MSC Cruises Resumes Service in the Western Mediterranean
Need something positive to help you break free from the doldrums of January? MSC Cruises has resumed operation in the Mediterranean on board their flagship MSC Grandiosa after a holiday season break due to the Italian COVID-19 decree that restricted movement within the country. The
MSC Grandiosa was one of the first ships to resume operation in Europe back in August 2020 and since then, more than 30,000 guests have sailed on board. According to MSC, the feedback from guests has been overwhelming positive with many choosing to extend their stay on board by one or more weeks. The current sailings are 7 days long with Genoa, Italy as the departure port.
MSC Cruises’ Health and Safety Protocol
MSC credits their health and safety protocol as the primary reason they’re able to sail with guests while so many other cruise lines are still waiting to resume operation. Prior to boarding, all guests pass through a series of health checks, including COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew. The health and safety measures also include a response plan that can be activated in the event of a positive COVID-19 test on board.
The protocols have evolved over the past 6 months as well, leading to an even safer experience for all involved. The cruise line added mid-cruise testing for guests and weekly testing for crew as well as further enhanced hygiene and sanitation measures. Passengers and crew are asked to observe social distancing as well as wearing masks in public areas, and onboard contact tracing helps to stem an outbreak before it spreads. Guests only go ashore as part of protected shore excursions in order to limit their contact with others outside of the MSC Cruises’ operation.
About MSC Grandiosa
Just a few months prior to the global shutdown of cruising, MSC Cruises launched MSC Grandiosa as the new flagship of their fleet. The ship features a Mediterranean-style interior promenade, an LED sky screen that changes scenery at every hour of the day and night and five specialty restaurants along with the main dining rooms. The ship also features MSC Yacht Club — MSC Cruises’ ship within a ship concept — offering a range of private facilities including a private pool, lounge and restaurant as well as 24-hour a day butler and concierge service.
Successful sailings in the Mediterranean would be an important step forward for an industry that’s been hit the hardest by COVID-19. American cruisers should be particularly interested in seeing MSC succeed in Europe as it could potentially lead to the resumption of cruising from ports in the United States.