As the world continues to face the challenges of the pandemic and with significant travel restrictions still in place in many regions, yesterday MSC Cruises announced that it will further extend the temporary fleet-wide halt of its cruise operation through to 31 July 2020. Find out more news about here.
Talking about the short-term MSC stated that ships will return to service only when the time is right, in phases and by region, and following guidance from the relevant national and international health and other regulatory authorities. However, MSC believes it will be able to return to sea with the full fleet before the beginning of 2021 summer season.
As part of MSC Cruises new 2021 deployment, the cruise line has confirmed the cancellation of some previously scheduled itineraries from March to November 2021, as these ships are now redeployed on new itineraries. Here is an overview. For the entire 2021 summer season deployment click here.
According to us the major loss will be in the eastern Mediterranean Sea where MSC Fantasia and MSC Lirica will no longer offer brand-new original itineraries. The first was supposed to sail 10-days cruises during all the summer season from the home-port of Trieste, Italy and calling in Katakolon, Athens and Corfù (Greece), Kuşadası and Istanbul (Turkey) and Bari (Italy). Lirica was scheduled from May to October to offer MSC first ever ex-Athens season with a number of weekly-cruises departing from the port of Piraeus, Greece to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Instead, both ships will offer traditional weekly cruise from Genoa (Fantasia) and Venice/Trieste (Lirica). The rest of Mediterranean deployment will not change at the moment.
Regarding Caribbean and northern America, in the recent days, in consequence of Government of Canada large cruise ships ban extension, MSC announced that MSC Meraviglia will not be deployed in New York during 2020 fall. In the same way, all MSC Divina itineraries from New York in September and October 2021 are cancelled. In addition the ship will change her homeport from Miami to Port Canaveral offering a mix of 3, 4 and 7-night cruises from March to August 2021. Also MSC Armonia will not sail as scheduled, changing the homeport from Tampa to Miami to offer 3 and 4-night cruises. MSC Meraviglia programme will not change at the moment.
Due to the delay that was caused by the temporary closure of the shipyards due to the COVID-19 pandemic MSC postpones MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore debuts. The flagship will be ready to sail during 2021 spring while the first Seaside EVO ship will offer first cruises from August instead of June. MSC Fantasia will temporarily cover her itinerary (with guests receiving a shipboard credit of €100 for this change.)
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