The coronavirus has damaged international travel for the last 10 months globally and cruising industry could not either avoid the negative effects of the pandemic.
Cruise companies had to cancel their itineraries since March 2020 and it is still questionable when they can restart their operation.
Some cruises are on seasonal service from certain ports, others have been suspended until further notice. MSC Cruises, the world’s third largest cruise brand, is one of the first to restart operation in Europe.
The company’s flagship MSC Grandiosa resumes seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean and it departed the evening of January 24 from Genoa. The MSC Grandiosa cruises are scheduled to call at the Italian ports of Naples, Palermo and Civitavecchia as well as Valetta, Malta. MSC Grandiosa has welcomed more than 30.000 passengers since it was first continued cruising in August 2020 after the shut down but then it was temporarily suspended again as a result of the Italian decree that restricted movement within the country.
MSC Cruises implemented a new health and safety protocol which helped to set the standard for the cruising industry, making embarking on a cruise ship one of the safest ways to vacation. This protocol is unique in the hospitality industry and has been approved by national authorities in Italy, Greece and Malta. It is also used as the basis to inform and support plans to restart cruising in other parts of the world. So let’s see what it is all about! Prior to embarkation, all guests go through a series of health checks, including COVID-19 testing for all passangers and crew members, as part of MSC Cruises comprehensive health and safety protocol that has been designed to respond to the constantly changing situation ashore.
Since November 2020 certain measures were enhanced including the introduction of weekly testing for crew and mid-cruise testing for guests. Hygiene and sanitation measures were further improved, everyone on board must observe the prescribed precautions such as social distancing as well as wearing masks in public areas. The guest technology has been improved to facilitate onboard contact tracing and guests can only go ashore as part of protected shore excursions organised by the cruise company to reserve a safe environment on board.
MSC Grandiosa was launched in November 2019 and offers a range of different experiences for guests. Its iconic Mediterrenean-style interior promenade is topped by a LED sky screen that changes scenery at every hour of the day and night. There are five specialty restaurants available for guests to enjoy international dining and for those who are longing for a more exclusive experience, the MSC Yacht Club – MSC Cruises’ ship within a ship concept – provides numerous private facilities including a private pool, lounge and restaurants as well as non-stop butler and concierge service.
If you decide for a cruise vacation, you will have the chance to relax with total peace of mind and safely enjoy a wide range of different activities, all adapted to meet the current health and safety requirements, while still allowing to you to have a memorable and rich experience. The company has implemented a so-called ’Cruise with confidence’ program that offers no-penalty changes up to 48 hours prior to your cruise and provides you with the most up to date health and safety protocols when booking your cruise vacation.