MSC Cruises Sails Toward Resumption Of Cruising With Successful Completion Of Simulated Voyage
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (July 20, 2021) — MSC Meraviglia, MSC Cruises’ glamorous ship resuming cruises from Miami August 2, returned to PortMiami today after its 3-night simulated cruise, visiting Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises’ private island destination, in The Bahamas. The successful completion of the simulated voyage marks not only a key milestone toward the Company’s resumption of cruises from the U.S., but also a significant step its global plan for more than half of MSC Cruises’ fleet back at sea by the end of this summer.
“We are getting closer to bringing our guests back to sea from the U.S., and come August 2, they will finally have the opportunity to again enjoy everything they know and love about our rich experience, with gourmet dining, world-class entertainment and immersive experiences on board. And, with Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve still new to many of our guests, they can also now step onto our natural paradise when cruising The Bahamas, spending the day and evening enjoying activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling and more,” said Rubén Rodríguez, President of MSC Cruises USA.
“We are grateful to our volunteer guests who helped us complete this significant milestone, demonstrating the strength of our protocol to protect our guests, crew and the communities we visit, as well as the memorable cruise vacation we offer.”
Guests participating in the simulated cruise experienced life on board MSC Meraviglia, all under the protection of MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol, including mask-wearing indoors, social distancing, enhanced sanitization and more. Cruisers dined in the main dining room and specialty restaurants, participated in activities and entertainment throughout the ship and visited ashore in Nassau and Ocean Cay with a number of immersive protected shore excursions — all part of MSC Cruises’ safe and enjoyable cruise experience.
MSC Cruises’ Upcoming U.S. Resumption this Summer
With MSC Cruises’ simulated sailing successfully completed, MSC Meraviglia will officially resume cruising from the U.S. on August 2, 2021, beginning with 3- and 4-night cruises to The Bahamas, featuring Ocean Cay. The ship will then add 7-night cruises on September 18 to The Bahamas & Caribbean. MSC Divina will be MSC Cruises’ second ship to return to cruising from the U.S. with 3-, 4- and 7-night itineraries beginning September 16 from Orlando (Port Canaveral), a brand-new homeport for MSC Cruises.
All cruises will feature Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, named Best New Cruise Destination, where guests can enjoy the island’s natural beauty, discover local marine life and soak up the spirit of The Bahamas. With ships docking at the island from early morning into the evening — and in some instances overnight — guests can spend a full day enjoying two miles of pristine, white sand beaches and activities including stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, thrilling wave runner rides and more.
Health & Safety Measures
MSC Cruises’ top priority is protecting the health and safety of its guests, crew and the communities the Company’s ships visit. All MSC Cruises’ ships cruising from the U.S. will sail under the protection of the Company’s comprehensive health and safety protocol which includes universal COVID-19 testing at embarkation for all guests, weekly testing of crew, physical distancing, mask-wearing, protected shore excursions for guests who are not fully vaccinated, enhanced sanitation measures and personal hygiene recommendations, such as increased hand-washing and sanitizing stations, and specific additional requirements and restrictions for not fully vaccinated guests.
For additional details on MSC Cruises’ health and safety measures and additional requirements for not fully vaccinated guests, please visit https://www.msccruisesusa.com/health-and-safety-measures.
For more information on MSC Cruises’ first cruises from the U.S. and to book, guests should contact their preferred travel advisor, or visit here.
To learn more about MSC Cruises’ comprehensive health and safety protocol, visit here.
MSC Cruises’ Health & Safety Protocol:
In advance of its restart in Europe in August 2020, MSC Cruises developed its leading health and safety protocol that effectively set a standard for the industry. The Company set up a cross-functional task force, comprised of in-house experts in the areas of Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation, Hotel Services, HVAC and other Shipboard Engineering Systems, Information Technology and Logistics, as well as leading global healthcare provider Aspen Medical to further assist with the development of the protocol and operating procedures.
In addition, MSC Cruises has established a blue-ribbon COVID Expert Group – a panel of highly qualified and internationally respected experts to inform and review our initiatives and ensure that the actions taken are appropriate, effective and informed by the best available science and health practices.
