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.

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 Virtuosa Is Open for Bookings

MSC Virtuosa
PHOTO: Rendering of MSC Virtuosa. (photo courtesy MSC Cruises)