Geneva, Switzerland, October 1, 2021 – This winter MSC Cruises is offering a rich and diverse winter program with a choice of different ships and itineraries, and guests can choose their vacation with the confidence that MSC Cruises’ industry-leading protocol is in place to safeguard their health. Introduced in August 2020, the protocol has since protected the health of tens of thousands of guests during their cruise vacations on board one of MSC Cruises’ ships. MSC Cruises has worked with the authorities in all of the regions and countries in which the ships will operate this winter to ensure its protocol meets and exceeds the required health and safety measures.
For the winter program, MSC Cruises will require guests will need to provide relevant documentation at embarkation in line with the travel requirements, such as a negative test result, proof of vaccination and COVID insurance documentation. A full overview of the specific requirements for each itinerary can be found by visiting msccruisesusa.com/health-and-safety-measures.
Where proof of vaccination is required, this applies to guests aged 12 years and above with a complete set of vaccine shots received more than 14 days before the start of the cruise, with one of the approved vaccinations accepted by the authorities in the different regions. Guests aged from two years to 11 years need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test.
Many of the destinations that MSC Cruises ships will call require guests to have a COVID-19 insurance policy, as such MSC Cruises will require this as mandatory for all guests. The insurance needs to cover against COVID-19 related risks, i.e., cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization and it is important that this includes coverage in the case of being a close contact.
Guests who are fully vaccinated will be able to go ashore independently according to the requirements of the countries they will visit. Those guests who are not fully vaccinated or who have children in their traveling party will need to go ashore with an MSC Cruises protected shore excursion.
To enable guests to return home in compliance with the various national regulations, it is possible for guests to purchase and perform an RT-PCR or an antigen test during their cruise if this is required for them to return to their home country. This service is booked and paid for on board and is organized through the Medical Centre.
As the situation is dynamic and subject to change by the different countries, it is important that guests carefully check the travel regulations at the time of booking and at the time of travel are according to their country of origin and destination as well as checking with their airline.
Health and Safety On-Board
MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol includes elevated sanitation on board; wearing of masks in indoor public areas or where physical distancing cannot be implemented; a fully-equipped medical center; a contingency response plan agreed in collaboration with the authorities ashore; as well as other key measures to protect the health and safety of the guests, crew and communities that the ship will visit.
To find out more about the embarkation requirements and the health and safety measures visit: msccruisesusa.com/health-and-safety-measures
OVERVIEW OF REQUIREMENTS FOR REGIONS WHERE MSC CRUISES WILL OPERATE
Caribbean – Cruises out of Miami and Port Canaveral
All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated. For U.S. residents, they will need to provide proof of a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of their cruise departure, whilst non-U.S. residents will need a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure. All guests aged from two years to 11 years will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.
All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure. All guests aged from two years to 11 years will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.
As with the summer program, vaccinated and not-fully vaccinated guests from Schengen countries will be able to book these cruises. To embark, these guests will either need to have a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken with 48 hours of departure or be fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months.
Non-Schengen guests will also be able to book these cruises and will need to be fully vaccinated, as well as providing a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.
Guests can only go ashore when participating in an MSC shore excursion and some excursions will require an official COVID certificate (e.g. EU Digital COVID certificate) to access some tourist venues, such as museums or churches.
All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and guests aged from two years to 11 years old will need need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test or antigen taken within 48 hours of their cruise departure.
Non-Schengen guests will also be able to book these cruises and will need to be fully vaccinated as well as providing a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.
Red Sea/Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure. Guests aged from two years to 11 years old will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.
For MSC Bellissima cruises in the Red Sea, a visa is required for entry into Saudi Arabia and guests who purchase an MSC Fly & Cruise package will have a visa for Saudi Arabia valued at €30 per person included in the overall cost.
Guests need to register their vaccination status with the authorities from Saudi Arabia prior to arriving in the country. More information can be found here.
All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure and guests aged from 2 to 11 years will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.
Measures and requirements for cruises in South America and South Africa will be confirmed soon.
To find out more about the winter 21/22 program visit here https://www.msccruisesusa.com/cruise/destinations.
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.
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