Geneva, Switzerland – 12 September 2020 - 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 19 October with a series of seven cruises including an eight-night Christmas cruise departing on 18 December 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 20 December. 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 programme 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 -, as well as ‘proximity cruising’ which is proving to be popular with MSC Cruises’ guests who live both in Italy and in neighbouring countries.
Longer sailings are also especially appealing to consumers who typically cruise during the Autumn and Winter months, with more time available and looking for a longer alternative to the 7-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 7-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 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 amongst 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 holiday 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 26 September to 24 October have been cancelled.
Guests affected by the cancelled cruises will either be re-protected onto another cruise – in particular on MSC Grandiosa, which is currently sailing in the West Mediterranean - or will receive a future cruise credit where they have the opportunity to transfer the full amount paid for their cancelled cruise to a future voyage of their choice – on any ship, for any itinerary – until the end of 2021.