health & safety measures

MSC Seashore | Cruise Ships | MSC Cruises Play

MSC Cruises' top priority continues to be the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities that our ships visit. 


Our industry-leading health and safety protocols were first introduced in summer 2020 and demonstrated our unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of our guests and crew and has since set the standard in the travel industry. 


The detailed knowledge we have gained from hosting over one million guests who have enjoyed a relaxing and — above all else — safe vacation at sea, has enabled us to evolve our health & safety protocols. 


Our ability to rapidly adapt and evolve while continuing to offer the highest level of preventative health measures, makes cruising with MSC one of the safest vacation options. 



Putting The Health And Safety Of Our Guests And Crew First
(For Cruises Departing From U.S. Ports)


For ships departing from U.S. ports, wearing masks and social distancing onboard are optional for fully vaccinated guests and recommended but not required for unvaccinated children.

Masks are optional unless required by local regulation in our terminals. Guests must follow all local mask regulations at public ports of call. Protocols are subject to change.

The exact protocols for Winter 2022/23 Red Sea & Saudia Arabia, South America, and South Africa itineraries are subject to change and will adapt according to the evolution of the pandemic and local requirements. Information will be updated on a regular basis when available.



Your Cruise Experience


  • To maintain health and safety standards, MSC Cruises has adapted processes for ordering, preparing, delivering, consuming, and paying for food and beverage service.
  • A new seating layout allows for social distancing.
  • Self-service at the buffet restaurant is now available again. 
  • For a contactless experience, you can access restaurant and bar menus from your personal mobile device by conveniently scanning a QR code.


  • Newly designed onboard activities and entertainment for smaller group sizes have been created
  • A wide array of activities including shows, entertainment and the Kids Club will be available by reservation at no extra charge
  • The capacity of the theater will be reduced to ensure responsible social distancing and the entertainment schedule will be extended so you can still enjoy a great variety of award-winning shows
  • All recreational and sporting equipment, fitness machines, toys, games and Kids Club equipment will be disinfected after each use


  • All open decks will be accessible as well as pools, whirlpools, and the Aquapark
  • Sun beds will be separated in clusters
  • All outdoor furniture will be disinfected after every use and deeper disinfection will take place every night


  • Download our app MSC For Me (or use our interactive touchscreens and in-stateroom smart TV onboard) to easily find information while avoiding queues*
  • Remote desks will be available on embarkation day for in-person questions
  • You should always call before going to any desk for information
  • Cashless payments will be highly recommended

    *MSC for Me digital channels (mobile app, in-stateroom smart TV, interactive touchscreens) is available on MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Seaview, MSC Seaside, MSC Splendida, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore and MSC Magnifica (limited version).


  • To go ashore during your cruise, we highly recommend you participate in one of our MSC shore excursions to ensure the same high standards of health and safety ashore as on board
  • Visit our Shore Excursion FAQ section for more information


  • New cleaning methods including the use of hospital-grade disinfectants, electrostatic sprayers, increased cleaning frequency and a focus on high-traffic, frequently-touched areas
  • Staterooms cleaned daily, with additional deep sanitation at the end of each cruise
  • 100% fresh, external air supplied to all staterooms and public spaces, with no re-circulation
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers available around the ship


  • Fully equipped Medical Center, including COVID-19 testing equipment, ventilators and increased number of highly trained staff on board
  • Comprehensive isolation and quarantine procedures and a response plan in place with local authorities that will be activated in case of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 situations



- Are there any travel restrictions, such as current health status, past medical history or age?

In addition to the Health and Safety measures and travel requirements described on each destination page, the current advice from the World Health Organization, EU Healthy Gateways and other authorities is that COVID-19 is often more severe in people who are older or who have health conditions like lung or heart disease, diabetes or conditions that affect their immune system. Older guests or those with such conditions are advised to consult with a doctor or their local health authorities for guidance before travelling to assess whether they should be travelling at this time. According to the EU Healthy Gateways advisory, anyone over 65 years of age is considered part of a higher risk group.

- Are there any travel restrictions or travel requirements based on destination?

Before booking your cruise, please check HERE if you are allowed to embark according to your country of residence. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there might be international travel restrictions depending on your cruise destination and your country of residence. 

