MSC Cruises has introduced new measures and capacity limits to facilitate safe social distancing
MSC Cruises is to offer a series of British Isles cruises to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated UK residents from May 2021.
All voyages will depart from MSC Cruises’ new terminal at the Port of Southampton in England, starting with several short cruises and seven-night sailings to destinations in the UK. The operator will also offer additional ports of embarkation.
“It’s time for UK holidaymakers to get back onboard and enjoy a well-deserved break from what has been a very challenging 12 months for everyone in so many ways,” said Antonio Paradiso, managing director of MSC Cruises UK and Ireland. “MSC Cruises is a family-owned company and our guests are an extension of that, so we are looking forward to welcoming them and their families back onboard. Our hope is to offer every type of holidaymaker the chance to escape this summer – from grandparents to teenagers and even the smallest of passengers looking to explore.”
To minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission onboard its ships, MSC Cruises will sail with limited capacity and implement its new enhanced health and safety protocols. Measures include a mandatory 14-day quarantine for crew members before they embark, universal testing of all guests and crew prior before boarding and periodically throughout the cruise, continuous deep sanitation processes, social distancing, face coverings, protected shore excursions and more. Non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of negative test taken within 72 hours prior to embarkation.
MSC Cruises used these protocols to successfully restart cruises in the Mediterranean onboard MSC Grandiosa in August 2020 and has since carried more than 50,000 guests.
“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," said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. "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. We also remain confident that we will soon be able to welcome British guests back onboard 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 favoured by the British.”
MSC Cruises will continue to engage with the UK Government and all relevant authorities to ensure guests can cruise safely and will reveal further details about the new sailings soon.
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