WASHINGTON, D.C. — MSC Cruises’ former Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, has been announced as CLIA’s new Global Chairman, effective immediately.
Vago, who also served as MSC’s CEO from 2003 to 2013, takes over the Global Chairman role from Adam Goldstein. Vago, who is the first European to serve in the role of CLIA Global Chairman, begins his two-year term at a “highly critical juncture for our industry globally,” he said.
“I am honoured and grateful for the support and trust of my peers as we work to resume the business of creating unforgettable experiences for our treasured guests, as well as generating economic impact and job opportunities benefitting millions of people worldwide who are touched in so many ways by our industry,” added Vago. “With over 200 sailings that have taken place since last summer in various markets around the world, all with strict measures in place to promote public health, we have proven that a return to cruising is possible.”
During his time as CEO of MSC Cruises, Vago helped the company achieve over 800% growth. As Executive Chairman, he continues to cement MSC’s position as one of the largest providers of cruise vacations in the world. He previously served as Chairman of CLIA Europe in 2014.
Goldstein, who recently completed his second term as Global Chairman of CLIA, said it has been an “honour” to serve these past two years and that he is “proud of all that we have accomplished together, even as we have faced unprecedented challenges.”
MSC’S AGENT FEEDBACK
MSC is reporting “extremely positive’ feedback from guests ever since returning to operations in mid-August with MSC Grandiosa. Since that time, the cruise line has carried more than 30,000 guests onboard, including many travel agents from across Europe. Agents describe their experience as “impressive” and “very safe,” thanks to a wide array of safety protocols that span the entire cruise experience, from embarkation to onboard and excursions.
“Finally, we can start travelling again safely,” said one agent when describing onboard health measures that include hand sanitizing stations, temperature-taking and face masks for all guests and crew. MSC has also implemented enhanced HVAC ventilation, social distancing and contact tracing.
During shore excursions, transfers are properly sanitized, adequate space is given to ensure social distancing, and tour guides and drivers must undergo health screenings before serving guests and wear appropriate PPE.
Another agent described the atmosphere as “a bubble of happiness” and that they were “very eager to return soon.”
MSC Cruises was the first major cruise line to return to operations in Europe. MSC Grandiosa will continue to offer a seven-night itinerary in the Western Mediterranean until the end of March 2021, while MSC Magnifica will offer 10-night cruises covering the western and eastern Med from Feb. 14.