Geneva, Switzerland, 4 June 2020 – As the world continues to face the challenges of the pandemic and with significant travel restrictions still in place in many regions, today MSC Cruises announced that it will further extend the temporary fleet-wide halt of its cruise operation through to 31 July 2020.
Guests affected by the cancelled cruises will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) where they have the opportunity to transfer the full amount paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice – on any ship, for any itinerary -- through to the end of 2021. Guests will be able to redeem their FCC voucher starting from June 21 and reschedule their cruise to a time that suits them.
In addition, for all guests who are currently booked on cruises between 1 August and 31 October 2020 their bookings will now be covered under an extension of the Company’s Cruise Assurance Program now allowing guests to reschedule their cruise to a future departure date through to 31 December 2021 up to 48-hours prior to the original cruise departure.
Today the Swiss-based cruise line reconfirmed its full Summer Program for 2021, starting in March 2021, which will include two new ships currently under construction and a series of new or enriched itineraries and homeports.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, “While today we have taken the difficult decision to further extend the halt of operations of all our ships, it is important that we also look ahead as we know that our customers are dreaming of travel and are wanting to plan their vacation for next year. For this reason, we have now also confirmed our full Summer program for 2021.”
“Shorter-term,” added Mr Onorato, “Our ships will return to service only when the time is right, in phases and by region, and following guidance from the relevant national and international health and other regulatory authorities and the support of a new operating protocol especially focused on health and safety, which we will announce soon. This way, gradually, all of our ships will return to sea between then and the beginning of Summer 2021 season.”
Below are key highlights of MSC Cruises Summer 2021 program, which features all 17 vessels currently part of the Company’s fleet as well as the two new ships currently still under construction, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore, for a total of 19.
MSC Cruises’ Summer 2021 program offers guests a huge amount of choice and flexibility, so whatever a guest needs from their vacation there is something for everyone to book with confidence.
A cruise length to suit everyone from mini-cruises of 3 or 4-nights, standard 7-night cruises to longer cruises of 9, 11 and 14-nights.
With 19 ships to choose from guests can opt for more traditional, charming ships to larger and modern ships with an abundance of outdoor space.
An unparalleled number of embarkation ports so that guests can find the one that is most convenient and easily connected to them however they like to travel.
In addition to a tempting array of destinations, MSC Cruises’ ships offer a rich and enjoyable onboard experience with an award-winning family offering, world-class entertainment, superb international dining experiences all on board glamourous, modern ships with comfortable and spacious cabins, plenty of public spaces and cutting-edge technology. Not forgetting the exclusive MSC Yacht Club on Fantasia, Meraviglia and Seaside class ships, for those guests looking for even more personal service and private facilities.
Iconic Seaside Class Ships Set to be Sun-Kissed Stars of the Western Mediterranean
MSC Cruises’ three innovative, award-winning Seaside-class ships, designed to bring guests closer to the sea, will all be deployed together for the first time in the Western Mediterranean. These ships – MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview and MSC Seashore - have been designed for the warmer weather with more generous outdoor space and are the perfect ships for guests who want to enjoy the sunshine and stunning ocean views in this popular cruise region.
MSC Seashore will now come into service from 1 August 2021 due to the delay that was caused by the temporary closure of the shipyard due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for this period, MSC Fantasia will temporarily cover her itinerary (with guests receiving a shipboard credit of €100 for this change.) MSC Seashore will have the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest of any ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet and will offer the popular ‘Six Pearls’ itinerary calling the Italian cities of Genoa and, for visits to Pompeii, Naples; Messina, Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.
She will be joined by sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview in their Genoa homeport and operate ever-popular 7-night cruises that sail the world’s most glamourous sea. And the Company will return to Tunisia from August when MSC Fantasia performs seven cruises from Genoa calling Marseille, Barcelona, the port of La Goulette in Tunis, Palermo and Civitavecchia.
Nine to 12-night cruises will also be available from Genoa, Italy in late Summer to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Portugal, Greece and Israel with MSC Poesia calling in the beautiful port of Haifa.
Enriched Eastern Mediterranean Itineraries
New for Summer 2021, MSC Lirica will be deployed from Venice, Italy and will also offer embarkation in the northern Italian port of Trieste with stunning itinerary calling Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro and Corfu in Greece.
In addition, MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Opera and MSC Sinfonia, will offer 7-night itineraries also departing from Venice and calling the Greek islands, Montenegro and Croatia.
Inspirational Range of Itineraries in Northern Europe
From 8 May the brand new state-of-the-art MSC Virtuosa will spend her first Summer season with 7- to 14-night cruises from the German port of Kiel, Germany alternating between the fjords and the Baltic capitals, with all itineraries offering embarkation in both Kiel and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The famous fjords of the Norwegian west coast and the Baltic Capitals can also be enjoyed on a 7-night to 14-night (back to back) itinerary available on MSC Splendida and she will also offer longer 10 and 11-night cruises to the Baltic capitals or North Cape.
MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton, UK and offer 7-night itineraries to the magical fjords of Norway, 14-nights to the Baltic capitals or the Mediterranean in mid-August, 12-nights to the Canary Islands and a 7-night cruise to calling the “Northern Pearls” of Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Zeebrugge, Belgium and Le Havre, France.
MSC Preziosa will offer from 9- to 14-night itineraries from Hamburg with destinations in Ireland, Iceland and North Cape and Spitzbergen in Norway.
Sun-soaked Caribbean and The Bahamas
Known as “the ship for all seasons”, MSC Meraviglia will offer 7-night cruises from Miami in Florida departing every Saturday, while the classic and charming MSC Armonia will offer new shorter 3-and 4-night getaway cruises also from Miami departing on Mondays and Fridays and calling Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
New for next Summer, the elegant MSC Divina will sail for the first time from Port Canaveral, Florida – a new homeport for MSC Cruises – and offer a mix of 3-, 4- and 7-night cruises departing on Sundays and Thursdays. With this new home port, MSC Cruises’ guests will now have the option of exploring the Orlando area pre- or post-cruise and extending their holiday experience.
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will remain a key highlight of cruises in the Caribbean, with all three ships calling at the private island destination in The Bahamas. Exclusive to MSC Cruises’ guests, the private island — located just 65 miles from Miami, — is surrounded by 64 square miles of marine reserve, offering guests a unique opportunity to discover local marine life, soak up the spirit of Bahamian culture and reconnect with themselves and each other.
Guests can spend a full day enjoying two miles of pristine beachfront across eight world class beaches with a wide selection of ocean discovery activities like deep-sea fishing, snorkelling adventures, stand up paddle boarding, and kayaking. In the evening, the island comes alive with a spectacular lighthouse show, an authentic, high-energy Junkanoo parade and dancing under the stars with live music from Bahamian artists and DJs.
For additional details and detailed updates, guests should contact their travel agent or visit MSC Cruises’ website here.