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MSC Cruises USA  |  Mon Jan 18 00:00:00 CET 2021

  • Latest ministerial decree of the Italian government confirms that cruises can return to operation under the protection of their unique health and safety protocol
  • Company’s flagship will resume scheduled weekly cruises in the Western Mediterranean, following the forced pause of operations over the holiday season 
Geneva, Switzerland (January 18, 2021)MSC Cruises announced today that MSC Grandiosa will return to sea starting on January 24.
Following the latest ministerial decree issued by the Italian government and related updated health measures, the Company’s flagship will resume her planned weekly cruises leaving every Sunday from Genoa, Italy and calling the other Italian ports of Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo as well as Valetta in Malta. Embarkation will be available from each port in Italy.
The latest ministerial decree authorized the resumption of cruise operations under the protection of the unique health and safety protocol that had been developed with and authorized by the Italian health, transport and safety authorities last summer. Since then, MSC Cruises has safely welcomed over 30,000 guests on board its two ships based out of Italy.
During the Christmas and end-of-year festivities through to the issuance of the latest ministerial decree, Italy-based cruise operation were temporarily suspended due to the restrictive measures related to movement within the country set forth by the local authorities.
For more details on MSC Cruises’ health and safety measures visit:
Notes for Editors
MSC Cruises health and safety protocol
MSC Cruises in August 2020 became the first major cruise line to resume sailing following the global shutdown of the industry in March caused by the pandemic ashore.

MSC Grandiosa, the Company’s flagship, set sail on Sunday, August 16 from Genoa in Italy with guests on board for the first of her 7-night voyages in the Western Mediterranean.
This was achieved following approvals from the relevant authorities in Italy, Malta and Greece of an  industry-leading health and safety protocol designed to protect the wellbeing of all guests, crew and communities to be visited.

This industry-leading protocol, which was designed at the outset to adapt to a fluctuating health situation ashore, was recently strengthened in line with the current evolution of the pandemic in mainland Europe, with a series of enhanced rigorous measures.

The additional measures include the following:
  • Additional on-board antigen testing for COVID-19 of all guests mid-way through their cruise which are on top of the existing pre-boarding universal testing for all guests;  
  • Frequency of testing of all crew during their time on board increased from twice-a-month to weekly, which is in addition to pre-boarding testing for all crew and other ongoing health monitoring measures;
  • Increased frequency of on-board 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 protocol is based on nine key elements, many of which have been adopted by other cruise companies, the Cruise Lines Industry Association and international airlines and airports.
1.            Testing of all guests at least twice per voyage
2.            Testing of all crew at least three times before embarkation and weekly on board
3.            Only protected shore excursions, as organized ‘social bubbles’
4.            Ventilation with HVAC fresh air
5.            Contingency response that does not burden local health infrastructures
6.            Isolation space on board and tracking and tracing including close contacts
7.            Masks
8.            Physical distancing – aided by reduced capacity of the ship
9.            And COVID-19 prevalence monitoring
About MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises is the brand 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 also in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East markets.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises is part of MSC Group, the privately held Swiss-based leading shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage. MSC Cruises — the contemporary brand — has a modern fleet of 17 vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels. The fleet is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2024 with options for further vessel orders in place through 2027.
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.