In addition, travel requirements might be different according to your cruise destination. Please select your destination below.



For countries requiring RT-PCR, NAAT or antigen testing, the test must be taken no more than the designated time based on the destination. 
Example: RT-PCR test must be taken no more than 2 days before boarding the ship. Your boarding time is 5pm on Friday, therefore the test cannot be taken before Wednesday at 5pm. 


- Is travel insurance required in order to cruise?

For U.S. and Puerto Rico residents departing on cruises from a U.S. port:


All guests 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time of embarkation. 


MSC encourages but does not require fully vaccinated guests based on the dates above, to purchase travel insurance either through MSC Cruises or another provider. If you choose to purchase travel insurance through MSC Cruises, the purchase must be made prior to final payment.


View full details of MSC Cruises travel insurance


MSC Cruises provides COVID-19 assistance at no extra charge for U.S. and Puerto Rico residents who are fully vaccinated.  Children under the required vaccination age based on the dates above, regardless of vaccination status, traveling with fully vaccinated parents/guardians (with proof of vaccination) also benefit from this assistance.    


If you test positive for COVID-19 within 14-days prior to your cruise, you and your traveling party will receive a full refund.


If you test positive for COVID-19 at the terminal, you and your traveling party will receive a full refund and assistance, if required, with land-based quarantine.


If you test positive for COVID-19 during your cruise, you and your traveling party will receive a pro-rated refund and assistance, if required, with onboard medical care and land-based quarantine.

For non-U.S. residents departing on cruises from a U.S. port: 

Purchase of travel insurance with coverage for COVID-19 is required through the country of residence of each guest.


If purchased through MSC Cruises, it must be purchased prior to making the final payment on your booking


You must either purchase travel insurance through MSC Cruises or present documentation at the pier with sufficient coverage purchased from another provider or you will be denied boarding.


View full details of MSC Cruises travel insurance

For ALL guests departing on cruises from outside a U.S. port:


Purchase of travel insurance with coverage for COVID-19 is required through the country of residence of each guest.


If purchased through MSC Cruises, it must be purchased prior to making the final payment on your booking


You must either purchase travel insurance through MSC Cruises or present documentation at the pier with sufficient coverage purchased from another provider or you will be denied boarding.


Guests that purchase insurance other than the one offered by MSC Cruises must provide proof of their valid travel insurance policy that has a minimum of (a) $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and (b) $50,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation, both with no COVID-19 exclusions.  The insurance policy must name the guest as the policyholder or beneficiary.  Guests must bring a printed version of the insurance policy, showing the name of each of the covered guest(s) and a description of the coverage in the policy. This documentation will be reviewed by our staff at the terminal prior to boarding.  Without it, guests will be denied boarding.


View full details of MSC Cruises travel insurance


- What will happen if embarkation is denied to a guest for health reasons?

If a guest presents symptoms of illness such as temperature higher than 99.5°F / 37.5°C or there are concerns with their health questionnaire, the guest will undertake a secondary screening, including in-depth interview, a second temperature measurement, a medical examination and, if necessary, a laboratory examination.

If a guest is then not considered fit to travel, they will be assisted in their next steps of a return home or will be potentially being treated in a local medical facility to ensure maximum support and care.

- What safety protocols will be implemented on transfers and shuttles?

We are extending our enhanced health and hygiene measures to all MSC transfers, including:


- Cleaning and sanitization of all vehicles before any new group of guests

- Availability of hand sanitization stations and disinfectant mats for footwear

- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all drivers

- Reduced number of guests with selected seats empty to ensure social distancing

- How are you cleaning and sanitizing the guest staterooms?

According to our enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols, every guest stateroom will be thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis, with special attention to 40 frequently-touched areas, such as door handles, power switches, control panels, remote controls, desks and bathroom surfaces.

Every stateroom will also go through a deep cleaning at the end of each cruise before the next guests arrive for their cruise vacation.

- How often are you sanitizing public areas?

All public areas and public restrooms will be deep cleaned and sprayed with disinfectant each night, as well as regularly sanitized throughout the day. For example, public toilets will be cleaned every 20 minutes, and all cleaning staff will wear appropriate PPE.

