MSC Cruises Announces Massive Europe Restart Program, 10 Ships to Sail This Summer

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MSC Cruises has announced new and updated itineraries in the Mediterranean and across Europe for this coming summer with six ships back in operation in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean and four more ships cruising in Northern Europe.

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.”

Western Mediterranean 

  • The MSC Grandiosa will initially extend her current seven-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.
  • The MSC Seaside will commence sailing on May 1 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, the company said. In addition to the range of protected excursions developed for MSC Seaside’s itinerary, MSC Cruises will introduce a special private beach experience in Taranto, exclusively for the ship’s guests. 
  • The MSC Seashore will join the MSC Cruises fleet at the end of July, and from August 1 until October 31, offer seven-night cruises calling the Italian ports of Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseille in France. After her season in the Mediterranean, MSC Seashore will then arrive to Miami in November 2021 to begin sailing The Bahamas and Caribbean, including stops at MSC Cruises’ private Bahamian destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

Eastern Mediterranean 

  • The MSC Orchestra will now depart on June 5 with embarkation in the Italian ports of Venice on Saturdays, Bari on Sundays, calling at the Greek Islands of Corfu, Mykonos as well as Dubrovnik in Croatia.
  • The MSC Splendida will begin sailing from June 12 with embarkation in Trieste, Italy on Saturdays and in Bari on Tuesdays, calling at Dubrovnik in Croatia, Corfu in Greece and Kotor in Montenegro.
  • The MSC Magnifica will start cruising June 20 offering embarkation in the Italian ports of Venice on Sundays, Bari on Mondays and Piraeus for Athens on Wednesdays and calling at the Greek Island of Mykonos and Split, Croatia.

Northern Europe

  • The all new MSC Virtuosa will run inaugural season in the UK and offer mini cruises from Southampton calling at Portland in Dorset. Starting on June 12, the new vessel will operate seven-night cruises from Southampton with embarkation in Liverpool, Greenock for Glasgow and also calling at Portland and Belfast in Northern Ireland. 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.
  • The MSC Seaview will homeport in Kiel, Germany starting on June 19, replacing the MSC Virtuosa.
  • The MSC Preziosa is set to cruise from June 21 from Hamburg, Germany and the MSC Musica on June 20 from Warnemunde, Germany, if the German ports are open, MSC announced.

Onorato noted: “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.

“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.”

Source : Cruise Industry News, 15th April 2021

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