MSC Cruises is postponing the restart of MSC Magnifica until 26 September. MSC Magnifica is the cruise line´s second ship to return to service following the restart of MSC Grandiosa on August 16.
29 August 2020 promised to be a magnificent day for MSC Maggnifica as she returned to service after a long period of inactivity. Following MSC Grandiosa, who restarted operations on August 16, Magnifica would have sailed from the Italian ports of Bari and Trieste for a weeklong cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean. Along the way she would have visited the Greek ports of Corfu, Katakolon and Piraeus.
Unfortuntely following the recent introduction of additional testing measures for Italian residents who have travelled to Greece, MSC Cruises has seen cancellations and a softening in demand since MSC Magnifica’s itinerary includes as many as three ports in Greece.
This has led to the decision to delay the restart of MSC Magnifica by four weeks. As a result of this, all cruise departures from 29 August to 19 September have been cancelled.
The first cruise will now depart from Bari (Italy) with an unchanged itinerary on 26 September.
While MSC Magnifica’s sales are open to residents of the Schengen area, in this early phase of restart, the majority of guests are expected to be Italian nationals and residents.
Guests affected by the cancelled cruises will either be re-protected onto another cruise – in particular on MSC Grandiosa – or will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) where they have the opportunity to transfer the full amount paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice – on any ship, for any itinerary – through to the end of 2021.
MSC Grandiosa is currently offering guests seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo and Valetta.
MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol
MSC Cruises has developed a comprehensive operating protocol that builds upon already stringent health and safety measures. The cruise line worked closely with the relevant EU-level, national health and other authorities from the countries that MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will call along their Mediterranean itineraries. The new protocol includes a comprehensive set of procedures designed to protect the health and safety of all passengers on board the ships as well as ashore to ensure that local communities feel comfortable welcoming MSC cruise passengers back.
Further reading: A look at MSC Cruises’ new health and safety protocol
The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected ashore visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises excursion as added level of protection for guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan, which provides further peace of mind for guests.