Using the latest data, research and technology, MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol is designed to prevent and mitigate the risk of transmission during an MSC Cruises’ vacation, easily adapt to a changing environment and immediately respond in the event of any suspect cases to prevent spread.
For its resumption of cruising from the U.S., MSC Cruises has adapted and enhanced its protocol to protect guests, crew and the communities MSC Cruises’ ships visit, meeting the needs of the current environment and the destinations in which the cruises will sail. The health and safety protocol includes the following pillars:
- Specific additional requirements for guests who are not fully vaccinated. Guests who are not fully vaccinated will be required to purchase MSC Cruises’ Travel Insurance & COVID-19 Protection Services and will be subject to more stringent protocols on board. At the moment, these include but are not limited to the required purchase of a MSC sponsored shore excursions in order to go ashore and required testing upon embarkation and while on board. Additionally, there will be specific areas on board dedicated to fully vaccinated guests.
- Universal health screening of all guests prior to embarkation that includes a health questionnaire and a COVID-19 antigen test. Not fully vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of a negative RT-PCR NAP test result at embarkation, taken within 72 hours of departure. All crew members will be tested for COVID-19 up to three times prior to embarkation, prior to disembarkation as well as weekly during their contract.
- Elevated sanitation, cleaning and hygiene measures supported by the introduction of deep cleaning methods, the use of hospital-grade disinfectant products. Increased hand washing and sanitization stations will be placed throughout the ship and guests will be encouraged to frequently wash or sanitize their hands during the cruise.
- 100 percent fresh air circulation in both staterooms and public areas throughout the ship, with no recirculation of air.
- Social distancing will be enabled through careful control of capacity of venues, public areas and spaces on board, allowing for more space for guests. Activities will be modified to allow for smaller groups and guests will be able to pre-book services and activities to manage guest numbers.
- Mask-wearing will be required while indoors in public areas. Guests will be permitted to remove their masks when seated at their socially-distanced tables at dining venues, bars and lounges. Guests will be required to wear a mask outdoors where physical distancing is not possible.
- Protected shore excursions available which will be required for not fully vaccinated guests in order to disembark the ship, for further protection of all guests on board. Fully vaccinated guests will be permitted to visit freely in port. All guests will be able to enjoy Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve at their leisure or with any one of the offered shore excursions on the island.
- Enhanced medical facilities and services with highly qualified staff, including testing facilities. Dedicated isolation staterooms will be available to enable isolation of any suspected cases and close contacts.
- A contingency response plan will be activated if a suspected COVID-19 case is identified, in close cooperation with the CDC and local health authorities. The suspected case and close contacts will follow isolation measures and may be disembarked according to local and national regulations.
For additional specifics on MSC Cruises health and safety measures, visit here.
About MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises is the world’s third largest cruise brand as well as the leader in Europe, South America, the Gulf region and Southern Africa with more market share in addition to deployed capacity than any other player. It is also the fastest growing global cruise brand with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East markets.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises one of the two brands that sit within the Cruises Division of MSC Group, the leading privately held Swiss-based shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage. MSC Cruises — the contemporary brand — has a modern fleet of 18 vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels. The fleet is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025 with options for six vessel orders in place through 2030.
MSC Cruises offers its guests an enriching, immersive and safe cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage, where they can enjoy international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programs and the very latest user-friendly technology on board. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ itineraries and experience on board its ships please see here.
The Company’s number one priority has always been the health and safety of its guests and crew, as well as the communities at the destinations its ships serve. In August 2020, MSC Cruises implemented a new comprehensive and robust health and safety protocol to become the first major line to return to sea. To learn more about MSC Cruises’ health & safety protocol please see here.
MSC Cruises has long been committed to environmental stewardship with a long-term goal to achieve zero emissions for its operations. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry wide. To learn more about the Company’s environmental commitment please see here.
Finally, to learn more about the MSC Foundation, MSC Group’s own vehicle to lead, focus and advance its conservation, humanitarian and cultural commitments please see here.
See more MSC Cruise news here.
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