• First vaccines given as plan of action starts in earnest for all crew members
• Program to cover all 10 ships already planned to return to sea this Summer, those scheduled to restart in the Caribbean out of U.S. ports as well as the rest of the Company’s global fleet
MSC Cruises announced today that it has started a fleet-wide COVID-19 vaccination program for all its crew members. This becomes an additional core element of the Company’s industry-leading health & safety protocol that has already supported MSC Cruises operations since its first ship returned to service in August last year.
The roll-out saw as its first step the Master of MSC Bellissima Captain Giuseppe Maresca and all of his crew completing their vaccinations yesterday.
In this initial phase, MSC Cruises will prioritize crew members on board its 10 ships earmarked for Summer 2021 cruise vacations in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, those scheduled to restart in the Caribbean out of U.S. ports as well as others that are gearing up for their restart. Crew of the flagship MSC Virtuosa will be vaccinated ahead of the ship’s maiden voyage from May 20 around the UK from Southampton.
The plan is for all MSC Cruises’ crew on board operational vessels, as well as ships preparing to restart in parts of the world the Company has served traditionally, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It has been developed and will be delivered against with the support of a number of national government authorities, destinations and private sector entities.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said, “As our ships prepare to welcome more and more guests over the coming weeks and months, we are pleased to announce the start of a comprehensive plan of vaccinations for all of our crew. Our aim is of adding a further level of protection for both themselves and the guests they will welcome for their holidays as we lead the way in the industry’s restart this summer.
“Our health and safety protocol last year spearheaded a safe resumption of cruising in the global industry and our huge vaccination program for all of our crew further demonstrates our commitment to their wellbeing, of our guests and of the communities that our fleet of ships will visit in the months ahead.
“We focused and invested heavily in a health and safety protocol last year and worked relentlessly to engage and gain approval from a range of authorities to return to cruising safely and responsibly. Similarly, we have taken this approach to vaccinations for our crew - plan, prepare and perform.”
MSC Cruises became the industry’s first line to resume international sailings in August 2020 when the Company’s flagship MSC Grandiosa set sail from Genoa for a 7-night voyage in the Mediterranean. The Company has since welcomed on board some 65,000 guests for a safe and relaxing cruise vacation at sea.
The Company’s 10 ships set to serve the Mediterranean and Northern Europe this Summer have confirmed itineraries and ports of call in Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Germany and the UK with plans to add France, Spain and more, as more countries open their borders and relax their international and other travel restrictions.
About MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises is the world’s third largest cruise brand as well as the leader in Europe, South America, the Gulf region and Southern Africa with more market share in addition to deployed capacity than any other player. It is also the fastest growing global cruise brand with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East markets.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises one of the two brands that sit within the Cruises Division of MSC Group, the leading privately held Swiss-based shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage. MSC Cruises — the contemporary brand — has a modern fleet of 18 vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels. The fleet is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025 with options for six vessel orders in place through 2030.
MSC Cruises offers its guests an enriching, immersive and safe cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage, where they can enjoy international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programs and the very latest user-friendly technology on board. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ itineraries and experience on board its ships please see here
The Company’s number one priority has always been the health and safety of its guests and crew, as well as the communities at the destinations its ships serve. In August 2020, MSC Cruises implemented a new comprehensive and robust health and safety protocol to become the first major line to return to sea. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ health & safety protocol please see here
MSC Cruises has long been committed to environmental stewardship with a long-term goal to achieve zero emissions for its operations. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry wide. To learn more about the Company’s environmental commitment please see here
Finally, to learn more about the MSC Foundation, MSC Group’s own vehicle to lead, focus and advance its conservation, humanitarian and cultural commitments please see here