MSC Becomes First Cruise Line To Resume International Sailings From Barcelona

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The port of Barcelona reopened at the weekend for international cruises when the MSC Grandiosa became the first ship to embark with Spanish guests and holidaymakers from other Schengen countries.

This was announced by MSC Cruises in a press release.

The seven-night cruise holiday calls at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia for Rome, Naples and Palermo, plus Valetta, Malta.

“Barcelona is an integral part of our year-round itineraries in the Mediterranean and to see it reopen for our guests from Spain and other countries in Europe is extremely gratifying. This was a very welcome addition to the ever-increasing number of ports that are opening for business after such a long pause in operations. As the first cruise line to offer international cruises from Spain we are sure that our Spanish guests will enjoy the convenience of embarkation in Barcelona on Saturdays and enjoy the popular itinerary that MSC Grandiosa offers in the Mediterranean,” said MSC’s CEO Gianni Onorato.

According to the press release, the port of Barcelona is of strategic importance to MSC Cruises’ position as the market leader in Europe and earlier this month the company received the official approval to operate and manage an exclusive 11,670 squared-meter cruise terminal, which is due for completion in 2024.

MSC said that it worked together with Spanish national and local including the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Sanidad) and Ports of the State (Puertos del Estado) to “ensure that the health and safety measures implemented as part of the restart met and exceeded all local and national regulations.” According to the cruise line, this includes arranging for guests who disembark in Barcelona to complete an antigen test within 48 hours of ending their cruise.

MSC’s health and safety protocol was first implemented in August 2020 when the MSC Grandiosa began sailing in the Mediterranean and, since then, the company has safely welcomed onboard tens of thousands of guests.

The Grandiosa’s itinerary from the end of July will see the addition of another important Spanish port, Valencia with embarkation on Fridays. The ship will then call Barcelona, and onto the Italian ports of Genoa, La Spezia for Florence and Pisa, and Civitavecchia for Rome.

More ports will reopen in the coming weeks across Europe and MSC Cruises’ phased restart of operations is “continuing as planned,” the cruise line said, with the company “offering a choice of six different ships and itineraries this summer across the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.”

The MSC Seaview will start Baltic Sea cruises beginning July 3 from her homeport of Kiel in Germany with seven-night sailings to Sweden and Estonia and the MSC Seaside on July 4 will mark the official reopening of Marseille, France to cruising.

The MSC Magnifica resumed sailings last week in the East Mediterranean to join the MSC Splendida and MSC Orchestra in the region. The MSC Virtuosa since May 20 has been operating cruises around the UK for British guests only.

The MSC Meraviglia from Aug. 2 will resume Caribbean cruises from Miami and will be joined in the region from Sept. 18 when the MSC Divina restarts sailing from Port Canaveral near Orlando in Florida.

The MSC Seashore will come into service in August with voyages in the West Mediterranean before the company’s newest flagship transfers in November to Miami for a season in the Caribbean.

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