MSC CRUISES TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS SAILINGS OF MSC MAGNIFICA, EXTENDS MSC GRANDIOSA’S WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN ITINERARIES INTO 2021

05/11/2020

• Due to the introduction of significant restrictions to movement in particular in France and Germany, two of MSC Magnifica’s key source markets, MSC Cruises will temporarily suspend further sailings of MSC Magnifica from 8 November through to 18 December

MSC Grandiosa will meanwhile continue and extend her current sailings in the Western Mediterranean through to March 2021 with additional rigorous measures under the Company’s existing health and safety operating protocol

• The MSC 2021 World Cruise has also been cancelled due to many ports along her itinerary still being unavailable due to the pandemic

• Upon her return to sailing after temporary pause MSC Magnifica will continue to perform her current itinerary through to April 2021

Geneva, Switzerland, 5 November 2020 – MSC Cruises announced today that given the prevailing pandemic situation in France and Germany with significant travel restrictions affecting guests from these markets, it will be temporarily suspending further sailings of MSC Magnifica. The temporary suspension will affect sailing from 8 November through to 18 December, included. France and Germany are two key source markets for the ship’s 10-night voyages across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean calling destinations in Italy, Greece and Malta.

Meanwhile, MSC Grandiosa will continue and extend her current sailings into next year. The Company’s flagship will perform her current 7-night itinerary in the Western Mediterranean with embarkation in Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo, Italy as well as calling Valetta, Malta, until 27 March 2021.

Further to this, MSC Grandiosa will now see the application of newly activated measures under the MSC Cruises existing and comprehensive health and safety operating protocol, which include the following:
• Additional onboard testing for all guests mid-way through their cruise (on top of the existing pre-boarding universal testing for all guests)
• Testing of all crew during their time on board is increased from twice-a-month to weekly (in addition to pre-boarding testing for all crew and other ongoing health monitoring measures)
• Increased frequency of onboard sanitation, in particular of public areas and high touch points
• Tightening of the definition of close contact for tracing purposes, reducing the time that individuals are in contact from 15 minutes to 10 minutes

The MSC Cruises health and safety protocol was designed from the very beginning to be able to adapt to the evolution of the pandemic situation ashore to ensure the best protection possible for guests, crew and the communities the ships visit. The additional measures were activated over the past two weeks on board the Company’s two ships currently at sea for this reason.

In connection with the health situation ashore and in particular the continued unavailability of the majority of ports along the proposed itinerary, MSC Cruises has been forced to cancel its 2021 World Cruise, which was due to be performed by MSC Magnifica. Guests will be contacted separately with rescheduling options.

When MSC Magnifica resumes operation after her temporary pause, she will continue sailing from 18 December with her special one off 8-night Christmas cruise itinerary that week then return to her current 10-night itinerary across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean until the end of April 2021.

For more information on MSC Grandiosa’s sailings visit HERE

For more information on MSC Magnifica’s new sailings now through to April 2021 visit HERE

For more information about MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol visit HERE

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The MSC Cruises comprehensive health and safety protocol offers:
Universal health screening of guests prior to embarkation that comprises three comprehensive steps: a temperature check, a health questionnaire and a up to two COVID-19 swab tests (antigen and PCR if required) prior to embarkation. For crew members, this includes: an initial test in the country of origin; a second test upon arrival at the terminal; and a third decisive test upon completion of a mandatory isolation period prior to joining the rest of the crew.
Elevated sanitation and cleaning measures supported by the introduction of new sanitation and cleaning methods, and the use of hospital-grade disinfectant products.
Social distancing enabled amongst other measures through the reduction of the overall capacity of guests on board, allowing for more public space per guest while on board (approx. 10 m² per person based on 70% maximum allowed overall capacity on MSC Grandiosa.)
Enhanced medical facilities and services with highly qualified professionally trained staff, the necessary equipment to test, evaluate and treat suspected COVID-19 patients and the availability of free treatment at the onboard Medical Centre for any guest with symptoms. Dedicated isolation cabins are also available to enable effective isolation of any suspected cases and close contacts.
Ongoing health monitoring conducted throughout the cruise. Guests and crew have their temperature checked daily either when they return from ashore or at dedicated stations around the ship to monitor the health status of every guest and crew member. Additionally, measures now include mid-cruise testing for guests and weekly for crew for the duration of their stay on board.
Protected shore excursions: Guests only go ashore as part of organised MSC Cruises excursions in a social bubble, which maintains the same high standards of health and safety measures as they experience on board. This ensures, for example, that transfers are properly sanitised and that there is adequate space. Tour guides and drivers also undergo health screening, including testing, and wear appropriate PPE.
A contingency response plan that is activated if a suspected case is identified, in close cooperation with the national health authorities. The suspected case and close contacts all follow isolation measures and are disembarked according to local and national regulations.