MSC Cruises confirmed full details of its winter 2020-2021 season, featuring more than 90 different itineraries across the Mediterranean, Caribbean, the Gulf, Asia, South Africa, and South America - all of the regions where the company traditionally operates.
MSC itineraries range in length from 2 to 24 nights. The 3rd MSC World Cruise departs in January 2021. An extensive Grand Voyages programme is also included.
The announcement follows the recent confirmation that the entire MSC Cruises fleet, including a couple of new ships currently under construction, will be in operation from March 2021 for the summer season.
In addition, the cruise line confirmed the voluntarily further extension of the suspension of operations of its vessels operating from U.S. ports in the Caribbean through September 15, 2020. This impacts two ships, MSC Armonia and MSC Seaside, that were scheduled to sail in the region. Passengers affected by the cancelled sailings will receive an FCC (Future Cruise Credit) by July 13, where they have the chance to transfer the full amount paid for the cancelled voyage to a future trip of their choice, on any liner, for any itinerary, through to the end of 2021.
For the Summer 2020 Season, MSC previously announced the temporary suspension to its current operation up until July 31 in the other regions where it operates.
MSC Cruises also revealed that a new enhanced health and safety protocol has been developed in collaboration with national health authorities and via the support of a team of medical experts. The protocol will cover all aspects of the voyage from the booking phase until the disembarkation and the return home. It will include all aspects of life onboard. The precautionary measures will ensure the health and wellbeing of passengers and crew including sanitation measures, guidelines for life onboard and enhanced medical facilities and health screenings. The full details of the new precautionary measures will be revealed in the coming days.
MSC Cruises Winter 2020-2021 programme features:
- MSC World Cruise 2021. The line's MSC Magnifica will sail her 3rd World Cruise, replacing the previously announced Poesia. MSC Magnifica is the latest in the Musica class and features one of the highest ratios of balcony cabins along with impressive onboard features such as extended dining areas and the pool with a magrodome. The 118-night voyage around the globe will commence on January 5, 2021, with passengers sailing to 53 destinations across 33 different countries.
- The Mediterranean. MSC Grandiosa is due to replace her sistership MSC Virtuosa for the winter season, as the delivery of this liner is delayed due to the postponements caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. All passengers booked on Virtuosa will be automatically reprotected to Grandiosa with the original itinerary, 7-night “Six Pearls” western Mediterranean cruise, with embarkation possible at Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Palermo, Valletta, and Barcelona. MSC Magnifica will sail on 2 festive voyages in December with a 5-night Christmas trip visiting Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona, and Rome, and a 10-night New Year voyage from Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona prior to visiting Gibraltar, Lisbon/Cascais, Cadiz/Seville, and Malaga before returning to Rome and Genoa.
- The Caribbean. MSC Meraviglia is scheduled to sail every Saturday from Miami Florida on one of a couple of itineraries: an evening experience in San Juan, Charlotte Amalie, Nassau, and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, or Ocho Rios, George Town, Cozumel, and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. MSC Armonia is due to be homeported in Miami Florida and offer 3-, 4- or 7-night voyages to Key West, Nassau and Ocean Cay. MSC Seaside will offer 3-, 4- or 7-night sailings from the new embarkation port of Port Canaveral Florida with cruises visiting Ocean Cay, George Town, Cozumel, and Nassau. MSC Poesia will replace Splendida, to serve the Antilles and South Caribbean with the originally planned itineraries departing from Fort de France on 7-night, 7-destination itineraries and 14-night from Bridgetown Barbados voyage to some of the best Caribbean islands.
- Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Qatar. MSC Fantasia is expected to replace MSC Lirica and MSC Seaview in the region, offering 7-night trips with Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Doha, and Bahrain. The voyage concludes with an overnight stay in Dubai.
- South America. MSC Seaview will replace MSC Grandiosa, offering 7-night voyages from Santos, Brazil to the country's northeast and calling at the port of Maceio, Salvador de Bahia, and the island of Ilha Grande/Angra dos Reis and Buzios. Replacing MSC Fantasia, MSC Musica will offer 7-night sailings from Santos calling at Itajai, Punta Del Este, and overnight in Buenos Aires. Replacing MSC Orchestra, MSC Sinfonia will offer 8- or 9-night voyages from Buenos Aires visiting Montevideo, Buzios, Rio de Janeiro, Ilhabela, or Ilha Grande/Angra dos Reis, Itajai, with the possibility of embarking in the ports of Montevideo and Buenos Aires. MSC Preziosa is scheduled to operate her originally planned itineraries from Rio de Janeiro with cruises from 3 to 8 nights.
- South Africa. Replacing MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra will offer sailings from either Cape Town or Durban to destinations like Maputo, Portuguese Island, Pomene, and Port Elizabeth, as per the originally planned itinerary. MSC Opera is due to operate her planned itinerary from Durban and Cape Town. A highlight is a 14-night New Year sailing on MSC Orchestra visiting 5 spectacular destinations, including an overnight in Port Louis, Mauritius.
- The Far East. MSC Bellissima is scheduled to sail on different length voyages in Asia, with a detailed programme to be announced soon.
- Spectacular Grand Voyages. MSC Cruises' Fantasia, which replaces Seaview, will depart on a Grand Voyage from Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa on 14, 15, 16 November, respectively, as the vessel moves to Dubai UAE for the winter season. MSC Opera will sail the originally planned itinerary from Italy to South Africa. All of MSC Cruises' other Grand Voyages from Europe to the Caribbean, South Africa, and South America will be cancelled. 9 Grand Voyages will be offered in spring 2021 with cruise ships returning from the Emirates, Brazil, Martinique, South Africa, and the United States, sailing to Europe for the beginning of the Summer 2021 Season.