MSC Cruises has announced an MSC Virtuosa UK cruise season just days after confirming that it was planning a summer homeport season for 2021.
MSC Cruises announced earlier this month that it would be deploying a ship in the UK market for the summer cruise season, but hadn’t revealed itinerary details, or announced which ship it would be.
Now it has confirmed that its latest flagship, MSC Virtuosa, will be cruising from the UK.
The MSC Virtuosa UK cruise season will begin on May 7th, with a series of 4-night cruises from Southampton, visiting the Isle of Portland in Dorset, part of the Jurassic Coast, where guests will be able to go ashore to enjoy the perfect day out at the beach.
The cruises will also include two full days at sea.
On June 12th, the MSC Virtuosa UK cruise season will switch to longer cruises, with 7-night roundtrip voyages from Southampton, Greenock and Liverpool. These cruises will also feature Portland and Belfast as ports of call.
The 19-deck MSC Virtuosa will be one of the largest cruise ships sailing from the UK this year. She was delivered in February and, as part of the generation of Meraviglia Plus-class vessels, is one of MSC’s most innovative and environmentally-advanced ships.
With extensive amenities and kids facilities, she offers guests of all ages restaurants, entertainment, bars and lounges, boutique shopping, spa and fitness centers, an aquapark and clubs for toddlers to teenagers. She also features one of the most expansive Yacht Clubs in the MSC fleet, with 103 suites.
MSC Virtuosa also features the brand-new MSC Starship Club with the world’s first humanoid robotic bartender offering a futuristic immersive bar and entertainment experience. The ship is due to homeport in Dubai for the 2021/22 winter cruise season.
The MSC Virtuosa UK cruise season is only available to British residents, but vaccination is not required. The cruise line will instead require a negative PCR test conducted at least 72 hours before boarding for those without a vaccine, while everyone will be subject to an additional test at the cruise terminal.
Other pre-boarding and onboard measures will also apply to both guests and crew, in line with MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol.
“We are incredibly proud that we can offer British guests of all ages our very latest vessel MSC Virtuosa for their summer holiday and I’m sure they will have a fabulous time onboard with all that this incredibly innovative ship has to offer, as well as being able to enjoy a range of protected shore excursions in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises.
“We also look forward to the day when current international travel restrictions are lifted in the UK and we can welcome British guests back onboard our ships once again in the Mediterranean and other parts of the world that we know that they love to visit,” he added.
MSC Virtuosa was previously scheduled to serve itineraries in Northern Europe out of Germany, she will be replaced by MSC Seaview. Booked guests and travel agents will be contacted directly, the cruise line said.
In November, 2021, MSC Virtuosa will reposition to the Arabian Gulf, where she will sail a full Middle East cruise season out of Dubai until March, 2022.