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• MSC Magnifica to perform ten-night voyages across both the West and East Mediterranean, offering guests more destinations to visit from one of MSC Cruises’ most popular vessels 
• New embarkation ports also offer improved accessibility for all guests
• Ship to fully implement MSC Cruises’ comprehensive health and safety protocol both on board and when exploring destinations, only through protected ashore visits

MSC Cruises today announced that its second ship to return to welcome guests, MSC Magnifica, will have an even richer and longer itinerary when she returns to sea and a new re-start date of October 19, 2020 with a series of seven cruises including an eight-night Christmas cruise departing on December 18 from Genoa, Italy.

Simultaneously, the Company also extended MSC Grandiosa’s current sailings through year-end, including the ship’s Christmas cruise to depart Genoa, Italy on December 20. MSC Grandiosa is offering seven-night cruises with embarkation in the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo, plus calling at Valletta, Malta.

MSC Magnifica’s new program covers both the West and East Mediterranean and will see the ship homeport in Genoa with calls at Livorno for Florence and Pisa, Messina in Sicily, Valletta in Malta, Piraeus for Athens and Katakolon for Olympia in Greece and Civitavecchia for Rome, before returning to Genoa.

The ten-night itinerary is designed for guests who prefer longer voyages that offer more destinations to visit and more time at sea — thanks to the popularity of protected excursions the cruise line introduced last month under its new health and safety protocol.

The longer sailing is also expected to appeal to guests flying from Schengen countries because of strong pan-European air links to both Rome and Genoa which are, together with Messina, two of the ship’s three embarkation ports. Additionally, ‘proximity cruising’ is proving to be popular with MSC Cruises’ guests who live both in Italy and in neighboring countries.

Longer sailings are also especially appealing to consumers who typically cruise during the fall and winter months, since they may have more time available and are looking for a longer alternative to the seven-night cruises already available on MSC Grandiosa.

Following the completion of her updated itinerary, MSC Magnifica — one of MSC Cruises’ most popular ships — is due to perform MSC Cruises’ trademark World Cruise in 2021, for the second consecutive year.

MSC Magnifica will follow in the footsteps of the successful return to service of MSC Grandiosa, now on her fourth consecutive seven-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean. The MSC Cruises’ flagship resumed sailing in August following the approval of national and local authorities in Italy, Greece and Malta of the Company’s new health and safety operating protocol, which is designed to protect guests, crew and the communities that the ship calls.

MSC Cruises’ new protocol, which will see its application also for the benefit of MSC Magnifica guests and crew, includes universal screening of everyone before they can board a ship, elevated sanitation and cleaning measures throughout the vessel, managed social distancing, wearing of face masks in public areas and technology to aid track and trace on board. The protocol’s robust and rigorous standards towards health and safety are similarly applied for all excursions ashore where guests are contained in a ‘social bubble’ to protect their wellbeing and the communities being visited.

Feedback from the thousands of guests who have so far sailed on MSC Grandiosa has been extremely positive, with many calling their experience one of the safest vacation options available as well as praising MSC Cruises’ willingness to go above and beyond the guidelines set forth by national as well as regional authorities.

As a result of the ship’s enriched schedule announced today, MSC Magnifica’s four proposed seven-night cruises from Bari, Italy between September 26 to October 24, 2020 have been canceled.

In the U.S., MSC Cruises will only restart operations when the time is right, following approval by the CDC and other relevant authorities across the region in observance of their requirements and guidelines.