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CRUISE WITH CONFIDENCE THIS WINTER WITH MSC CRUISES HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOL

10/1/2021

• Cruise line confirms details of travel requirements and MSC Cruises health and safety protocol for winter 21/22


This winter MSC Cruises is offering a rich and varied winter programme with a choice of different ships and itineraries and guests can choose a winter holiday with the confidence that MSC Cruises’ industry-leading protocol is in place to safeguard their health. Introduced in August 2020, the protocol has since protected the health of tens of thousands of guests during their cruise holidays on board one of MSC Cruises ships. This winter, MSC Cruises has worked with the authorities in all of the regions and countries in which the ships will operate to ensure its protocol meets and exceed the required health and safety measures.

For the winter programme, MSC Cruises will require guests will need to provide relevant documentation at embarkation in line with the travel requirements such as a negative test result, proof of vaccination and COVID insurance documentation. A full overview of the specific requirements for each itinerary can be found here.

Where proof of vaccination is required, this applies to guests aged 12 years and above with a complete set of vaccine shots received more than 14 days before the start of the cruise, with one of the approved vaccinations accepted by the authorities in the different regions. Guests aged from two years to 11 years inclusive, need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test.

Many of the destinations that MSC Cruises ships will call require guests to have a COVID-19 insurance policy as such MSC Cruises will require this as a mandatory requirement for all guests. The insurance needs to cover against COVID-19 related risks, i.e. cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization and it is important that this includes coverage in the case of being a close contact.

Guests who are fully vaccinated will be able to go ashore independently according to the requirements of the countries they will visit. Those guests who are not fully vaccinated or who have children in their travelling party, will need to go ashore with an MSC Cruises protected shore excursion.

To enable guests to return home in compliance with the various national regulations, it is possible for guests to purchase and perform an RT-PCR or an antigen test during their cruise if this is required for them to return to their home country. This service is booked and paid for on board and is organised through the Medical Centre.

As the situation is dynamic and subject to change by the different countries, it is important that guests carefully check the travel regulations at the time of booking and at the time of travel are according to their country of origin and destination as well as checking with their airline.

Health and Safety On Board

MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol with measures that include elevated sanitation on board, wearing of masks in indoor public areas or where physical distancing cannot be implemented, a fully-equipped medical centre, a contingency response plan agreed in collaboration with the authorities ashore as well as other key measures to protect the health and safety of the guests, crew and communities that the ship will visit.

To find out more about the embarkation requirements and the health and safety measures visit here.

OVERVIEW OF REQUIREMENTS FOR REGIONS WHERE MSC CRUISES WILL OPERATE

Mediterranean

As with the summer programme, vaccinated and not-fully vaccinated guests from Schengen countries (1) will be able to book these cruises. In order to embark, these guests will either need to have a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken with 48 hours of departure or be fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 6 months.

Non-Schengen guests will also be able to book these cruises and will need to be fully vaccinated as well as providing a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

Guests can only go ashore when participating in an MSC Shore Excursion and some excursions will require an official COVID certificate (e.g. EU Digital COVID certificate) to access some tourist venues such a museums or churches.

Northern Europe

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and guests aged from 2 years to 11 years old will need need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test or antigen taken within 48 hours of their cruise departure.

Non-Schengen guests will also be able to book these cruises and will need to be fully vaccinated as well as providing a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

Red Sea/Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure. Guests aged from 2 years to 11 years old will need need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

For MSC Bellissima cruises in the Red Sea, a visa is required for entry into Saudi Arabia and Guests who purchase an MSC fly & cruise package will have a visa for Saudi Arabia valued at €30 per person included in the overall cost.

Guests need to register their vaccination status with the authorities from Saudi Arabia prior to arriving in the country. More information can be found here.

Caribbean – cruises out of Miami and Port Canaveral

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated. For residents of the U.S, they will need to provide proof of a negative antigen or RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of their cruise departure, whilst non-residents of the U.S will need a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure. All guests aged from 2 to 11 years will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

Southern Caribbean

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure. All guests aged from 2 to 11 years will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure.

Grand Voyages

All guests 12 years and above need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure and guests aged from 2 to 11 years will need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of their cruise departure..

Measures and requirements for cruises in South America and South Africa will be confirmed soon.

To find out more about the winter 21/22 programme visit here.


(1) Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, UK and Ireland