MSC Cruises announced that flagship MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica are due to resume operations in the Mediterranean starting from August 16 and 29 respectively, offering passengers full-experience cruise holidays with the chance to discover 5 different destinations during a 7-night trip.
The two liners will be the first to implement the new comprehensive health and safety protocol approved by the relevant national authorities from the countries that the vessels will call along their East and West Mediterranean itineraries.
The company’s flagship Grandiosa will offer 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean visiting the Italian ports of Genoa, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples, Palermo, Valletta. MSC Magnifica will offer 7-night sailings in the Eastern Mediterranean departing from the Italian ports of Trieste and Bari, visiting the Greek ports of Corfu, Katakolon, Piraeus (Athens).
For the initial phase of the restart of operations, the two ships operating in the Mediterranean for the summer season will initially only welcome passengers who are residents in Schengen countries. Additionally, the itineraries have been designed according to the accessibility of the cruise ports, reducing where possible, the need for travellers to use public transport or flights.
MSC Cruises cancelled all other cruises in the Mediterranean from August 16 through to and including October 31. Guests who are resident in Schengen countries and subject to any restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities, booked on any MSC itinerary until October 31 can transfer their booking to either Grandiosa or Magnifica, receiving up to 3 complimentary shore trips, depending on the category they book. Alternatively, they'll be offered a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) that can be used on any liner with any itinerary in the MSC Cruises fleet sailing through to December 2021. Any other guests who are resident in Schengen countries and subject to any restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities, who have an FCC voucher from previously cancelled sailings can also use their voucher on the two ships taking advantage of up to 3 complimentary shore trips.
For non-Schengen residents, they'll automatically be eligible for an FCC plus that can be used to transfer any bookings at no cost, to any cruise ship with any itinerary in the MSC fleet sailing through December 2021.
The cruise company also announced the cancellation of all U.S. departures up to and including October 31, in line with the announcement that CLIA members will voluntarily extend the suspension of operations to this date.
MSC Cruises also cancelled its Far East cruises from September 10 through to and including October 26.