MSC Cruises bans visitors to quarantined Italian towns from boarding its ships

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MSC Grandiosa

MSC Cruises has banned anyone who has travelled to, from or through any areas of Italy quarantined because of coronavirus in the last 14 days from boarding its ships.

Passengers and crew embarking and disembarking at ports of call will be “frequently checked by thermal cameras for fever symptoms”.

Sailings onboard MSC Grandiosa and MSC Opera, the line’s two ships in the Mediterranean, are going ahead as planned and the company stressed that the majority of its fleet is currently in South America and the Caribbean.

In a statement, MSC said it has “further enhanced our precautionary health measures for all guests and all crew who are due to travel on any of our cruises to ensure the health and well-being of everyone on board every one of our ships”

The quarantined areas in Italy are: Casalpusterlengo, Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, San Fiorano and Vò.

An MSC spokesperson added: “None of the ports visited by any of our ships in Italy nor any of the related excursion destinations is anywhere near these municipalities or neighbouring territories.”

The restrictions are in addition to those on people who have travelled from or through mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau.

“Everyone’s health and safety on our ships is our top priority and we have had no cases of coronavirus on board any of our ships,” the spokesperson added.

Latest MSC Cruises ship floated out at the shipyard

Latest MSC Cruises ship floated out at shipyard

The latest in a series of new MSC Cruises ships have been floated out at its shipyard in France.

MSC Virtuosa is the second Meraviglia-Plus vessel following MSC Grandiosa and will now move docks at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire for further construction and fitting until delivery in October 2020.

The float out follows the delivery in October of MSC Grandiosa as well as the steel cutting ceremony on the same day of MSC Europa.

MSC Virtuosa will be the second ship in the company’s fleet to have a selective catalytic reduction system and next-generation advanced wastewater treatment system to minimise the environmental footprint and ensure cleaner air emissions.

The catalytic reduction technology aims to help reduce nitrogen oxide by 80% by converting it into harmless nitrogen and water.

MSC Virtuosa will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power which connects it to a port’s local power grid to further reduce air emissions.

The line will soon reveal exact details of the features onboard MSC Virtuosa.

But like MSC Grandiosa, the ship will have a promenade lined with restaurants and shops underneath a 93 metre-long LED Sky Screen, two new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea and the Zoe personal cruise assistant in every cabin.

The ship’s maiden voyage will be a seven-night six-port western Mediterranean cruise in November 2020 from Genoa, Italy.

After a winter season in the Mediterranean, MSC Virtuosa will be deployed in summer 2021 to Northern Europe with itineraries to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic capital cities.

The third of three Meraviglia-Plus ships, yet to be named, will enter service in 2023 and be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

MSC Cruises is spending €5 billion to build five LNG-powered ships with the first ‘world class’ type named MSC Europa entering service in May 2022.

The line plans to expand its fleet to 25 ships by 2027 at a cost of €11.6 billion.

MSC Grandiosa Makes First Call to Valletta

MSC Grandiosa in Valletta

The Port of Valletta today welcomed the first call of MSC Grandiosa as a ceremony was held on MSC’s newest ship to commemorate her maiden call.

Stephen Xuereb, Valletta Cruise Port’s CEO and Global Ports Holding COO, said: “We are proud to welcome MSC Grandiosa on her maiden call to Valletta Cruise Port and to be hosting her on another five calls during this year as part of her inaugural season. Next year she will call Malta on another 43 occasions. On behalf of both Valletta Cruise Port and Global Ports Holding, we congratulate MSC Cruises on their achievements and look forward to many more years of fruitful joint cooperation and partnerships.”

Angelo Capurro, MSC Cruises’ Sales Executive Director, said: “Our cruise ships have served Malta for over 20 years, bringing hundreds of thousands of tourists to its shores. Today, we are proud to bring our latest and most innovative cruise ship to Valletta, to her port of registry, which she will regularly visit for the next 12 months. We look forward to bringing many more of our guests to this beautiful island in years to come, in partnership with Malta and its people.

The MSC Grandiosa will be deployed in the Western Mediterranean for the next 12 months before she is deployed to South America for the winter 2020 season.