GENEVA — MSC Cruises is extending its temporary fleet-wide halt of cruise operations through to July 31, 2020, from July 10, due to ongoing travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19.
Guests affected by the cancelled cruises up until July 31 are being offered a future cruise credit valued at 125% of their cruise fare, which can be applied to a future cruise of their choice – on any ship, for any itinerary – through to the end of 2021. Guests will be able to redeem their FCC voucher starting June 26 to reschedule their cruise to a time that suits them.
Plus, for all guests currently booked with MSC Cruises Canada between Aug. 1 through Oct. 31, 2020, their bookings will now be covered under an extension of the MSC Cruises Assurance Program, which now allows guests to reschedule their cruise to a future departure date through to Dec. 31, 2021 up to 48 hours prior to the original cruise departure.
Though MSC has been forced to extend its suspension of operations, it is also looking ahead to a busy Summer Program for 2021. The program will include two new ships currently under construction and a series of new or enriched itineraries and homeports.
“Our ships will return to service only when the time is right, in phases and by region, and following guidance from the relevant national and international health and other regulatory authorities and the support of a new operating protocol especially focused on health and safety, which we will announce soon. This way, gradually, all of our ships will return to sea between then and the beginning of our summer 2021 season,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises.
Below are key highlights of the Summer 2021 program:
MSC’s three Seaside-class ships – MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview and MSC Seashore – will all be deployed together for the first time in the Western Mediterranean. MSC Seashore will come into service from Aug. 1, 2021 due to COVID-19-related shipyard delays. During this period, MSC Fantasia will temporarily cover its itinerary, with guests receiving a shipboard credit of €100 for this change.
MSC Seashore will be joined by sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview in their Genoa homeport and operate 7-night cruises. Plus, MSC will return to Tunisia from August when MSC Fantasia operates 7-night cruises from Genoa calling Marseille, Barcelona, La Goulette in Tunis, Palermo and Civitavecchia.
Nine- to 12-night cruises will also be available from Genoa, Italy in late summer to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Portugal, Greece and Israel with MSC Poesia, calling in the port of Haifa.
New for summer 2021, MSC Lirica will be deployed from Venice, Italy and will offer embarkation in the northern Italian port of Trieste with an itinerary that calls in Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia, as well as Kotor, Montenegro and Corfu in Greece.
In addition, MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Opera and MSC Sinfonia will offer 7-night itineraries also departing from Venice and calling the Greek Islands, Montenegro and Croatia.
From May 8, the new MSC Virtuosa will spend its first summer season with 7- to 14-night cruises from the German port of Kiel, alternating between the fjords and the Baltic capitals, with all itineraries offering embarkation in both Kiel and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The famous fjords of the Norwegian west coast and the Baltic capitals can also be enjoyed on a 7-night to 14-night (back to back) itinerary on MSC Splendida, which will also offer longer 10- and 11-night cruises to the Baltic capitals or North Cape.
MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton, U.K. and offer 7-night itineraries to Norway, 14-nights to the Baltic capitals of the Mediterranean in mid-August, 12-nights to the Canary Islands, and a 7-night cruise to the ‘Northern Pearls’ of Hamburg, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge and Le Havre.
MSC Preziosa will offer 9- to 14-night itineraries from Hamburg with destinations in Ireland, Iceland and North Cape as well as Spitzbergen in Norway.
MSC Meraviglia will offer 7-night cruises from Miami departing every Saturday, while the MSC Armonia will offer new 3- and 4-night getaways, also from Miami, departing on Mondays and Fridays and calling in Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
New for next summer, the MSC Divina will sail for the first time from Port Canaveral, Florida, a new homeport for MSC, with a mix of 3-, 4- and 7-night cruises departing on Sundays and Thursdays.
OCEAN CAY MSC MARINE RESERVE
MSC’s private island destination in The Bahamas will remain a key highlight in summer 2021, with all three ships calling. Exclusive to MSC guests, the private island – located just 65 miles from Miami – is surrounded by 64 square miles of marine reserve.