After scoring approval from all relevant authorities, MSC Cruises has locked in dates for its August Mediterranean return onboard Grandiosa and Magnifica.
Grandiosa will start on Aug. 16 with a Western Mediterranean itinerary and Magnifica will return on Aug. 29 with an Eastern Mediterranean itinerary. The sailings will only allow guests from Schengen countries initially, something that MSC announced last week.
“We are very pleased to be able to start welcoming back guests for full-experience cruise vacations this summer on board two of our most popular ships — including our flagship MSC Grandiosa — and in the Mediterranean, the very region where our Company’s roots are and we have long been market leaders,” MSC CEO Gianni Onorato said.
Grandiosa’s seven-night sailings will include stops at Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, and Valetta, while Magnifica will sail seven-night itineraries including stops at Bari, Trieste, Corfu, Katakolon, and Piraeus.
“The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected ashore visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises’ excursion as an added level of protection for our guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for further peace of mind for our guests. With all of these measures in place, we aim to offer our guests the safest possible vacation,” Pierfrancesco Vago said in a statement.
For right now, MSC, and all other cruise lines, are in a holding pattern for its U.S. operations. MSC, and other CLIA lines, will not sail until at least November. MSC on Friday also announced that all of its other cruises outside of Grandiosa and Magnifica will be cancelled in the Mediterranean through October and all of its Far East cruises from Sept. 10 through Oct. 26 will also be cancelled.
MSC is offering all impacted guests a 125% FCC to be used before Dec. 31, 2021 or a full refund.