Second MSC Ship Resumes Sailings in Italy
On October 19, 2020 the MSC Magnifica became the second ship to set sail for MSC Cruises following its worldwide suspension of operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Magnifica departed from Genoa, Italy on a 10-day round trip Mediterranean voyage making stops in Livorno and Messina, Piraeus, Katakolon, Valletta, Malta, and Civitavecchia.
The departure of Magnifica follows two months after MSC Cruises put its first ship back in service, the MSC Grandiosa. Since then the Grandiosa has been sailing itineraries stopping at only Italian ports.
According to a release by the line MSC Magnifica will follow in the footsteps of the successful return to service of MSC Grandiosa using new health and safety measures, “MSC Cruises’ new protocol, which will see its application also for the benefit of MSC Magnifica guests and crew, includes universal screening of everyone before they can board a ship, elevated sanitation and cleaning measures throughout the vessel, managed social distancing, wearing of face masks in public areas and technology to aid track and trace on board. The protocol’s robust and rigorous standards towards health and safety are similarly applied for all excursions ashore where guests are contained in a ‘social bubble’ to protect their wellbeing and the communities being visited.”
As of now, MSC Magnifica’s capacity is capped at 70 percent to help ensure proper social distancing protocols are observed by passengers and crew. Guests may only take part in shore excursions which have been organized directly by MSC. Both the MSC Magnifica and the MSC Grandiosa itineraries are only available for booking by residents of the Schengen area.
Operations of MSC Cruises in U.S. ports remain suspended through November 30, 2020. This date falls after the October 31 expiration of the ‘No Sail Order’ by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which suspends all passenger operations on cruise ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers in waters that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction.