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Published on Monday, August 3, 2020

MSC aims to restart cruises this summer, but Brits won't be allowed on board

MSC Cruises is planning to restart cruise itineraries this summer but has said bookings won't be open to UK or Irish passengers.

Two ships, MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica, will operate in the Mediterranean, with sailings only for guests who are residents in Schengen countries.

The cruise line said itineraries have been designed according to the accessibility of the ports, reducing where possible, the need for guests to use of public transport or flights and have been planned in conjunction with the authorities.

UK guests whose Mediterranean cruises are unable to go ahead as planned will be contacted by MSC Cruises and will be given other options.  

MSC Cruises UK & Ireland MD Antonio Paradiso said: "MSC Cruises restart in the Mediterranean would be a huge step forward both for the company and the cruise industry as a whole.

"Whilst there is no doubt it's been a very tough year for the whole travel industry, we feel that cruise has adapted incredibly well to these challenges which our summer restart and new health and safety operating protocol is evidence of."

MSC Grandiosa will offer seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean and MSC Magnifica will serve the East Mediterranean.

Their actual departure dates will be determined in accordance with the guidelines received by the relevant authorities.

The itineraries that are planned include Greece and Malta, where the authorities have reopened ports to cruising and have approved the health and safety protocol to support MSC's restart.

British and Irish passengers will be able to book MSC's winter cruises, which start on 31 October.

Paradiso added: "Whilst UK and Irish guests aren't yet able to cruise with us, there are some great opportunities available for UK and Irish agents for cruises this winter and into summer 2021.

"We have 14 ships sailing in winter 20/21 increasing to 19 ships by August 2021 visiting destinations across the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Northern Europe and South Africa and South America, as well as some excellent value Grand Voyages."

By Lisa James, Deputy Editor (UK)

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