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230 Mauritian Crew Arrive in Italy For The Restart Of MSC Cruise Ships

Submitted by kgnadmin on

The Mauritius national public broadcaster MBC, reports that 230 Mauritian crew members, called to resume service on cruise ships at the port of Genova in Italy, left Mauritius on a charter flight on Wednesday, July 29. MBC reports that among these Mauritian crew, a good number are made up of new recruits who will be in training before joining different cruise ships. They boarded Alitalia aircraft which repatriated 153 cruise ship crew back to Mauritius on Wednesday, July 29. According to our source, the new joiners are MSC crew, ready to board cruise ships docked in Genova. Most of them will join MSC Grandiosa.

While in Germany TUI Cruises already restarted voyages on Mein Schiff 2, and Aida Cruises preparing for restart in August, in Italy, the government still hesitates despite the fact that Costa and MSC are waiting for the green light to restart operations. MSC and Costa have extended the cancelations until August 15, but the feeling is that something, soon, can actually happen, so much that the two companies are moving some of their ships to their respective homeports. 

In Genoa alongside  MSC Fantasia, the cruise ship MSC Grandiosa has arrived at the Maritime Station on Tuesday, 28 July. However, the final seal of approval is expected by the Italian government, which will be called upon to decide whether or not to grant the expected green light to cabotage cruises, cruises with national ports.

MSC Cruises managing director in Italy, Leonardo Massa said “The company is ready to resume cruises, we are only waiting for the authorization of the government which we hope will arrive soon. We have worked a lot in recent months in developing a protocol to guarantee the health of cruise passengers and crew, a protocol already approved by the Scientific and Technical Committee which implements the European regulations of the EU Healthy Gateways but which together with our team of international experts we have enriched and strengthened. We are therefore ready to sail safely and with two ships. Staffing a cruise ship is a long and expensive operation, it means calling thousands of people back. On average it takes a month, a month and a half to get crews (1,000-1,200 seafarers from all over the world), supplies, etc. Specifically, over a thousand Italian seafarers are involved in this operation and have the opportunity to return to work. We only need the go-ahead from the government which we hope will arrive with the Council of Ministers on 31 July."

The announcement of the Greek Tourism Minister regarding the opening of six ports for cruise ships in Greece presents an exceptional advantage with more ports to navigate in the following months for the Italian cruise lines.