MSC Extends Pause, Retools Summer 2021 Program

MSC Divina
MSC Divina.

MSC Cruises announced that it will further extend the temporary fleet-wide halt of its cruise operations through July 31, 2020.

Today, the Swiss-based cruise line also reconfirmed its March – November 2021 program, which will include two new ships currently under construction and a series of new or enriched itineraries and homeports, including a new home for MSC Divina in Central Florida at Port Canaveral.

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 holidays for next year. For this reason, we have now also confirmed our March – November program for 2021.”

“Shorter-term,” added 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 our summer 2021 season.”

MSC Meraviglia - Wikipedia
MSC Meraviglia.

The MSC Meraviglia will offer seven-night cruises from Miami, Florida departing every Saturday, while the classic and charming MSC Armonia will offer new three- and four-night getaway cruises, also from Miami, departing on Mondays and Fridays and calling at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

New for next summer, the MSC Divina will sail for the first time from Port Canaveral, Florida – a new homeport  – and offer a mix of three-, four- and seven-night cruises departing on Sundays and Thursdays.

MSC’s three Seaside-class ships will all be deployed together for the first time in the Western Mediterranean for Summer 2021.

The MSC Seashore will now come into service August 1, 2021, due to the delay caused by the temporary closure of the shipyard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for this period, MSC Fantasia will temporarily cover her itinerary.

The 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, visits to Pompeii, Naples; Messina, Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.

Fincantieri | MSC Seaside
MSC Seashore due June 2021

She will be joined by sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview in their Genoa homeport and operate seven-night cruises. The company will also return to Tunisia in August when MSC Fantasia performs seven-night cruises from Genoa calling at Marseille, Barcelona, the port of La Goulette in Tunis, Palermo and Civitavecchia.

There are also 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.

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 a 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 seven-night itineraries also departing from Venice and calling the Greek islands, Montenegro and Croatia.

Starting in May, the new MSC Virtuosa will spend her first summer season with seven- to 14-night cruises from Kiel, alternating between the fjords and the Baltic capitals, with all itineraries offering embarkation in both Kiel and Copenhagen, Denmark.

MSC Virtuosa's float-out in Saint-Nazaire | MSC Fans
MSC Virtuosa floats out.

The fjords of the Norwegian west coast and the Baltic Capitals can also be enjoyed on a seven-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.

The MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton, UK and offer seven-night itineraries to the fjords of Norway, 14-nights to the Baltic capitals or the Mediterranean in mid-August, 12-nights to the Canary Islands and a seven-night cruise calling the Northern Pearls of Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Zeebrugge, Belgium and Le Havre, France.

The MSC Preziosa will offer from nine- to 14-night itineraries from Hamburg with destinations in Ireland, Iceland and North Cape and Spitzbergen in Norway.

MSC Extends Cruising Halt Through May 29

MSC Seaview

MSC Cruises has decided to further extend the pause of its cruise operation through May 29, according to a statement.

This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said, extending its operations pause from April 30 for another month.

“As governments across the globe have since further strengthened ashore public health and safety measures to protect local populations and contain the further spread of the virus, today’s decision by MSC Cruises to further extend this extraordinary measure aims to mirror and further support the effectiveness of such efforts,” the company said.

“MSC Cruises is working tirelessly with all guests and their travel agents to address the impact of this necessary decision to their bookings on our ships up to May 29 and it is genuinely sorry for the inconvenience that this will cause them. By announcing this now, the Company intends to provide travel agents and guests who are booked on affected sailings with as much time as possible to move their booking to a future cruise.”

MSC Announces Temporary Stop to Operations

MSC Seaside

MSC Cruises has announced the decision to temporary stop all its U.S.-based new cruises embarkations for 45 days until April 30.

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, said: “This is not a decision we took lightly but under the current circumstances, the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities ashore – including our employees and their families – must come first. As a family company with over 300 years of maritime tradition, we felt that this was the right decision to make.”

The Company has already also halted ship operations across all areas considered as high risk for the virus, in the Mediterranean, the Gulf and Asia.

Ships still in operations in South America and South Africa will also end their operations at the end of their current itineraries.