JUST IN: MSC stops remaining cruises in SA amid global Covid-19 panic
Durban - MSC Cruises which has been sailing to the islands of Mozambique from the Port of Durban has stopped all its remaining cruises for this cruise season as the Covid-19 pandemic continued its rampant global grip on Tuesday.
The cruise that left Durban for Pomene Islands on Monday was the last for the season. The cruise season was meant to finish at the end of April.
The company said that the decision was taken in light of the extraordinary circumstances the world is currently facing in connection with the Covid-19 virus and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders and government.
MSC Cruises has taken the decision to stop all its remaining South African cruise departures for the 2019/2020 cruise season ending April 2020.
The last cruise on the MSC Orchestra departed on 16th March 2020 and will return on 20th March 2020.
On Sunday President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national state of disaster resulting in the closure of the majority of South African ports of entry into the country to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
"MSC Cruises’ decision aims to mirror and further support the effectiveness of these efforts and as a result we have no option but to stop all cruises for the remainder of the season," it said in a statement.
Ross Volk, Managing Director of MSC Cruises South Africa, said: “This is not a decision we took lightly but under the current circumstances, the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities ashore – including our employees and their families – must come first. As a family company with over 300 years of maritime tradition, we felt that this was the right decision to make.”
In light of this, customers will receive a voucher for the value of their current 2019/2020 cruise package, which they can redeem in the upcoming local cruise season in 2020/2021.
In addition, they will also receive shipboard credit of $50 per cabin to be used on a cruise in the next season.
For any other expenses that they may have incurred, such as flights, hotels, transport, etc. they will need to contact their travel insurance company or supplier directly, MSC said.
Due to the above suspension in operations guests booked on the remaining theme cruises as well as the Grand Voyage will receive separate communications to explain the changes relating to these events.
Each passenger on the remaining cruises will receive communication in the coming days explaining the voucher.
When you are ready to cruise move or redeem your voucher please contact our Customer Care department at [email protected] or our call center
The company said that due to the volume of passengers affected by this announcement we would appreciate your patience and understanding.