Strict measures implemented in Italy that restrict people’s movement within the country have forced Swiss Cruise Operator MSC Cruises to halt operations temporarily. However, guests do not have to wait long as cruises will resume from the end of January.
Both vessels that have been in operation over the last months will be cruising again soon. The company’s flagship MSC Grandiosa will be sailing from January 24, while MSC Magnifica will also be returning to sea from February 14, 2021.
MSC Remains A Positive Point During The Pandemic
This break in operations is the first time the line has had to halt operations for any significant amount of time during the Pandemic.
MSC Grandiosa is MSC’s 181,541 gross ton flagship that can carry a maximum of 6334 passengers at full occupancy. She will be continuing the weekly itinerary that takes her from Genoa, Italy, to the Italian ports of Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo, and Valetta in Malta.
In a move that has not been seen often in the cruise industry, guests can embark and disembark in each port in Italy. This enables the guests to travel as little as possible to the vessels and ensure they stay healthy.
Worth Reading: 10 Must-Know Things About the MSC Seaside Cruise Ship
The 95,128 gross ton MSC Magnifica will be sailing on 11-day roundtrip voyages from Genoa, Italy, on February 14, 2021. The vessel will call in Livorno, Italy; Katakolon, Greece; Valletta, Malta, and Civitavecchia, Italy.
The cruises the company has had to cancel are the voyages onboard MSC Grandiosa scheduled to sail on January 10, and January 17, 2021.
MSC Grandiosa will be sailing on this itinerary until March 21, at which point the ship will be transferring to her summer itinerary, although she will remain in the Western Mediterranean.
Industry Leading Measures Work
The fact that MSC has been able to sail safely for more than four months without any issues will be surprising to many. The company has been at the forefront of providing guests a safe and comfortable environment to enjoy a break from the daily grind ashore.
The industry-leading health and safety protocols that have been set up by MSC cruises include, amongst other things:
- Additional onboard testing for COVID-19 of all guests mid-way through their cruise. This is on top of the test guests have to take before boarding.
- The crew is tested every week, in addition to being tested before the crew board the ship and other health monitoring measures.
- Increased frequency of onboard sanitation, in particular of public areas and high touchpoints;
MSC has been leading the way for many other cruise lines, which have adopted many of the tried and tested methods MSC has employed. Not only the above is implemented but also measures like social bubbles during shore excursions, HVAC ventilation with fresh air, and contingency plans that do not burden the local infrastructure.
Costa Will Resume Sailing January 31
Costa Cruises, which has been sailing along the Italian coast nearly as long as MSC Cruises, has also been forced to cancel voyages. However, Costa has decided it will not return until January 31.
The first vessel to resume sailings will be Costa Deliziosa. She will resume operations on January 31, 2021, and will offer guests the opportunity to visit the beautiful Italian coastline, with the same itinerary originally planned for Costa Smeralda. This means mini-cruises of 3- or 4-days or alternatively a full 7-day cruise.