MSC Cruises announced that given the prevailing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic situation in Germany and France with significant travel restrictions affecting passengers from these markets, it is temporarily suspending further voyages of MSC Magnifica.
The temporary suspension is due to affect sailing from November 8 through to December 18, included. Germany and France are two key source markets for the vessel’s 10-night cruises across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean visiting destinations in Malta, Greece, and Italy.
Meanwhile, MSC Grandiosa continues and extends her current cruises into 2021. MSC’s flagship is scheduled to operate its current 7-night Western Mediterranean itinerary with embarkations in homeports Genoa, Civitavecchia-Rome, Naples and Palermo Sicily and with calling at Valetta Malta, until March 27, 2021.
MSC Grandiosa will see the application of newly activated measures under the company's existing and comprehensive health and safety operating protocol, including the following:
- Additional onboard testing for all passengers mid-way through their voyage (on top of the existing pre-boarding testing for all travellers)
- Testing of all crew members during their time onboard is increased from twice-per-month to weekly (in addition to pre-boarding testing for all crew members and other ongoing health monitoring measures)
- Increased frequency of sanitation, in particular of high touchpoints and public areas
- Tightening of the definition of close contact for tracing purposes and reducing the time that persons are in contact from 15 to 10 minutes.
In connection with the health situation and in particular the continued unavailability of the majority of cruise ports along the proposed itinerary, MSC has been forced to cancel its 2021 World Voyage, which was due to be performed by Magnifica.
When MSC Magnifica resumes sailings after her temporary pause, she is expected to continue sailing from December 18 with her special 8-night Christmas cruise itinerary and then return to her current 10-night Eastern and Western Mediterranean itinerary until the end of April 2021.