MSC Cruises has commenced a fleet-wide vaccination programme of its crew.
The line will initially prioritise crew working onboard its 10 ships scheduled to operate this summer in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, as well as those poised to restart in the Caribbean out of US ports.
Crew onboard MSC’s flagship MSC Virtuosa will be vaccinated ahead of the vessel’s maiden voyage from Southampton on 20 May.
MSC said the vaccination programme had been developed, and would be delivered, with the support of national governments, destinations and the private sector.
Chief executive Gianni Onorato said the line’s aim was to add “a further level of protection” for crew and guests.
“Our health and safety protocol last year spearheaded a safe resumption of cruising in the global industry and our huge vaccination programme for all of our crew further demonstrates our commitment to their wellbeing, of our guests and of the communities that our fleet of ships will visit in the months ahead," he said.
“We focused and invested heavily in a health and safety protocol last year and worked relentlessly to engage and gain approval from a range of authorities to return to cruising safely and responsibly. Similarly, we have taken this approach to vaccinations for our crew - plan, prepare and perform.”
MSC resumed operations in August 2020 with MSC Grandiosa sailing the Mediterranean from Genoa and has since welcomed around 65,000 guests on its ships.
It has previously announced plans to operate 10 ships in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe this summer.
Confirmed itineraries and ports of call feature Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Germany and the UK - with plans to add France and Spain once travel restrictions are relaxed.