MSC Announces Winter Program; New Protocols Onboard

MSC Seaside

MSC Cruises confirmed today full details of its fall and winter 2020-2021 program, offering over 90 different itineraries across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, the Gulf, South Africa, South America and Asia.

Itineraries range in length from two to 24 nights, along with the third MSC World Cruise departing in January 2021 and an extensive Grand Voyages program, according to a press release. 

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO commented: “We have reviewed and updated our complete winter 2020/2021 Season, starting in late October, and we are pleased to now confirm the full details. Our winter program sees us offering cruises in all of the regions of the world where we traditionally operate, and while there are some updates to the original planned deployment of specific ships, we are still able to offer our main itineraries so that guests can enjoy the holiday that they booked with us.”

In addition, MSC Cruises confirmed today that it has voluntarily further extended the suspension of its ships operating from U.S. ports to the Caribbean until September 15, 2020. The announcement impacts two ships — MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia — that were previously scheduled to sail in the region during this time period. 

In conjunction with today’s announcement, the company also revealed that a new comprehensive and enhanced health and safety protocol is being developed in collaboration with relevant national health authorities and with the support of a team of external medical experts. This protocol will cover all aspects of the cruise, starting with the booking phase and all the way through to disembarkation and the return home, MSC announced.

It will also include all aspects of life onboard and the precautionary measures will ensure the health and wellbeing of guests and crew, including enhanced sanitation measures, enhanced medical facilities and health screenings for guests and crew. The full details of these new precautionary health and safety measures will be announced in the coming days.

Fall/Winter 2020-2021 Program Overview

The Caribbean

The MSC Meraviglia will sail on Saturdays from Miami offering two seven-night alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. Eastern Caribbean itineraries will include visits to San Juan, Puerto Rico for an evening experience; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in The Bahamas. Western Caribbean itineraries will include stops in Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

The MSC Armonia, homeporting in Miami, will offer a mix of three-, four- and seven-night cruises with itineraries visiting Key West, Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

Among the biggest news, MSC will also introduce Port Canaveral as a new homeport, with MSC Seaside offering a mix of three-, four- and seven-night cruises to the Caribbean. Depending on the itinerary, guests have the opportunity to visit George Town, Cozumel, Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

The MSC Poesia will replace MSC Splendida to serve the South Caribbean and the Antilles with the originally planned itineraries departing from Fort de France, Martinique on seven-night, seven-destination itineraries and 14-night sailings from Barbados v.

The Mediterranean

The MSC Grandiosa will replace MSC Virtuosa for the winter as delivery of the new ship is reported to be delayed due to the delays and postponements caused by the pandemic. All guests currently booked on MSC Virtuosa will be automatically moved to the MSC Grandiosa with the original itinerary. 

The MSC Magnifica will offer two festive cruises in December with a five-night Christmas cruise calling Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona and Civitavecchia and a ten-night New Year cruise from Genoa, Marseille, and Barcelona before calling Gibraltar, Lisbon/Cascais in Portugal, and Cadiz/Seville and Malaga in Spain, and then returning to Civitavecchia/Rome and Genoa.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar

The MSC Fantasia will replace the MSC Seaview and MSC Lirica in this region, offering seven-night sailings with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sir Bani Yas island in The United Arab Emirates, as well as visits to Bahrain and Doha, Qatar. The cruise concludes with an overnight in Dubai. 

South America

The MSC Seaview will replace MSC Grandiosa offering seven-night cruises from Santos, Brazil to the Northeast of the country and calling the new port of Maceio, Salvador, the island of Ilha Grande/Angra dos Reis and Buzios.

The MSC Musica, replacing MSC Fantasia, will offer seven-night cruises from Santos, visiting Itajai/Santa Catarina, Brazil, Punta Del Este, Uruguay and an overnight in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The MSC Sinfonia will take over from the MSC Orchestra and will offer eight or nine-night cruises from Buenos Aires calling Montevideo, Uruguay, Buzios, Rio de Janeiro Ilhabela, or Ilha Grande/Angra dos Reis, Itajai Brazil, with the possibility of embarking in the ports of Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

The MSC Preziosa will operate her originally planned itineraries from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a range of cruises from three to eight nights.

South Africa

The MSC Orchestra, replacing MSC Musica, will offer a range of cruises from either Durban or Cape Town to destinations including Maputo, Portuguese Island and Pomene, Mozambique, and Port Elizabeth, as per the original planned itinerary.

The MSC Opera will operate her planned itinerary from Cape Town and Durban.

The Far East

The MSC Bellissima will offer a choice of different length cruises in Asia, with the updated program coming soon.

MSC World Cruise 2021

The MSC Magnifica will sail her third World Cruise, following the popularity of the first two World Cruises in 2019 and 2020, replacing the previously announced MSC Poesia. 

Grand Voyages

The MSC Fantasia, which replaces MSC Seaview, will depart on her Grand Voyage from Barcelona, Marseille and Genoa on November 14, 15, and 16 respectively, as she moves to Dubai for the winter. The  MSC Opera will offer her original planned itinerary from Italy to South Africa. All other Grand Voyages from Europe to the Caribbean, South America and South Africa will be canceled.

In Spring 2021, nine Grand Voyages will be available with ships sailing from the Emirates, Brazil, South Africa, Martinique and the U.S. to Europe.

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