MSC Cruises halts all operations until July
MSC Cruises announced it will extend all cruise departures fleet-wide through to July 10, 2020, due to Covid-19. The cruise company initially hoped to start operations globally by May 29, however, due to the rising coronavirus cases, this was not possible.
The cruise company announced that it will offer guests affected a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) that will allow them to transfer the full amount paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice – on any ship, for any itinerary until the end of 2021.
Guests will also receive a credit benefit of between €100 and €400 (about R2 000 and R8 000) per cabin, depending on the length of their original cruise. In addition, all MSC Cruises between July 11 through September 30, 2020, will be covered under an extension of its Flexible Cruise Programme.
MSC Cruises’ Flexible Cruise Programme allows guests who are already booked on an MSC Cruises ship, either directly or through a travel agent, to reschedule their cruise to a future departure date through to December 31, 2021.
Guests and their travel agents will be able to transfer any bookings at no cost to any ship with any itinerary in the MSC Cruises fleet. Managing Director for MSC Cruises South Africa Ross Volk told IOL Travel in April that MSC’s 2020/2021 cruise season will depend on the progression of Covid- 19.
In terms of onboard procedures, he said: “Our onboard procedures have always been high quality and have, in many cases, exceeded minimum requirements from health authorities and the World Health Organisation.”