- How will the check-in take place?

Before the cruise, the collection of contact details for each guest is mandatory in case of important updates. Proceeding to the web check-in allow guests to receive cruise tickets, travel documentation and mandatory health questionnaires. On embarkation day, guests should arrive at the time indicated on their cruise ticket to facilitate responsible social distancing, with travel documentation, vaccination certificate (must be valid for the whole duration of the cruise), and proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Test must meet stated travel requirements by country of residence and cruise destination (check above Travel Requirements section). A newly designed processes for embarkation has been implemented to manage the guest flow, to limit lines and contacts.

Before the cruise, MSC Cruises invites all guests to download for free the MSC for Me* app to start booking additional services, to secure space and to ensure a seamless onboard experience. 

*MSC For Me is only available on select ships

- What measures are you taking for the disembarkation process at the end of a cruise?

To ensure that all guests are disembarked safely and efficiently, we are providing detailed, step-by-step information, allocated time slots and a complimentary face mask for their journey home. 


All luggage will be sanitized before departure and staff wearing appropriate protective equipment will direct guests to avoid congestions at the gangway. Boarding for the next sailing will only commence once all guests have disembarked, avoiding any cross-over.


- What happens if there is a suspected case of COVID-19 on board?

The preventative health and safety steps in the protocols are designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission on board. In the event that someone should fall sick, we have a fully equipped onboard 24/7 Medical Centre with highly qualified medical staff who are fully trained for COVID-19 treatment and who are supported by a 24/7 ashore medical team. 


In case of flu-like symptoms, guests should notify immediately the Medical Centre and free treatment will be provided. If the onboard medical team determines a suspected COVID-19 case, a comprehensive isolation procedure and response plan will be activated in close cooperation with the health authorities.

- Have you agreed with specific ports that they will welcome your ships that have positive cases on board for medical assistance ashore?

Yes. As part of our comprehensive and enhanced health and safety protocols, we have a contingency response plan in place with all the relevant authorities in the ports where the ships will call.


- Do you have certified COVID-19 tests on board your ships?

We have COVID-19 testing equipment on board for Real Time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and antigen swab testing.


- How do you monitor the health of guests onboard?

All MSC Cruises’ ships are equipped with state-of-the-art medical services and an increased number of qualified medical staff onboard, supported by dedicated 24/7 ashore Medical Team. We continuously monitor the health of our guests and crew with contactless temperature checks during the cruise; in case of flu-like symptoms, guests should immediately notify the Medical Centre and free treatment will be provided.

For all sailings in the upcoming months, guests may need to undergo an additional swab test during the cruise whilst on board, on top of the existing pre-boarding COVID-19 testing. When required, the test is mandatory.


- How will the Main Dining experience change?

Our main restaurants will continue to serve our guests with a wide array of inspiring dishes and high-quality cuisine. We are modifying the seating layout to enable safe physical distancing, and guests will have the same table and waiter throughout their cruise for extra peace of mind. 


We are elevating our strict food safety protocols by enhancing the cleaning and sanitizing of all venues, providing appropriate protective equipment to all servers and increasing the number of hand sanitization stations at all restaurants.  

- Will the self-service at buffet be available?

Self-service at the buffet restaurant is now available again.

- Will Specialty Restaurants be open?

Yes, our sought-after Specialty Restaurants will be open while operating at a reduced capacity to comply with the precautionary health and safety measures. Reservations are available at the time of booking to help guests secure spaces and save money compared to onboard prices. Book your specialty dining prior to your cruise and save up to 35% vs. onboard prices.

- Will there be any changes to the bars and lounges?

Our bars will be open and ready to serve our guests with their favorite cocktail or aperitif. To ensure we comply with the current social distancing recommendations, we will limit the capacity of each venue. 


- How can I pre-book my drinks or restaurants onboard?

You can save time by personalizing your cruise even before getting onboard. Login on our website and you can easily add drink packages or dining experiences to your cruise and take advantage of our pre-booking discounts!

- How I can get the restaurants and drinks menu at bars and restaurants?

