MSC Magnifica Postponed
August 24, 2020
MSC have today announced the postponement of MSC Magnifica’s return to cruising until 26th September 2020. After a 5 month hiatus MSC Grandiosa returned to cruising on 17th August, the ship sailed for 7 Nights from Genoa in Italy. All passengers onboard were from Schengen countries and were tested before embarkation and throughout the duration of the cruise.
The problem now arises that the Italian Government have introduced more stringent testing measures for Italian residents returning from Greece. MSC Magnifica’s itinerary departing from Italy, has 3 ports of call in Greece which would mean more testing and possible quarantine imposed on passengers disembarking after their cruise.
MSC have said “As the Italian authorities have now introduced additional testing measures for residents having travelled to Greece upon their return to Italy and even if we are currently discussing an exclusion from such screening for our guests since they are all already tested at embarkation and go ashore only on protected visits,we are seeing cancellations and a softening in demand since the ship’s itinerary includes as many as three ports in that country. This has led us to take the decision to delay the restart of the ship as the Company believes that interest in the itinerary and reservations will start to pick up again after the expiration of the related decree on 7 September. MSC Magnifica’s sales are open to residents of the Schengen area, at the same time the Company expects that in this early phase of restart the majority of guests would be Italian nationals and residents.”
As a result of this, MSC Magnifica cruise departures from 29 August to 19 September have been cancelled. The first cruise will depart from Bari, Italy with an unchanged itinerary on 26 September.
Guests affected by the cancelled cruises will either be moved onto another cruise – in particular on MSC Grandiosa, which is currently sailing in the West Mediterranean – or will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) where they have the opportunity to transfer the full amount paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice – on any ship, for any itinerary — through to the end of 2021.
Whilst it may feel like Cruise lines are taking 2 steps forward and 3 steps back they are making huge efforts to get everyone back onboard as safely and quickly as possible.