MSC Cruises introduced several changes this morning to cruises that are currently sailing in the Mediterranean. The changes include one cruise ship pausing service for a month while another vessel will see additional health measures with cruise passengers also being tested half way through their cruise.
Due to the introduction of significant restrictions of movement, in particular in France and Germany, the cruise line is temporarily suspending further sailings of MSC Magnifica from November 8 through to December 18, 2020.
Simultaneously, the company announced that MSC Grandiosa will continue and extend her current sailings in the Western Mediterranean through to March 2021 with the following additional health and safety measures on top of the existing comprehensive protocol:
- Additional onboard testing for all guests mid-way through their cruise (on top of the existing pre-boarding universal testing for all guests)
- Increased testing of all crew from twice-a-month to weekly (in addition to pre-boarding testing for all crew and other ongoing health monitoring measures)
- Increased frequency of onboard sanitation, in particular of public areas and high touch points
- Tightening of the definition of close contact for tracing purposes, reducing the time that individuals are in contact from 15 minutes to 10 minutes
The MSC Cruises health and safety protocol was designed from the very beginning to be able to adapt to the evolution of the pandemic situation ashore to ensure the best protection possible for guests, crew and the communities the ships visit.
The additional measures were activated over the past two weeks on board the cruise line’s two ships currently at sea for this reason.
In connection with the health situation ashore and in particular the continued unavailability of the majority of ports along the proposed itinerary, MSC Cruises has been forced to cancel its 2021 World Cruise, which was due to be performed by MSC Magnifica. Guests will be contacted separately with rescheduling options.
When MSC Magnifica resumes operation after her temporary pause, she will continue sailing from December 18, 2020 with her special one off 8-night Christmas cruise itinerary that week then return to her current 10-night itinerary across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean until the end of April 2021.