MSC CRUISES ANNOUNCES NEW WINTER 2020/2021 PROGRAMME
· Ships to sail in all of the regions where MSC Cruises traditionally operates
· Updated itineraries now available through the MSC Cruises website and through travel agent channels
· Company extends halt of operations out of the U.S through to 15 September 2020!
MSC CRUISES HAVE RELEASED AN IMPORTANT STATEMENT ON THEIR 2020/2021 WINTER PROGRAMME INCLUDING THE NEWS OF A DELAY TO VIRTUOSA!
FULL STATEMENT BELOW!
Geneva, Switzerland – 22 June 2020 - MSC Cruises confirmed today full details of its Winter 2020/2021 Season, offering over 90 different itineraries across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, the Gulf, South Africa, South America and Asia – all of the regions where MSC Cruises traditionally operates. Itineraries range in length from two to 24 nights, along with the third MSC World Cruise departing in January 2021 and an extensive Grand Voyages programme.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO commented, “We have reviewed and updated our complete Winter 2020/2021 Season, starting in late October and we are pleased to now confirm the full details. Our Winter programme sees us offering cruises in all of the regions of the world where we traditionally operate and whilst there are some updates to the original planned deployment of specific ships, we are still able to offer our main itineraries so that guests can enjoy the holiday that they booked with us.”
Today’s announcement follows the Company’s recent confirmation that the entire MSC Cruises fleet, including two brand new vessels currently under construction, will be in operation starting from March 2021 for the Summer 2021 Season.
In addition, MSC Cruises confirmed today the voluntarily further extension of the halt of operations of its ships operating from U.S. ports in the Caribbean until 15 September 2020. The announcement impacts two ships – MSC Seaside and MSC Armonia – that were previously scheduled to sail in the region during this time period. Guests affected by the cancelled cruises will receive a 125% Future Cruise Credit to be used on a future cruise of their choice – on any ship, for any itinerary through to the end of 2021. Meanwhile for the Summer 2020 Season, MSC Cruises has previously announced the temporary halting to its current ship operation up until 31 July in the other regions where the Company operates.
In conjunction with today’s announcement, the Company also revealed that a new comprehensive and enhanced health and safety protocol is being developed in collaboration with relevant national health authorities and with the support of a team of external medical experts. This protocol will cover all aspects of the cruise from the booking phase through to disembarkation and the return home. It will also include all aspects of life on board and the precautionary measures will ensure the health and wellbeing of guests and crew including enhanced sanitation measures, guidelines for life on board as well as enhanced medical facilities and health screenings for guests and crew. The full details of these new precautionary health and safety measures will be announced in the coming days.
Winter 2020/2021 programme overview
MSC World Cruise 2021
MSC Magnifica will sail her third World Cruise, following on from the high level of appreciation from World Cruise guests in 2019 and 2020, replacing the previously announced MSC Poesia. MSC Magnifica is the latest ship in the Musica class and is well-placed for this voyage with one of the highest ratios of balcony cabins and impressive onboard features including the pool with a magrodome and extended dining areas. The original itinerary is fully confirmed and the 119-day journey around the globe will commence on 5 January 2021 with guests travelling to 53 destinations across 33 countries in style and comfort.
MSC Grandiosa will replace sister-ship MSC Virtuosa for the winter, as delivery of this ship is delayed due to the delays and postponements caused by the health pandemic. All guests currently booked on MSC Virtuosa will be automatically reprotected to MSC Grandiosa, the Company’s current flagship, with the original itinerary – the MSC Cruises signature seven night “Six Pearls” western Mediterranean cruises, with embarkation possible at each port: Marseille, France, Genoa, Italy, Civitavecchia/Rome, Italy, Palermo, Italy, Valetta, Malta and Barcelona, Spain.
MSC Magnifica will offer two festive cruises in December with a five night Christmas cruise calling Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona and Civitavecchia and a ten night New Year cruise from Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona before calling Gibraltar, Lisbon/Cascais in Portugal, Cadiz/Seville and Malaga in Spain before returning to Civitavecchia/Rome and Genoa.
