Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2022

6 9 MSC Cruises’ ships have been safely sailing to destinations such as Valletta, Malta, since resuming service after the pandemic thoroughly trained so they’re fully aware that there are no exceptions to the rules,” says Iaccarino. “We’ve carried hundreds of thousands of guests in the Europe, North and South America plus the Middle East since we resumed operations in August 2020, and we’ve only had to deny reboarding to a very small number of people. For instance, a family of three broke away from their shore excursion during a visit to the island of Capri off the coast of Italy, so we wouldn’t allow them to reboard our chartered ferry to Naples. “Ultimately, these measures are in place to protect the health and safety of everyone onboard our ships and our strict adherence to the rules has been warmly welcomed by both our guests and the communities we visit.” Despite the restrictions and the additional health and safety protocols, the protected shore excursions have been popular with guests. “When we first introduced the concept of protected shore excursions there was no precedent that we could benchmark ourselves against and a handful of commentators around the world doubted that our guests would choose the land tours,” says Iaccarino. “However, the protected shore excursions have proved to be much in demand, and many have completely sold out. Guests have returned to the ship happy and clearly not afraid to go ashore, reassured by the fact that tour operators were following the same high health and safety standards as MSC Cruises. This has been very rewarding for us to see.” Following the success of MSC Cruises’ protected shore excursions Iaccarino’s team is developing similar onshore offerings elsewhere in 2022. “We’ve been communicating with many ports and destinations about future shore excursion opportunities for when they reopen for cruising and we’ve shared our extensive experience with our sailings to date,” says Iaccarino. “Although it is a substantial undertaking, we work with tour operators and suppliers that we know well and have had a great relationship with in the past. All of them understand the cruise industry extremely well and have witnessed our experience to date from afar. “They’re all aware that they must have a health and safety protocol in place that mirrors our own and most suppliers have already done just that. Consequently, when other parts of the world where we’ve traditionally operated can reopen, we will be ready to offer a great range of attractive excursions ashore.” CFIP “ The protected shore excursions have proved to be much in demand, and many have completely sold out”