MSC Magnifica has become the second MSC Cruises ship to set sail again following the global halt to cruise operations.
The ship, which will join MSC Grandiosa in operating cruises out of Italy, albeit 10-night sailings rather than seven.
While the cruises are currently only open to Schengen residents, Antonio Paradiso, managing director of MSC Cruises UK, said that the company was ready to welcome back UK and Irish guests.
“MSC Cruises are ready to welcome British & Irish residents when the FCDO guidance changes. We are working closely with CLIA and the relevant authorities to enable British and Irish guests to be welcome back on board our ships when the time is right.”
Magnifica will call at Livorno for visits to Florence and Pisa, Messina in Sicily, Piraeus for Athens, Katakolon for Olympia, Valletta in Malta, and Civitavecchia for Rome, before returning to Genoa. The ship will operate six of these sailings before taking an eight-night Christmas Voyage, which departs on 18 December.
The MSC Cruises health and safety protocol includes universal health screening of everyone – guests and crew – including tests for Covid-19 before they can board a ship. There are also higher levels of 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 ship’s capacity has also been reduced to 70 per cent.