MSC Cruises has announced that MSC Virtuosa will be deployed to the UK for her inaugural season. Virtuosa will replace MSC Magnifica who was originally scheduled to offer a summer of short breaks and week-long sailings around the British Isles.
Starting 20 May MSC Virtuosa will offer a special range of sailings to some of the UK’s most popular ports such as Portland, Liverpool, Greenock and Belfast. All operations will be conducted in accordance with relevant government requirements and will see the implementation of MSC Cruises’ industry-leading health and safety protocol.
Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said: “Following our recent announcement that we intend to offer cruises in the UK we have been overwhelmed by the response from MSC Cruises customers and avid cruisers eager to get back on board and experience a cruise with us this summer. I am personally very proud to be able to bring our newest ship MSC Virtuosa to the UK so that our valued British guests are the first to officially come on board and the first to experience this incredible next generation ship.
MSC Virtuosa will initially operate six mini-cruises with embarkation in Southampton that will include a stop in Portland. These will be followed by a series of seven-night sailings providing embarkation also in the ports of Liverpool and Greenock, giving holidaymakers across the UK the option to easily escape on holiday with minimal travel.
The range of four-night mini-cruises will offer a late sail from Southampton and will provide the ultimate short getaway for couples or friends in search of a quick escape. The ship will call at the Isle of Portland in Dorset, part of the Jurassic Coast, where guests will be able to go ashore to enjoy the perfect day out at the beach. The itinerary will also include two days at sea so that guests can enjoy the incredible array of facilities that MSC Virtuosa has to offer.
From June 12th holidaymakers can join seven-night sailings that will include stops in Portland and the cultural city of Belfast and offer multiple ports of embarkation including Liverpool and Greenock, close to Glasgow.
In addition to offering multiple embarkation ports on the 7-night cruises, guests will also be able to go ashore and visit the different destinations. This is a key aspect of a cruise holiday for a rich and complete experience, and MSC Cruises tried and tested ‘social bubble’ ashore visits deliver the same high standards of health and safety as on board. This is reassuring not only for guests but also the destinations that are visited as healthy guests are visiting their communities and that best practices of health and hygiene will be applied when local attractions are visited.
MSC Virtuosa was previously scheduled to serve itineraries in Northern Europe out of Germany, she will be replaced by MSC Seaview.
The sailings are available to UK residents only, both vaccinated and unvaccinated at the present time. Guests must ensure that they have organised COVID specific travel insurance prior to departure and bring proof this to show at embarkation. Non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of negative test done within 72 hours prior to embarkation.
Sales for these special UK cruises open on Thursday, 1 April.