MSC Cruises announced it would restart its operations in Germany on July 3 with its first-ever deployment of a Seaside class ship to operate in the Baltic, MSC Seaview, and with a new itinerary for the region.
The ship will homeport in Kiel, northern Germany until September 2021 and offer 7-night cruises, all including protected shore trips, to Visby on the largest Swedish island of Gotland (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Nynashamn Port for the capital city of Stockholm (the ‘Venice of the North’), and the capital of Estonia Tallinn (renowned for monumental walls, towers, and ancient buildings), prior to returning to Kiel.
The cruise ship will comply with the company's industry-leading health & safety protocol that was developed in 2020 with input from international health experts, such as MSC’s ‘COVID-19 Blue-Ribbon Expert Group’, as well as in close cooperation with transport, health, and safety authorities throughout Europe.
Health & safety measures include social distancing, weekly testing of the crew, universal testing upon embarkation and mid-cruise, the wearing of masks in public areas, protected shore trips.
MSC Cruises said it would closely monitor the situation ashore at the destinations MSC Seaview would visit and the itinerary might see the possible addition of new cruise ports.
Seaview’s Baltic Sea cruises are a step forward in the line's wider plans for a return to the sea.
MSC Seaside and MSC Grandiosa are currently sailing in the Western Mediterranean. In August, they will be joined by MSC Seashore for her maiden season.
With a few ports in the Baltic and North Seas open for sailing this summer, MSC has been forced to cancel its summer season sailings from the German ports of Hamburg and Warnemunde-Rostock for MSC Musica and MSC Preziosa, respectively.