MSC Cruises has extended its fleet-wide suspension of operations through July 31st, 2020, but has announced new itineraries for next year, as well as a phased return to service later this year.
“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,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises.
He didn’t elaborate on the details of the planned phased return to service, but said that the cruise line was also working on 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,” he said.
MSC Cruises’ March – November 2021 program will include two new ships currently under construction and a series of new or enriched itineraries and homeports, including a new home for MSC Divina in Central Florida at Port Canaveral.
“While today we have taken the difficult decision to further extend the halt of operations of all our ships, it is important that we also look ahead as we know that our customers are dreaming of travel and are wanting to plan their holidays for next year,” said Onorato. “For this reason, we have now also confirmed our March – November program for 2021.”
MSC Cruises announced details of its 2021 cruise program by region:
MSC Meraviglia will offer 7-night cruises from Miami, Florida departing every Saturday, while the smaller Lirica-class MSC Armonia will offer new 3- and 4-night itineraries from Miami, departing on Mondays and Fridays and calling at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
MSC Divina will sail for the first time from Port Canaveral, Florida on 3-, 4- and 7-night itineraries departing on Sundays and Thursdays.
The Italian cruise line’s three Seaside-class cruise ships will all be deployed together in the Med for the first time ever during the summer in 2021.
MSC Seashore will enter service on August 1st, 2021 (her delivery delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic). MSC Fantasia will temporarily cover her itineraries.
MSC Seashore will offer the popular Six Pearls itinerary calling at the Italian cities of Genoa, Pompeii, Naples; Messina, Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France.
She will be joined by sister ships MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview in their Genoa homeport cruising 7-nightitineraries.
MSC Fantasia will also cruise seven-night voyages from Genoa calling at Marseille, Barcelona, the port of La Goulette in Tunis, Palermo and Civitavecchia from August.
There are also 9- to 12-night cruises available from Genoa, Italy in late summer to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Portugal, Greece and Israel with MSC Poesia calling in Haifa.
New for summer 2021, MSC Lirica will be deployed from Venice, Italy and will also offer embarkation in the northern Italian port of Trieste with an itinerary calling at Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro and Corfu in Greece.
MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Opera and MSC Sinfonia, will offer 7-night cruises also departing from Venice and calling at the Greek islands, Montenegro and Croatia.
The new MSC Virtuosa will spend her first summer season cruising 7- to 14-night itineraries from May, homeporting in Kiel, and alternating between the fjords and the Baltic capitals, with all itineraries offering embarkation in both Kiel and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The fjords of the Norwegian west coast and the Baltic Capitals can also be enjoyed on a seven-night to 14-night (back to back) itinerary available on MSC Splendida and she will also offer longer 10- and 11-night cruises to the Baltic capitals or North Cape.
MSC Preziosa will offer 9- to 14-night itineraries from Hamburg with destinations in Ireland, Iceland and North Cape and Spitzbergen in Norway.
The United Kingdom
MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton, UK and offer 7-night itineraries to the fjords of Norway, 14-nights to the Baltic capitals or the Mediterranean in mid-August, 12-nights to the Canary Islands and a 7-night cruise calling in Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Zeebrugge, Belgium and Le Havre, France.