Cruise Line Resumes Sailing With Two Ships
MSC Cruises is officially back in business in the Mediterranean!
On August 16, MSC Grandiosa became the first ship from the line’s fleet to welcome guests back following its suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the first to implement the line’s new health and safety protocols. The first passengers began embarking the line’s flagship, MSC Grandiosa, in Genoa, Italy yesterday morning, arriving at the terminal according to their time slots and following the new screening procedures that include a temperature check, review of a health questionnaire, and an antigen COVID-19 swab test prior to boarding. After completing these steps and receiving the test results while in the terminal, passengers deemed fit to travel then embarked the ship according to the procedures which include sanitation of both hand and hold luggage. All crew members have gone through similar health screening measures, including three COVID-19 tests in various phases as well as a period of isolation before beginning their onboard duties. Additionally, crew members will be regularly tested and their health monitored per the line’s protocols.
All guests were given a complimentary MSC for Me wristband, which provides them with contactless options while on board, such as opening their cabin doors or making payments.
MSC Cruises’ CEO Gianni Onorato said, “It is a real pleasure for me to be here and sail on board the first of our ships to return to service and to be able to welcome back our guests. Our main goal during these last months has been to put in place the right measures that will protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit. But at the same time, we have worked to ensure that we are able to provide our guests with a cruise holiday that they can enjoy and still experience all of the elements that they know and love from entertainment and activities on board through to protected ashore visits.”
After embarkation in Genoa, there will be additional guests embarking at the first port of call today in Civitavecchia. Additional guests will be allowed to embark during subsequent calls in Naples and Palermo as well. The ship will then call in Valletta, Malta before returning to Genoa on Sunday. Along the way, passengers will be able to go ashore only with an MSC Cruises shore excursion as an added level of protection so that their experience follows the same safety standards as onboard.
For this initial phase of MSC Cruises’ restart of operations, MSC Magnifica will join Grandiosa in the Mediterranean, operating itineraries in the eastern region. For this summer season, the ships will initially only welcome passengers who are residents in Schengen countries. In the United States, MSC Cruises says that they will only restart operations when the time is right, following approval by the CDC and other relevant authorities.
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If you live in a Schengen country, are you planning to sail one of these ships this summer?