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MSC Cruises Receives Approval To Restart Cruises On MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica

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MSC Cruises announced that the company received approval by Italian authorities to restart with limited voyages in the Mediterranean this August aboard MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica.

MSC Grandiosa will resume cruises stating August 16, offering 7-nigh voyages to the Western Mediterranean from the Italian ports Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples, and Palermo, and a 10-hour stop in Valetta, Malta. MSC Magnifica will resume with cruises starting August 29 from the port of Bari, sailing 7-night Eastern Mediterranean cruises to Corfu, Katakolon (Olympia), and Piraeus (Athens) in Greece. 

In the first phase, only residents from European Union Schengen countries will be allowed to board these cruise ships from Italy which will travel throughout Italy, Greece, and Malta. The Greek and Maltese governments have also reviewed and approved MSC Cruises restart plans, according to the company. In order to limit the use of public transport or flights to reach the cruise ships, passengers will be able to embark in any of the Italian port cities. 

In accordance with the MSC Cruises new safety protocols, the company says its new procedures include COVID-19 test for all guests and crew before they are allowed to embark. Passengers can only go out in ports if they book an organized shore excursion through MSC Cruises. For now, MSC has announced scheduled voyages through the end of October for the MSC Magnifica and MCS Grandiosa while extending the cancelation for all its other sailings in Europe, Asia, and North America till the end of October 2020.

"We have worked closely with the relevant EU-level, national health and other authorities from the countries that MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will call along their Mediterranean itineraries to develop a comprehensive set of procedures designed to protect the health and safety of all passengers on board our ships as well as ashore to ensure that local communities feel comfortable welcoming our guests,” said MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago.

“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.”

Michael Thamm, CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia CEO , after receiving green light from the Government to restart the cruises said the company plans to start cruises responsibly: “We are happy to be able to resume our cruises soon and we want to thank Prime Minister Conte, Minister De Micheli, Minister Speranza and all the Authorities for their constant availability and support. The cruise industry and Costa in particular, as the only Italian company in the sector, create an important value for the economy and for the destinations we visit. The gradual resumption of our activities will give relief to the local economy and tourist fabric and to our 5,000 suppliers and commercial partners and to the over 7,500 travel agents who, in Italy, have suffered due to the long break we have experienced ». "The resumption of our operations is, however, in this phase, also a great responsibility towards our guests, the members of our crew and the inhabitants of the communities we visit with our ships. In the coming days, we will work closely with national, local authorities, ports and terminals, for the full implementation of protocols issued by the Government in order to guarantee a regular, organized and safe restart of our cruises, both on board and ashore.”