guests are tested before the voyage, safety comes first.
MSC does expect they will increase the number of available ports as measures continue to be relaxed throughout Europe, and tourism slowly but surely makes its comeback.
“As measures are progressively relaxing across Europe and beyond and tourism resumes, we have every confidence that our progressive resumption of service will continue to move forward and that we will be able to add more ports and destinations from more countries to our itineraries very soon. This will allow us to either enrich existing itineraries or add new ones.”
MSC’s Current Cruises
MSC Cruises has been working hard to have as many cruise ships operating this summer as possible. So far, the cruise line is currently sailing with MSC Grandiosa, MSC Seaside, and MSC Virtuosa.
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MSC Grandiosa is sailing on seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean, calling Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, and Palermo, Italy; Valetta, Malta; which now includes Barcelona, Spain with embarkation on Saturdays. From the end of July, the line will add Valencia to the ports of call.
MSC Seaside is sailing in the Mediterranean as well, and since May 20, the newly-launched MSC Virtuosa has operated cruises around the British Isles for UK residents. MSC Seaview will resume voyages in the Baltic from Germany on July 3.