The world's 3rd-largest cruise shipping company MSC announced it will accept only fully vaccinated passengers for winter 2021-2022 season fleetwide, with the obligation of an additional COVID test before the embarkation date.
The measures were in use for all of MSC's winter cruises in other regions, just the Mediterranean voyages have been added to the list with the requirements, and from that moment on, for all passengers booked on the liners MSC Fantasia and MSC Grandiosa.
Vaccines are valid only as a full set of COVID shots 14 days before the voyage. Besides the vaccines, the passengers will also be required a COVID test up to 72 hours of the departure time.
Gianni Onorato (MSC's CEO) said their health and safety protocol had led the way in the cruise industry not just because they had been the first major line to restart international operations but also because of the flexibility to adapt to the evolution of the COVID crisis ashore.
"This approach has reassured our guests, our crew and the destinations we visit with our ships and we saw last winter with our sailings in the Mediterranean that even during a new peak of the pandemic ashore we were able to adapt our health and safety measures appropriately and continue to offer the highest level of protection to our guests and crew. This is the case once more as some countries in Europe are seeing an increase in infection rates ashore and to ensure the wellbeing of those onboard our ships and at the communities they call, our approach again demonstrates that health and safety is our number one priority.”
Passengers who will not be able to make it with being fully vaccinated in time for the departure date can decide between a couple of options: postponing their voyage with MSC Cruises to a later date or asking for a refund.
Passengers under 12 years of age will continue to be welcome aboard under the current measures.