MSC Meraviglia will sail every Saturday from Miami, United States, on one of two itineraries: an evening experience in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands, Nassau, The Bahamas and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, The Bahamas or Ocho Rios, Jamaica, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Mexico and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
MSC Armonia homeporting in Miami, will offer three, four or seven night cruises to Key West, Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
MSC Seaside will offer three, four or seven night cruises from the brand-new embarkation port of Port Canaveral in Florida, United States, with cruises calling at a range of destinations including Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, George Town, Grand Cayman as well as Cozumel and Nassau.
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will remain a key highlight of the MSC Cruises offering from Florida, with all three ships calling at the private island destination in The Bahamas. Exclusive to MSC Cruises’ guests and located just 65 miles from Miami, the island is surrounded by 64 square miles of marine reserve, offering guests a unique opportunity to discover local marine life, soak up the spirit of Bahamian culture and reconnect with themselves and each other.
MSC Poesia will replace MSC Splendida, to serve the South Caribbean and the Antilles with the original planned itineraries departing from Fort de France, Martinique on seven night, seven-destination itineraries and 14 night from Barbados sailing to some of the best of islands the Caribbean has to offer.
Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar
MSC Fantasia will replace MSC Seaview and MSC Lirica in this region, offering seven night cruises with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the exclusive beach resort of Sir Bani Yas island in The United Arab Emirates, as well as Bahrain and Doha, Qatar. The cruise concludes with an overnight Dubai stay for time to explore all that the cosmopolitan city has to offer.
MSC Seaview with her stunning outdoor areas will replace MSC Grandiosa, offering seven night cruises from Santos, Brazil to the Northeast of the country and calling the new port of Maceio, Salvador and the island of Ilha Grande/Angra dos Reis and Buzios.
MSC Musica, replacing MSC Fantasia, will offer seven night cruises from Santos calling Itajai/Santa Catarina, Brazil, Punta Del Este, Uruguay and an overnight in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
MSC Sinfonia replacing MSC Orchestra will offer eight or nine night cruises from Buenos Aires calling,Montevideo, Uruguay, Buzios, Rio de Janeiro Ilhabela, or Ilha Grande/Angra dos Reis,Itajai Brazil, . with the possibility of embarking in the ports of Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
MSC Preziosa will operate her original planned itineraries from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a range of cruises from three to eight nights.
MSC Orchestra, replacing MSC Musica will offer a range of cruises from either Durban or Cape Town to destinations including Maputo, Mozambique, Portuguese Island, Pomene, Mozambique and Port Elizabeth, as per the original planned itinerary.
MSC Opera will operate the planned itinerary from Cape Town and Durban.
A highlight for the season will be a 14 night New Year cruise on MSC Orchestra visiting five spectacular destinations, including an overnight stay in Port Louis, Mauritius.
The Far East
MSC Bellissima will offer a choice of different length cruises in Asia- a detailed sailing programme will be announced soon.
Spectacular Grand Voyages
MSC Fantasia, which replaces MSC Seaview,will depart on her Grand Voyage from Barcelona, Marseille and Genoa on 14, 15 and 16 November, respectively, as she moves to Dubai for winter. MSC Opera will offer the original planned itinerary from Italy to South Africa. All other Grand Voyages from Europe to the Caribbean, South America and South Africa will be cancelled.
In Spring 2021, nine Grand Voyages will be available with ships returning from the Emirates, Brazil, South Africa, Martinique and the United States, sailing to Europe for the start of the Summer 2021 Season.
Further booking information
All guests whose bookings are affected by any changes will be automatically reprotected to another ship serving the same or similar itinerary.
These guests will be eligible for compensation as follows:
· All guests who have booked an inside or ocean view cabin will receive a cabin upgrade
· All guests booked in a balcony cabin, a suite or a Yacht Club cabin will receive a shipboard credit of €100/$100 per cabin (€50/$50 for single cabin occupancy) for cruises up to six nights and for cruises of seven-nights or above, guests will receive €200/$200 (€100/$100 for single cabins occupancy)
All new guests booking with MSC Cruises before 31 July 2020 will benefit from flexible booking conditions to give them added peace of mind should they need to reschedule or cancel their cruise covering cruise departures from 1 August 2020 through to 2 May 2021 with the possibility to reschedule free of charge up to 15 days prior to the cruise departure date for cruise only bookings; up to 21 days for Fly&Cruise bookings.
All existing guests affected by the changes will be contacted directly by MSC Cruises or their travel advisor regarding any changes in sailing date order therefore there is no need to call the contact centre at this time.