MSC Cruises made two announcements this week. The cruise company revealed that it will further extend the temporary fleet-wide halt of its cruise operation through to July 31, 2020.
It also announced that it will debut two new ships, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore, during summer 2021 programme.
The new ships are under construction. Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, said despite the extension, the cruise company was looking forward to the future.
“Our ships will return to service only when the time is right, in phases and by region, and following guidance from the relevant national and international health and other regulatory authorities and the support of a new operating protocol especially focused on health and safety, which we will announce soon. This way, gradually, all of our ships will return to sea between then and the beginning of our summer 2021 season,” he said.
MSC Seashore will now come into service from 1 August 2021 due to the delay that was caused by the temporary closure of the shipyard due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
MSC Seashore will have the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet and will offer the popular ‘Six Pearls’ itinerary calling the Italian cities of Genoa and, for visits to Pompeii, Naples; Messina, Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.
MSC Virtuosa’s namesake comes from the word virtuoso, meaning someone highly skilled in music. Each deck will be named after a different musical instrument. This new cruise ship will be one of the two largest in MSC Cruises’ fleet, along with her sister ship MSC Grandiosa.
Future cruise credit
Guests affected by the cancelled cruises will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) where they have the opportunity to transfer the full amount paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice – on any ship, for any itinerary -- through to the end of 2021. Guests will be able to redeem their FCC voucher starting from June 21 and reschedule their cruise to a time that suits them.
All guests who are currently booked on cruises between August 1 and October 31, 2020, will have their bookings covered under an extension of the Company’s Flexible Cruise Programme which allows guests to reschedule their cruise to a future departure date through to 31 December 2021 up to 48-hours before the original cruise departure or, for Fly&Cruise packages, up to 96-hours before the flight departure.