MSC Cruises to resume operations in Mediterranean
MSC Cruises has announced that flagship MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will resume operations in the Mediterranean starting from August 16 and August 29, 2020.
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.
“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,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman .
“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.”
New procedures include universal Covid-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation.
MSC Grandiosa, the company’s flagship, will offer seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo and Valetta.
MSC Magnifica will offer seven-night cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean departing from the Italian ports of Bari and Trieste, calling at the Greek ports of Corfu, Katakolon and Piraeus.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO commented: “We are very pleased to be able to start welcoming back guests for full-experience cruise holidays this summer, on board two of our most popular ships, including our flagship MSC Grandiosa, and in the Mediterranean, the very region where our company’s roots are and we have long been market leaders.”
MSC Cruises’ new operating protocol has been designed to protect the health and safety of guests, crew as well as the local communities that the company’s ships visit.
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.
For the 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.