MSC Cruises’ CEO Gianni Onorato revealed details of the company’s comprehensive health and safety protocols developed to help restart operations in the Mediterranean this summer.
The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew before embarkation, protected visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises excursion and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for guest peace of mind.
MSC Cruises is preparing for a potential restart this summer in the Mediterranean. In the U.S., ships will return to service when the CDC’s no-sail order is lifted and approvals are received from relevant local and national authorities, including the CDC, as well as across from the regions the ships will operate.
While awaiting the necessary final approvals, MSC Cruises is planning to return service to two ships – the flagship MSC Grandiosa and the MSC Magnifica.
MSC Grandiosa will offer seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean, and MSC Magnifica will serve the East Mediterranean.
Actual departure dates will be determined when guidelines are received from relevant authorities. The itineraries that are planned include Greece and Malta, where ports have reopened and the authorities have approved MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocols.
These first Mediterranean cruises will initially only welcome guests who are residents in Schengen countries. Additionally, their itineraries have been designed according to the accessibility of the ports, reducing — where possible — the need for guests to use public transport or flights, and have been planned in conjunction with the authorities.
Guests residing in countries who are unable to sail on the summer Mediterranean cruises will be contacted by MSC Cruises with options for their vacation plans.
MSC Cruises created a dedicated task force with guidance from external medical experts to develop procedures that go beyond the regional and national guidelines and “effectively set a new standard,” MSC said. Additionally, RINA, the independent maritime certification corporation, has verified that the protocol meets the European Maritime Safety Agency Guidance, which incorporates additional health standards including those from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action.
For a complete list of MSC Cruises’ new safety protocols, click here.
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