These will operate under the same health and safety protocols by which MSC has carried more than 60,000 passengers in the Mediterranean since August.
'Today we have clarity on which European destinations and ports will initially be open this summer and we have fully reflected this into a first set of new and updated itineraries for the upcoming season so that guests can book their holidays with us with confidence,' CEO Gianni Onorato said.
He expressed his confidence that in the coming weeks, MSC would be able to further enrich some of these itineraries and add more ships as further ports and destinations, particularly in Spain and France, open to visitors.
Three ships in the West Mediterranean
MSC Grandiosa will initially extend its current seven-night itinerary, calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, Palermo as well as Valletta, Malta. The Spanish ports of Valencia and Barcelona will be added to the ship’s current itinerary as soon as these destinations confirm their availability.
MSC Seaside will commence sailing May 1 from Genoa, calling at the newly introduced ports of Siracusa in Sicily and Taranto in Puglia, as well as Civitavecchia and Valetta. The itinerary will be enriched with calls at Marseille in France as soon as its availability is confirmed.
Taranto beach experience
In addition to the range of protected excursions developed for MSC Seaside’s itinerary, MSC Cruises will introduce an exclusive private beach experience in Taranto.
MSC Seashore will join at the end of July as MSC's new flagship, and from Aug. 1 until Oct. 31, will offer seven-night cruises to Genoa, Naples and Messina, as well as Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille. After the ship's Mediterranean season, it is scheduled to redeploy to Miami in November for Bahamas and Caribbean cruises including Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
Three ships in the East Mediterranean
MSC Cruises will field three ships in the East Mediterranean, calling at the Greek Islands, Kotor in Montenegro and Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia. Embarkation ports include Trieste, Venice and Bari in Italy as well as Piraeus (Athens).
MSC Orchestra will now depart on June 5, embarking passengers at Venice on Saturdays and Bari on Sundays, calling at Corfu, Mykonos and Dubrovnik.
MSC Splendida will commence sailing from June 12 with embarkation at Trieste on Saturdays and in Bari on Tuesdays, calling at Dubrovnik, Corfu and Kotor.
MSC Magnifica will sail from June 20, embarking passengers in Venice on Sundays, Bari on Mondays and Piraeus on Wednesdays and calling at the Mykonos and Split.
As previously reported, from May 20, MSC Virtuosa will begin an inaugural season in the UK with mini cruises from Southampton before switching to seven-night sailings on June 12. These cruises are open to UK residents only and vaccination is not required however everyone will be tested at embarkation.
Considering the current uncertainty regarding the timing for Germany reopening ports, MSC Cruises delayed the start of its summer season there until June 15.
However, the line announced MSC Seaview will homeport at Kiel starting on June 19, replacing MSC Virtuosa.
Additionally, MSC Preziosa is planned to depart on June 21 from Hamburg and MSC Musica on June 20 from Warnemunde, if the German ports are open.
The three ships are planned to operate seven-night and longer sailings with itineraries to the Norwegian fjords or the Baltic capitals, as per their current schedule.