Valletta Cruise Port welcomed its first cruise ship, MSC Grandiosa, on Friday, August 21, which will be operating under a new strict and comprehensive health and safety protocol both on land and at sea.
Despite Maltese ports being open since July 1, no cruise ships have visited Valletta since March.
The new operating protocol of MSC Cruises has been designed to also protect the safety of the local communities that the line’s ships visit as well as passengers and crew. According to MSC, it "meets and goes beyond guidelines provided by key international and regional regulatory and technical bodies, as well as regulations set forth by the governments in the countries in which MSC Cruises ships operate."
The independent maritime certification corporation, RINA, has verified that the protocol meets the European Maritime Safety Agency Guidance, which incorporates additional health standards including those from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action.
The protocol of MSC Cruises includes universal testing for all passengers and crew before embarkation. Passengers will not be allowed to go ashore independently but only on protected shore excursions thus also protecting the communities they call at.
MSC Cruises restarted sailings earlier this week with MSC Grandiosa sailing out of Genoa (Milan) on a 7-night Western Mediterranean voyage. The ship will initially only welcome passengers who are resident in Schengen countries. Grandiosa is sailing with a maximum occupancy rate of 70%, allowing for 10m2 of space per guest.