MSC Cruises announced today that MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will resume operations in the Mediterranean starting from August 16 and 29, 2020 respectively, offering guests full-experience cruise vacations with the opportunity to discover five different destinations during a seven-night cruise. The two ships will be the first to implement a new comprehensive health and safety protocol that has been approved by the relevant national authorities from the countries that the ships will call along their East and West Mediterranean itineraries this summer.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman commented, “During the pause in our operations we focused on developing a comprehensive operating protocol that builds upon already stringent health and safety measures that have long been in place on board our ships. We have worked closely with the relevant EU-level, national health and other authorities from the countries that MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will call along their Mediterranean itineraries to develop a comprehensive set of procedures designed to protect the health and safety of all passengers on board our ships as well as ashore to ensure that local communities feel comfortable welcoming our guests.”
COVID-19 Testing for All Guests
Pierfrancesco Vago continued, “The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected ashore visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises’ excursion as an added level of protection for our guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for further peace of mind for our guests. With all of these measures in place, we aim to offer our guests the safest possible vacation.”
MSC Cruises’ new operating protocol has been designed to protect the health and safety of guests and crew as well as the local communities that the Company’s ships visit. For this reason, it meets and goes beyond guidelines provided by key international and regional regulatory and technical bodies, as well as regulations set forth by the governments in the countries in which MSC Cruises’ ships operate.
Additionally, RINA, the independent maritime certification corporation, has verified that the protocol meets the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) Guidance, which incorporates additional health standards including those from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action. MSC Cruises has worked to encompass every aspect of the guest’s journey from the moment of booking, embarkation, and life on board through to disembarkation and the return home while preserving the uniqueness of the guest experience.
For this initial phase of the restart of operations, the two MSC Cruises’ ships operating in the Mediterranean for the current summer season will initially only welcome guests who are residents in Schengen countries[. Additionally, their itineraries have been designed according to the accessibility of the ports, reducing — where possible — the need for guests to use public transport or flights, and have been planned in conjunction with the authorities.
MSC Cruises has today canceled all other cruises in the Mediterranean from August 16 through to and including October 31, 2020. In addition, MSC Cruises announced the cancellation of all U.S. cruise departures through to and including October 31, 2020, in line with the announcement that CLIA members will voluntarily extend the suspension of cruise operations to this date.
Finally, MSC Cruises also canceled the Far East cruises from September 10 through to and including October 26.
Guests booked through MSC Cruises USA or affiliated US-based travel advisors on Mediterranean sailings between August 16 and October 31, Caribbean sailings between October 1 and October 31 and impacted Far East cruises through October 26, will receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit of the original cruise fare to be used on sailings on or before December 31, 2021. Guests who prefer to receive a refund instead of a Future Cruise Credit can visit MSCCruises.com for more information on how to complete their request with an easy to use the online form.
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