MSC Reports Results for 2019

MSC Ship in Port

MSC Cruises has reported a net income of 405 million euros on revenues of 3.2 billion euros for 2019, compared to net income of 348 million euros on revenues of 2.7 billion euros for 2018.

MSC also reported more than 2.7 million passengers, which it said was an increase of 16.2 per cent from the previous year. Occupancy was 112.3 per cent, up from 111.6 per cent in 2018. Cruise capacity was said to be up 14.4 per cent year-over-year.

Fuel expenses increased 24.1 per cent to 244 million euros from 196 million euros the year before, mainly driven by the additional capacity and price increases, according to MSC.

Interest expenses decreased to 121 million euros from 127 million euros.

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, MSC said it has suspended all cruise departures for 45 days, until April 30.

Meanwhile, the company said it has put into place measures to preserve its cash position and referred to credit facilities and other sources of liquidity it may activate if needed, amounting to some 900 million euros, in addition to its current cash position of 183 million euros.

In addition, with ships in lay-up, operating costs are being reduced.

Furthermore, MSC stated it is collaborating with key providers and stakeholders to improve its working capital position and is pursuing additional actions by postponing capital expenditures for business initiatives planned in the coming 18 months.

MSC said that because of the circumstances it cannot provide guidance on its financial performance for the year 2020.

Coronavirus: MSC Opera passengers ordered to stay on the ship in Greece

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Passengers on MSC Opera were ordered to stay on board on Wednesday after an Austrian passenger from a previous cruise tested positive for coronavirus.

Austrian health authorities informed the line of the test results of the passenger who cruised in the eastern Mediterranean from February 17 to 28 on the 2,142-passenger ship.

MSC told passengers to remain on the vessel after requesting guidance from Greek health authorities.

The line has confirmed no passengers or crew members on the ship have any flu-like symptoms.

The Austrian passenger returned directly to Austria through northern Italy on February 28 after disembarking in Genoa.

A spokesperson for MSC said: “The Greek health authorities gave MSC Opera permission around 13:00 CET to sail from Piraeus, Greece, and continue its journey to its next scheduled port in Corfu, Greece.

“No additional health measures were required to be taken and the ship is currently sailing as planned.

“There are no passengers or crew members currently onboard the ship who have reported any flu-like symptoms.”

The spokesperson also added: “The health and safety of our passengers and crew will always remain our top priority.”

Last week MSC Meraviglia was denied entry to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and George Town, Grand Cayman Island, over fears a crew member had coronavirus even though tests had shown they had Type A influenza.

The ship later was finally allowed to dock in Cozumel, Mexico and the line issued an apology to passengers for the missed ports of call.

Coronavirus: Cruise lines adopt strict new screening measures

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Passengers face the prospect of being denied boarding onto cruise ships due to enhanced screening measures being adopted by global cruise lines in response to the spread of coronavirus.

The new policies have been outlined by cruise industry body Clia.

The association said: “With strict measures in place, as guided by national and international health authorities, Clia and its member lines, in concert with pronouncements from the World Health Organisation, do not believe restrictions on the movement of ships are justified.”

Clia president and chief executive Kelly Craighead added: “The adoption of these measures further demonstrates the cruise industry’s unique ability to respond quickly as circumstances evolve.

“We remain in close contact with local governments around the world, and while we regret that these changes will result in the denial of boarding for some of our guests, travellers should know that their health and safety is the absolute priority for the industry.”

Under the changes, ships will deny boarding to anyone who has travelled from, visited or transited via airports in South Korea, Iran, China, including Hong Kong and Macau, plus areas in Italy under lockdown within 14 days prior to embarkation.

Lines will also conduct illness screening for people who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in any destinations listed on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coronavirus disease list page within 14 days before embarkation.

“Illness screening includes symptom history checks for fever, cough and difficulty breathing in the 14 days before embarkation and taking of temperature,” Clia said.

Passengers will also be denied boarding if they have had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having the virus or who are subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to Covid-19 within two weeks prior to sailing.

Companies will conduct pre-boarding screening “necessary to effectuate these prevention measures”.

Enhanced screening and initial medical support will be provided to anyone exhibiting symptoms of suspected coronavirus.

The association added: “In co-ordination with cruise lines, medical experts and regulators around the world, Clia and its member lines will continue to closely monitor for new developments related to Covid-19 and will modify these policies as necessary with the utmost consideration for the health and safety of passengers and crew.