MSC Virtuosa fitted with hospital-grade MERV-13 air filters
Newly developed ‘Safe Air’ advanced air sanitation system to be installed on MSC Seashore

  • MSC Virtuosa fitted with hospital-grade MERV-13 air filters
  • Newly developed ‘Safe Air’ advanced air sanitation system to be installed on MSC Seashore
  • Recent ships also receive separate health and safety notations from classification societies Bureau Veritas and RINA
Geneva, Switzerland, 25 February 2021 - MSC Cruises’ new flagship MSC Virtuosa has been fitted with MERV-13 air filters to enhance the health and safety of its guests and crew on board the vessel.
This advanced equipment is commonly found in hospitals and will be fitted for the first time on board MSC Cruises’ next ship to come into service to further optimise the filtration of the air circulated inside the vessel by the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.   
As an additional commitment for the wellbeing of guests and crew, the Company’s second ship to be delivered this year, MSC Seashore, will be first cruise vessel in the world to feature a separate and newly-developed advanced air sanitation system called ‘Safe Air’ designed to improve the quality and cleanliness of the onboard air.
‘Safe Air’ is based on the technology of UV-C lamps and will be applied in combination with MSC Seashore’s air conditioning system so the air flow will be radiated at source with a short wavelength light that can hit organic particles to prevent the circulation of air pollutants such as viruses, bacteria and mould.
The ‘Safe Air’ sanitation system was developed by shipbuilder Fincantieri’s designers and technicians and the virology laboratory of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, a leading global research institute headquartered in Trieste, Italy.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said; “At MSC Cruises, our commitment to the wellbeing of our guests and crew is underpinned first and foremost by our industry leading health and safety protocol that has supported the continued operation of our ships since August last year.
“This has allowed us to safely and responsibly host more than 40,000 guests from across Europe on board our ships in the Mediterranean.  With the two new ships that will enter into service in 2021 – MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore - we are furthering this commitment with more innovative technology to ensure that the wellbeing of our guests and crew is always our top priority.”

MSC Cruises in August 2020 became the first major cruise line in the world to operate international cruises at sea with a comprehensive robust and rigorous health and safety protocol approved by a range of national and regional authorities in Europe following the temporary halt of the global industry in March as a result of the pandemic ashore. The cruise line has to date safely carried more than 40,000 guests, primarily on board MSC Grandiosa, which was the Company’s first ship to resume operations last summer.
The two most recent ships delivered to MSC Cruises – MSC Virtuosa and MSC Grandiosa – have both been granted notations by two separate maritime classification societies for the Company’s industry-leading health and safety protocol, Bureau Veritas and RINA.
MSC Virtuosa became the first cruise ship in the world to receive a ‘Biorisk Secured’ notation from Paris-based Bureau Veritas in recognition of the vessel’s ability to mitigate and manage infectious disease risk for passengers and crew.
MSC Grandiosa, launched in November 2019, obtained a ‘Biosafe Ship’ notation from Italy’s classification society RINA in October 2020 that certified the ship is equipped with systems, components and has a layout and operational procedures that reduce infection risk.
Bureau Veritas and RINA are members of the London-based International Association of Classification Societies, a global not-for-profit organisation that establishes a range of standards for the maritime sector, including safety.