(PRESS RELEASE)_Geneva, Switzerland (August 17, 2020) — MSC Grandiosa yesterday became the first ship from the MSC Cruises’ fleet to welcome guests back and the first ship to implement the Company’s health and safety protocol. The first guests began embarking MSC Cruises’ flagship in the port of Genoa, Italy yesterday morning, arriving at the cruise terminal according to their allocated time slots and followed the new universal screening procedures according to the Company’s own health and safety protocol, which includes a temperature check, medical review of a health questionnaire and an antigen COVID-19 swab test for every guest prior to boarding. After completing these steps and having received the results of the test while in the terminal, guests that were fit to travel then embarked the ship according to the new health and safety procedures, which includes sanitation of both hand and hold luggage.
All guests were given a complimentary MSC for Me wristband, which provides guests with contactless options while on board such as opening their staterooms or making payments. These wristbands will also help to facilitate proximity and contact tracing, if needed. Additionally, over the past several weeks, all crew members have gone through similarly stringent health screening measures, which included 3 COVID-19 tests in various phases as well as a period of isolation before commencing their duties. Each crew member will then be regularly tested and their health monitored.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO commented, “It is a real pleasure for me to be here and sail on board the first of our ships to return to service and to be able to welcome back our guests. Our main goal during these last months has been to put in place the right measures that will protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit. But at the same time, we have worked to ensure that we are able to provide our guests with a cruise holiday that they can enjoy and still experience all of the elements that they know and love from entertainment and activities on board through to protected ashore visits.”
Following the embarkation of the new guests today in Civitavecchia, more guests will also embark in the ports of Naples and Palermo. The ship will then call at Valetta in Malta before returning to Genoa on Sunday. Along the ship’s itinerary, guests will be able to go ashore to enjoy the different ports of call, but only as part of an MSC Cruises shore excursion as an added level of protection, so that their experience ashore follows the same high standards of health and safety as on board. Today, some of the guests will visit Rome — taking in all the attractions of the “Eternal City” — while traveling on sanitized transfers with social distancing in place, accompanied by tour guides and drivers who are also adhering to strict health and safety measures.
For this initial phase of the restart of operations, the two MSC Cruises’ ships operating in the Mediterranean — the second being MSC Magnifica in the East Mediterranean — for the current summer season will initially only welcome guests who are residents in Schengen countries. In the U.S., MSC Cruises will only restart operations when the time is right, following approval by the CDC and other relevant authorities across the region in observance of their requirements and guidelines.
For more information about MSC Grandiosa as well as the new health and safety measures in place visit here.
Stay current with the latest news from the cruise lines.
Follow Gerry Barker
on All Things Cruise.