MSC Virtuosa accidents and incidents

MSC Virtuosa cruise ship


Length (LOA)
331 m / 1086 ft

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CruiseMapper's MSC Virtuosa cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 6334-passenger vessel owned by MSC Cruises. Our MSC Virtuosa accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • Coronavirus - 2021 (165)
  • medevacs - 2023 (crew)

08 November 2023Coast Guard Medevacs

On November 8, 2023, a 19-year-old female crew was medevaced from the ship navigating off the coast of Capo Spartivento (Sardinia Island's southernmost point/cape), approx 200 km / 125 mi east of Sicily/Catania City.

The medical evacuation was conducted in the morning. The woman was hoisted/airlifted by a rescue helicopter crew dispatched from Guardia Costiera Comando 2 Nucleo Aereo Catania (Catania Coastguard's Aircraft Base). The aircraft (AgustaWestland AW139/aka Leonardo AW139) flew the woman to Catania's Cannizzaro Hospital.

The incident occurred during the 15-day Suez Canal relocation voyage from Europe to Asia (Naples to Dubai, itinerary November 7-22) while the ship was in the Central Mediterranean and en route from Italy to Greece. The itinerary's call ports were in Greece (Piraeus-Athens/Nov 9, Heraklion Crete/Nov 10), Egypt (Suez Canal transit/Nov 11-12, Safaga-Luxor/Nov 13), Jordan (Aqaba-Petra/Nov 14), Oma (Muscat/Nov 20) and the UAE (Dubai/Nov 22).

16 April 2023Coast Guard Medevacs

On April 16, 2023, a male crew was medevaced soon after the ship left Port Hamburg (Germany) en route to Zeebrugge (Belgium). Because of the emergency, MSC Virtuosa had to return back to Hamburg (arriving at ~10 pm/~8 pm UTC, or ~1 hour after leaving the harbor) to offload the patient.

Due to congested traffic on Elbe River, the second departure from Hamburg was delayed by ~5,5 hours, and Virtuosa was able to leave Cruise Center Steinwerder (terminal) at ~3:30 am (~1:30 am UTC).

The incident occurred during the 7-day "Northern Europe Cruise from the UK" (itinerary Apr 14-21, roundtrip from Southampton, England) visiting ports in Germany (Hamburg/Apr 16, port stay 7 am-9 pm), Belgium (Zeebrugge-Bruges/Apr 18), and France (Cherbourg/Apr 19, and Le Havre-Paris/Apr 20).

March 2023Other Incidents

In March 2023, MSC Cruises announced a partnership with "Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023" (the UAE's Abu Dhabi F1 Festival, inaugurated in 2009 November).

By the deal, MSC Virtuosa was scheduled to serve as a ship hotel during the F1 car race, being permanently berthed in Port Abu Dhabi on November 23 thru 27.

For tourists visiting the event, besides cabin-only bookings, MSC also opened for booking several packages combining staterooms with F1 Grandstand tickets, exclusive F1 Experiences (Pit Lane Walking Tour, Guided Track Tour, F1 personnel meetings).

All packages were inclusive of shipboard dining (breakfast and dinner), Wi-Fi Internet, and land transfer (ship-racetrack-ship).


07 September 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) On September 7, 2021, several major British media reported a COVID outbreak on Virtuosa, with multiple cases (speculations were for ~100 infected/later confirmed 165) after the ship returned back to homeport Liverpool (England UK). The 7-day roundtrip Liverpool itinerary visited Greenock (Scotland) and Southampton (London).

Many passengers were quarantined to their cabins after having tested COVID-positive or being identified as close contacts to the infected. Reportedly, many of the infected were elderly (over-70s).

On Twitter, former passengers reported getting ill during their voyage and testing positive after debarkation. Some tweeted about other passengers refusing onboard testing to avoid the GBP 100 (~EUR 116 / ~USD 138) fee. Many tweeted about a lack of enforcement for social distancing and masks/face coverings. Some complained about the cruise ship being crowded.

MSC's official statement said that due to the current rise of COVID cases in the UK, it has further strengthened its Health & Safety Protocol on the Virtuosa ship, including additional testing (of both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers and crew) during pre-boarding (at Liverpool Cruise Terminal) and onboard.

The 2021-built MSC Virtuosa started commercial operations on May 20th (2021) with 3-4-night roundtrips from Southampton, followed (in June) by 7-night British Isles itineraries. All these voyages were for UK nationals only.

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