MSC Cruises flagship MSC Grandiosa departed last night from the port of Genoa in Italy as it resumed 7-night cruises in the Mediterranean after a month-long pause due to coronavirus restrictions in Italy.
MSC Grandiosa first welcomed guests back on board in August 2020, carrying in total over 30,000 guests before suspending operations again in mid-December.
Cruises on the MSC Grandiosa are subject to a strict health and safety protocol, approved by Italian, Maltese and Greek authorities. The measures include universal health screening of everyone – guests and crew – which includes double buffer tests for COVID-19 before they can board a ship; elevated sanitation and cleaning measures throughout the vessel; managed social distancing; wearing of face masks in public areas and technology to aid track and trace on board; and protected “social bubble” ashore visits at each port of call. Onboard capacity has also been reduced to ensure social distancing can be guaranteed.
Our flagship #MSCGrandiosa welcomed guests back on board and departed last night from Genoa, Italy to resume regular 7-night cruises in the Mediterranean, after a short pause of operations during the holiday period #CruiseNews https://t.co/twnXW90ziB Photo: Daniele Di Maria pic.twitter.com/XFy1HNKWEj
— MSC Cruises News (@MSCCruises_PR) January 25, 2021
According to the Italian daily Corriera Della Sera, out of the 600 passengers who boarded in Genoa, one was found to be positive and asymptomatic during pre-board testing and sent home. “It is a great disappointment for us because we identify with those who dreamed of leaving and relaxing a few days and, instead, discovers they have the coronavirus and must go home and quarantine but we have no alternatives,” said Leonardo Massa, Managing Director of MSC Italy.
MSC Grandiosa arrives in Rome
Massa told Corriere that MSC had to carry out a major logistical effort to get guests back on board the Grandiosa. “We usually schedule many months in advance, if not years, the departures of each of our individual ships to offer top service but this pandemic requires very demanding organizational flexibility. Certainly, seeing happy faces again along the bridges makes the effort worthwhile,” he said.
Today, the MSC Grandiosa arrived in Civitavecchia Rome, where a further 90 passengers embarked after completing pre-board screening.
The head of the Northern Adriatic Sea Port Authority (Adsp) Pino Musolino said the resumption of sailing by the MSC Grandiosa was “an important signal for the entire tourism sector.”
“The recovery represents, in particular for the Port of Rome, but more generally for all the ports and I would say for the national economy, an element of hope and desire to resume living, working and traveling.”