Geneva, Switzerland (March 19, 2021)—MSC Cruises has announced that it will offer a series of mini and week-long cruises around the UK for British guests only that will include protected shore excursions for 7-night sailings.
All voyages will welcome British families and guests of all ages — including those who have already received their vaccine against COVID-19 as well as those are still awaiting vaccination.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises said,“Our experience of sailing safely and responsibly since August last year in the Mediterranean, under our industry-leading protective health and safety protocol, has given us a great deal of knowledge and data about safe cruises. Thanks to a protocol designed to be adapted to reflect the evolution of the pandemic ashore, we have carried more than 50,000 guests to-date — on cruises to Italy, Malta and Greece —who can testify to the experience of having an enjoyable holiday that catered for their well being both onboard our ships and also during our pioneering protected shore excursions.”
“Following the initial phase of our restart in the Mediterranean, the next logical step for us is to make our experience available to British holidaymakers, who are passionate about cruising, as the UK plans to open up domestic travel in the second half of May.
“We also remain confident that we will soon be able to welcome British guests back on board one of our ships further afield, once current international travel restrictions are lifted and more of our ships will have restarted across the Mediterranean as well as other areas traditionally favored by the British.”
All guests will receive an antigen test prior to embarkation, while non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of negative test done within 72 hours prior to embarkation. Other pre-boarding and on-board measures will also apply to both guests and crew, in line with MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol.
The protocol, which currently applies to MSC Cruises’ ships sailing in Europe, was developed in 2020 with input from international health experts — including MSC Cruises’ ‘COVID-19 Blue-Ribbon Expert Group’— and in close cooperation with relevant national and regional health, transport and safety authorities throughout Europe.
All departures, starting from May 20, will embark from Southampton, with details on other embarkation ports in the UK to be announced soon. In the U.S., MSC Cruises will only restart operations when the time is right, following approval by the CDC and other relevant authorities across the region in observance of their requirements and guidelines.
About MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises is the world’s third largest cruise brand as well as the leader in Europe, South America, the Gulf region and Southern Africa with more market share in addition to deployed capacity than any other player. It is also the fastest growing global cruise brand with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East markets.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises one of the two brands that sit within the Cruises Division of MSC Group, the leading privately held Swiss-based shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage. MSC Cruises — the contemporary brand — has a modern fleet of 18 vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels. The fleet is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025 with options for six vessel orders in place through 2030.
MSC Cruises offers its guests an enriching, immersive and safe cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage, where they can enjoy international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programs and the very latest user-friendly technology on board. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ itineraries and experience on board its ships please see here.
The Company’s number one priority has always been the health and safety of its guests and crew, as well as the communities at the destinations its ships serve. In August 2020, MSC Cruises implemented a new comprehensive and robust health and safety protocol to become the first major line to return to sea. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ health & safety protocol please see here.
MSC Cruises has long been committed to environmental stewardship with a long-term goal to achieve zero emissions for its operations. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry wide. To learn more about the Company’s environmental commitment please see here.
Finally, to learn more about the MSC Foundation, MSC Group’s own vehicle to lead, focus and advance its conservation, humanitarian and cultural commitments please see here.