Geneva, Switzerland – 15 April 2021 - MSC Cruises today announced new and updated itineraries in the Mediterranean and across Europe for this coming summer, offering guests plenty of options for the upcoming holiday season. The ships offering these now fully confirmed itineraries will operate under the same industry-leading health and safety protocol that has been safely protecting over 60,000 MSC Cruises guests sailing on the line’s ships in the Mediterranean since August 2020.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said, “Today we have clarity on which European destinations and ports will initially be open this summer and we have fully reflected this into a first set of new and updated itineraries for the upcoming season so that guests can book their holidays with us with confidence. The entire MSC Cruises team and I look forward to welcoming both returning and new guests on board one of our ships that will be at sea this summer and to provide them with a memorable, relaxing and, above all, safe holiday.
“Plus, I am confident that in the coming weeks we will be able to further enrich some of these itineraries as well as add more ships with new ones, as more ports and tourist destinations, in particular in Spain and France, become available to receive ships and visitors.”
The following is a complete list of MSC Cruises confirmed itineraries now available for booking for this summer.
Three ships in the West Mediterranean, calling Italy and Malta
MSC Grandiosa will initially extend her current 7-night itinerary, calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia for Rome, Naples, Palermo as well as Valletta, Malta. The Spanish ports of Valencia and Barcelona will be added to the ship’s current itinerary as soon as these destinations confirm their availability.
MSC Seaside will commence sailing on 1 May from Genoa calling at the newly introduced ports of Siracusa in Sicily and Taranto in Puglia, as well as Civitavecchia for Rome and Valetta in Malta. The ship’s itinerary will then be enriched with calls to the French port of Marseille as soon as its availability is confirmed.
Regarding MSC Seaside, in addition to the range of protected excursions developed for this itinerary MSC Cruises will introduce a special private beach experience in Taranto, exclusively for the ship’ guests. A day out at the beach is an important part of a summer holiday so now guests on MSC Seaside will be able to relax on the sandy beach next to the clear waters of the Ionian Sea.
MSC Seashore at the end of July will join the MSC Cruises fleet to become its new flagship and from 1 August until 31 October will offer 7-night cruises calling the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France.
Three ships in the East Mediterranean, calling Italy, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro
MSC Cruises will deploy three ships in this ever-popular region for the upcoming summer season offering a range of different itineraries in the East Mediterranean, offering ports of embarkation in Italy from Trieste, Venice and Bari as well as Piraeus for Athens in Greece, calling at some of the most beautiful Greek Islands, Kotor in Montenegro as well as the vibrant ports of Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia.
MSC Orchestra will now depart on 29 May offering guests embarkation in the Italian ports of Venice on Saturdays, Bari on Sundays and then call at the Greek Islands of Corfu, Mykonos as well as Dubrovnik in Croatia.
MSC Splendida will commence sailing from 12 June with embarkation in Trieste, Italy on Saturdays and in Bari on Tuesdays, calling at Dubrovnik in Croatia, Corfu in Greece and Kotor in Montenegro.
Rounding out the offering in the East Mediterranean is MSC Magnifica from 13 June with embarkation in the Italian ports of Venice on Sundays, Bari on Mondays and Piraeus for Athens on Wednesdays, then calling at the Greek Island of Mykonos and Split, Croatia.
UK Domestic Cruises
From 20 May, the line’s flagship MSC Virtuosa will perform her inaugural season in the UK and offer mini cruises from Southampton calling at Portland in Dorset on the Jurassic coast. From 12 June she will operate 7-night cruises from Southampton with embarkation in Liverpool, Greenock for Glasgow and also calling at Portland and Belfast in Northern Island. These cruises are designed for British residents only. The sailings are open to vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests and all guests will be tested prior to embarkation.
Germany, Northern Europe
In Germany, considering the current uncertainty regarding the timing for the reopening of local ports, MSC Cruises ships must delay the start of their summer season out of the country’s ports until 15 June.
At the same time, MSC Cruises today announced that MSC Seaview will homeport in Kiel, Germany starting on 19 June replacing MSC Virtuosa.
Additionally, MSC Preziosa will depart on 21 June from Hamburg, Germany and MSC Musica on 20 June from Warnemunde, Germany.
The three ships will serve 7- and longer nights sailings with itineraries either to the Norwegian fjords or the Baltic capitals, as per their current schedule.
Mr Onorato added, “We are extremely proud to be in a position to offer our guests and travel agent partners for the coming summer a growing choice of cruise holidays to a range of different destinations across the Mediterranean and Europe. We will be featuring some of our most innovative and more modern vessels in our fleet. And to make it even easier and safer for our guests to reach our ships from closer to their homes, all our itineraries will feature additional ports of embarkation. In the Mediterranean alone, MSC Cruises will offer its guests up to 15 ports of embarkation.
“Albeit these ships represent only an initial portion of our fleet, they include our two latest jewels, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore, both of which will have come into service for the first time in 2021. Their presence in this next phase of the return at sea of our fleet in the coming weeks represent our belief in the continued attractiveness for consumer of cruises as a holiday option. This is why we have confirmed our plans of new builds for the coming years and are looking forward to a gradual return at se of our full fleet in the coming months into the winter season.
Mr Onorato concluded, “Guests who have vouchers for our cruises that were cancelled as a result of the pandemic ashore have waited patiently for a level of certainty about which ships will sail and where. I am pleased to say that they can now look forward with confidence to an incredible holiday at sea on an MSC Cruises ship either this summer or over the upcoming winter season.”
Other summer 2021 affected programs
The remainder of MSC Cruises’ ships planned for the Mediterranean and Europe this summer have been cancelled due to restrictions placed on local ports and regions. The Company is in the process of contacting guests and their travel agents affected by these changes.
Guests will receive the option to reschedule their holiday on one of the confirmed programs announced today where itineraries are either the same or very similar. Alternatively, they will receive a future cruise credit.
Flexible booking conditions will apply to all bookings made before 31 May, click here for more details.
MSC Cruises also confirmed the cancellation of its Caribbean sailings from ports in the USA up to and including 30 June.