Starting from May 20, the reduced capacity cruises on MSC Magnifica - which was due to operate from the UK this season - will depart from Southampton's new terminal and kick off with a series of mini and week-long cruises around the UK that will include protected shore excursions for the seven-night itineraries.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises said; 'Following the initial phase of our restart in the Mediterranean, the next logical step for us is to make our experience available to British holidaymakers, who are passionate about cruising, as the UK plans to open up domestic travel in the second half of May.'
Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said: ‘It’s time for UK holidaymakers to get back on board and enjoy a well-deserved break from what has been a very challenging 12 months for everyone in so many ways.’
Vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests
Paradiso confirmed, MSC will welcome both vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests. All guests will be tested prior to embarkation, while non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of negative test done within 72 hours prior to embarkation.
‘Crew in addition to the protocol-mandated test and 14-day quarantine prior to embarkation will also receive weekly testing, in addition to other ongoing health monitoring measures,’ Paradiso added.
Health & safety protocols
It is built around a strategy that includes universal testing of all guests and crew prior to embarkation and periodically throughout the cruise, deep and ongoing sanitation, protected-only shore excursions, as well as many other measures, such as social distancing and the wearing of face coverings.
Paradiso added that MSC Cruises was working on a programme of protected shore excursions for guests to experience the destinations following successful experience since last summer in other markets, saying, ‘but of course this is subject to prevailing circumstances and local guidance at the time of sailing.'