Coronavirus: MSC Cruises cancels cruises across eight ships

MSC Cruises has been forced to cancel a number of cruises on eight of its cruise ships due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cruise line said that it made the decision due to a number of factors including outbreaks in countries where it operates, as well as restrictions imposed by various governments and port authorities. Outbreaks of the virus around the world have already seen Princess Cruises suspending all cruises for 60 days[1] , while Richard Branson has pushed back Scarlet Lady's launch[2] .

MSC has cancelled a number of itineraries spanning destinations including Mediterranean, South America and the Caribbean. (You can see the full list of cancellations below). Notable cancellations include all itineraries on board MSC Opera until April 26th, which the company says is "because of the inability for guests to embark through Italy". All cruising in the Gulf region has also been cancelled, following the UAE's decision to close ports to all passenger ships.

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In a statement the brand said: "We at MSC Cruises are committed to delivering a great holiday experience for our guests, and we are sorry that current circumstances force us to change some of itineraries and possibly disrupt your holiday plans.

"We look forward to sailing with you in calmer waters very soon, always with the safety of our guests and crew as our top priority." Passengers will be given various options on rebooking or refunds, depending on the length of cruise, the cruise destinations and when it takes place. This may include cruise vouchers equal to the value of the cancelled cruise, on board credit and possible refunds on the price of the cruise.

Passengers can also check for more updates on the MSC Cruises website[3].

Full list of MSC cancellations

MSC Grandiosa  - Current itinerary for any guests who are already onboard or embarked today in Barcelona includes calls to Genoa and Civitavecchia which allows guests who were scheduled to end their cruise to disembark. No new guests or crew will be allowed to embark at those ports and no ashore visits will be allowed. The ship will then continue her itinerary without calls to any Italian ports. 

For subsequent cruises, MSC Grandiosa will homeport from 19 March in Barcelona. The first cruise will depart that day to Marseilles, Malaga, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca before returning to Barcelona on 26 March.  Subsequent cruises from Barcelona will call Marseilles, Tangier, Cadiz, Malaga, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca. MSC Opera  - Sailings cancelled up until a cruise due to end on 26 April because of to the inability for guests to embark through Italy.

MSC Fantasia  - Grand Voyage en route from Rio de Janeiro (9 March), Santos (10 March) and Buzios (11 March), Brazil to Europe will arrive in Marseilles, France (27 March) and not Genoa and Civitavecchia, as originally planned, on 28 and 29 March.  Cruise from Genoa (28 March) cancelled.

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MSC Sinfonia  - Grand Voyage from Santos, Brazil on 13 March to Venice (4 April) cancelled and guests offered MSC Seaview from Santos (19 March) to Barcelona, Spain (4 April). MSC Divina  - Grand Voyage from Miami (20 March) to Genoa (7 April) cancelled. Plus, Mediterranean cruises scheduled for 11, 18 and 25 April cancelled.

MSC Bellissima  - Gulf cruise from Dubai (14 March) cancelled and Grand Voyage from Dubai (21 March) to Yokohama, Japan (8 April) cancelled as guests would be unable to disembark at a number of destinations because of port closures for all cruise ships.

MSC Lirica  - Gulf cruises cancelled up to 11 April and Grand Voyage from Dubai (18 March) to Venice (8 May) as guests would be unable to embark in the UAE (UAE) because of local port closures for all cruise ships

MSC Splendida  - Ship currently in Dubai on Grand Voyage to Civitavecchia (28 March) and Genoa (29 March).  Disembarkation ports will switch to Marseille (28 March) and Barcelona (29 March).  Embarkation for her repositioning cruise from Genoa (29 March) to Hamburg (8 April) switched to Marseilles (29 March) and embarkation also available from Barcelona (30 March). 

References

  1. ^ Princess Cruises suspending all cruises for 60 days (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ pushed back Scarlet Lady's launch (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ MSC Cruises website (www.msccruisesusa.com)

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