MSC Cruises Sail Again!Updated Wednesday 23rd March 2021
With more than one thousand guests disembarking at the port of Genoa after 7-night Mediterranean cruises in August, and the eyes of the cruise world watching on, MSC Cruises have once again successfully completed a safe return to cruising onboard MSC Grandiosa. Following on from this, MSC Virtuosa returned to service without a hitch from Southampton in May. This signifies a fantastic breakthrough for the cruise industry in navigating cruise holidays during the pandemic and the ‘new normal’.
Featuring extraordinary health and safety regulations to protect both guests and staff, MSC Grandiosa operated at less than full capacity in order to maintain social distancing, with guests stating, "all the health measures in place made us feel safe, we felt safer onboard than we would have felt on a beach or a restaurant surrounded by people in a busy tourist destination".
These regulations include:
- Designated routes around the ship to facilitate social distancing.
- Self-service buffet removed.
- Hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the ship.
- Introduction of face coverings when necessary, such as during queues.
- Regular temperature checks throughout the day.
- Covid-19 tests on return from excursions.
During an interview, while guests acknowledged the vastly unique experience in comparison to cruises in the past, many said they had felt safe, with everything inside the ship 'well organised and spotless', thanks to 'less people, a better queue system in place, and a higher respect of the rules'. One avid cruiser said that 'the health of passengers has been paramount'. When onshore, tour guides ensured guests could not wander off, maintaining a safe 'social bubble' for all. During a stop in Naples, a family seen breaking away from this social bubble were not allowed to rejoin the cruise.
After a short pause in service over the Christmas period, MSC Cruises have resumed cruises onboard MSC Grandiosa. Visit our MSC Cruises' page to find out more about their health and safety regulations, or click here to find out what other cruise lines are doing.
For more information on the UK cruise restart, please see here to preregister your interest, browse all available UK Coastal Cruise sailings and see our comprehensive breakdown on the UK's return to cruising.