In connection with the introduction of additional COVID-19 testing measures for Italian residents (having travelled to Greece), MSC said they were seeing "cancellations and a softening in demand since the ship’s itinerary includes as many as three ports in that country. This has led to the decision to delay the restart of the ship by four weeks."
The company believed that reservations would pick up again in the coming weeks because of the appeal of the itinerary. The sales of MSC Magnifica were open to Schengen area residents. At the same time in the early phase of the restart, the majority of passengers were expected to be Italian residents and nationals.
As a result, MSC Magnifica's departures from August 29 through September 19 have been cancelled. The first sailing will depart from Bari Italy with an unchanged itinerary on September 26.
Travellers affected by the cancelled voyages will either be re-protected onto another sailing (in particular on MSC Grandiosa, currently deployed in the Western Mediterranean) or will receive an FCC (Future Cruise Credit) where they have the chance to transfer the full amount paid for the cancelled cruise to a future trip of their choice, on any cruise ship, for any itinerary, through to the end of next year.
Last month, MSC Cruises confirmed details of its Winter 2020-2021 cruise season, offering 90+ different itineraries across the Mediterranean, Caribbean, the Gulf, Asia, South America, and South Africa, all of the regions where the company traditionally operates. Itineraries range from 2 to 24 nights, along with the 3rd MSC World Cruise departing January 2021 and a Grand Voyages program.