This adds to the company's health safety protocol that has supported operations since the first MSC ship returned to service in August last year. The line has carried more than 65,000 passengers.
MSC Bellissima Capt. Giuseppe Maresca and all of his crew completed their vaccinations Friday.
In this initial phase, MSC Cruises will prioritize crew members on its 10 ships earmarked for summer service in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, those scheduled to restart in the Caribbean out of US ports and others that are gearing up for their restart. MSC Virtuosa crew will be vaccinated ahead of the ship’s maiden voyage May 20 around the UK from Southampton.
The plan is for all MSC Cruises crew on board operational vessels, as well as ships preparing to restart in parts of the world the company has served traditionally, to be vaccinated. This program will be delivered with the support of a number of national government authorities, destinations and private sector entities.
'Our health and safety protocol last year spearheaded a safe resumption of cruising in the global industry and our huge vaccination program for all of our crew further demonstrates our commitment to their well-being, of our guests and of the communities that our fleet of ships will visit in the months ahead,' MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said.
Still no mandated passenger vaccination
However, MSC doesn't require passenger vaccation anywhere — at least not so far.
Ten ships are set to serve the Mediterranean and Northern Europe this summer with confirmed itineraries and calls at Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Germany and the UK, with plans to add France, Spain and other countries as they open their borders and relax travel restrictions.