For a contactless experience, guests will access restaurant and bar menus from their personal mobile device by scanning a QR code while on board. Before the cruise, MSC Cruises invites all guests to download for free the MSC for Me app (available on select ships) to browse all the onboard restaurants, bars and lounges and to ensure a seamless onboard experience like making restaurant reservations.



- Will guests still be able to enjoy the theater shows and other activities? 

Guests may continue to enjoy our onboard award-winning entertainment.  Shows and activities will be pre-booked to manage the number of participants. 

- Will the Kids Club be open and what kind of kids’ activities will be available?

Our Kids Club and family activities will welcome kids and parents in a healthy and safe environment fun and enjoyable experience.

New measures include reduced capacity, a streamlined registration process, contactless temperature check and hand sanitizer provided upon entry. We're adding new exciting activities and family game shows that will be available for booking up to one day in advance. Toys and water will be provided by our staff, while we'll keep out personal belongings as an additional safety measure.

Onboard services are subject to changes based on local regulations or other restrictions, in the context of the COVID-19 situation. Please note MSC Babycare (dedicated to babies and toddlers under 3 years old) will be temporarily unavailable onboard our ships.

- Will you still have Spa and Fitness services available to guests? 

MSC Aurea Spa and Fitness facilities and services will be available* with enhanced health and sanitation measures, extended opening hours and reduced capacity in public spaces. Onboard services are subject to changes based on local regulations or other restrictions, in the context of the COVID-19 situation. 

For their health and comfort, guests will pre-book spa treatments, fitness sessions and thermal area visits by phone. 

Fitness machines and equipment, spa areas and treatment rooms will be thoroughly sanitized after each use as well as deep-cleaned and disinfected every night. 

All Spa staff have been trained on rigorous health and sanitation measures and will wear appropriate protective equipment.


Book now your spa services today.


*Due to the increased Health & Safety measures in order to grant a safe cruise for all our guests, all Thermal Area experiences are by appointment only.


- Will guests be able to use the casino?

The casino remains fully functional under the new protocols with added sanitation and social distancing measures in place, including frequent sanitizing of chips, replacing playing cards on a regular basis and a reduced number of seats at gaming tables.

- Will there be any restrictions to visit some ports?

Guests will be able to go ashore independently according to local requirements which are continually monitored and subject to change. Guests who are traveling with unvaccinated children are also able to go ashore independently. For the best ashore experience, we recommend all guests explore destinations with the comfort, convenience, and safety of an MSC Cruises Shore Excursion, bookable pre-cruise and on board. 


MSC Cruises offers a large variety of shore excursions. Some excursions are available only to guests holding the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate/Green pass or, from extra Schengen countries Travelers, the equivalent COVID-19 certificate, while other excursions are open to those not in its possession, guaranteeing in both cases the highest health and safety standards. More information about the tours are available here. Please note that guests holding the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate/Green pass or the equivalent COVID-19 certificate (for extra Schengen countries Travelers), travelling with children over 12 years old who do not hold an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate/Green card or the equivalent COVID-19 certificate (for extra Schengen countries Travelers), will be considered as Guests not holding the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate/Green pass or the equivalent COVID-19 certificate (for extra Schengen countries Travelers), for excursions purposes: children will be requested to do the free COVID-19 test on board to participate to the excursion (or the booked excursion will need to be changed for another tour not requiring the green pass).

The EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate / Green Pass is a digital certificate with a QR code issued by countries in Europe to show the following:

  •  The guest has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, taken at least 14 days beforehand, using a vaccine recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
  • The guest has recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months
  •  A guest who has a negative result for a molecular or antigen test performed in the last 48 hours

A copy of the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate / Green Pass or, from extra Schengen countries Travelers, the equivalent COVID-19 certificate (digital or paper format), and a personal ID or passport, must be shown during the tour at all required entry checks.  

This is a regulation coming from the local authorities and MSC Cruises is not responsible if access is denied at one of the venues on the selected tour. Every port of call offers also a variety of excursions that do not require the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate (Green Pass) or, the equivalent COVID-19 certificate (for extra Schengen countries travelers). Guests not in possession of a valid certificate can change excursions but availability is limited for some tours. Alternatively, Guests can contact the MSC Excursions office on board during the cruise: a free test will be arranged.