MSC Cruises has implemented extra onboard health and safety protocols onboard Grandiosa after temporarily suspending Magnifica sailings due to Covid restrictions in France and Germany.
The line said “given the prevailing pandemic situation” in France and Germany and the imposing of “significant travel restrictions affecting guests from these markets” cruises operated by Magnifica would be paused from 8 November to 18 December.
France and Germany are two key source markets for the ship’s 10-night voyages across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean calling in Italy, Greece and Malta.
Meanwhile, Grandiosa will continue and extend its current sailings into next year.
MSC’s flagship will operate its current seven-night itinerary in the Western Mediterranean with embarkation in Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo, as well as calling Valetta until 27 March 2021.
Some new health and safety measures onboard Grandiosa have come into effect – including additional onboard testing for all guests halfway through their cruise (in addition to pre-boarding testing).
Testing of all crew during their time onboard has also be increased from twice a month to weekly, while increased frequency of onboard sanitation has taken place, in particular in public areas and high touch points.
There has also been a tightening of the definition of “close contact” for tracing purposes, reducing the time individuals are in contact from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.
MSC said the additional measures were “activated over the past two weeks” onboard the line’s two ships currently at sea.
The line has also announced the cancellation of its 2021 World Cruise onboard Magnifica. It said guests will be contacted with rescheduling options.
When Magnifica resumes operations, the ship will sail a one-off eight-night Christmas cruise itinerary and then return to its current 10-night itinerary across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean until the end of April 2021.