A second MSC Cruises ship is to resume sailings with ten-night voyages in October rather than week-long departures from next week.

This is the second time MSC Magnifica has been delayed in restarting.  The 2,550-passenger ship was previously due to sail on September 26 after being delayed from August 29.

A new re-start date of October 19 has been set for MSC Magnifica with a series of seven cruises including an eight-night Christmas itinerary departing on December 18 from Genoa in Italy.   

The ship’s four proposed seven-night cruises from Bari, Italy between September 26 to October 24 have been cancelled as a result of the new scheduling

Passengers affected by the cancelled cruises will either be re-protected onto another cruise – in particular on MSC Grandiosa, which is currently sailing in the western Mediterranean – or will receive a future cruise credit valid until the end of 2021.

MSC Magnifica will follow the return to service of MSC Grandiosa, now on its fourth consecutive seven-night cruise.

The flagship resumed sailing in August for the first time since the suspension of cruises due to the Covid-19 pandemic following approval by authorities in Italy, Greece and Malta of the company’s new health and safety operating protocol, designed to protect passengers, crew and communities that the ship calls.  

MSC Grandiosa’s sailings have been extended through to the end of the year, including a Christmas cruise to depart from Genoa on December 20. 

The vessel is running seven-night cruises with embarkation in the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo, plus a calling at Valletta in Malta.

MSC Magnifica’s new programme covers both the west and east Mediterranean from Genoa with calls at Livorno for Florence and Pisa, Messina in Sicily, Valletta in Malta, Piraeus for Athens and Katakolon for Olympia in Greece and Civitavecchia for Rome. 

The ten-night itinerary is designed for passengers looking for longer voyages that offer more destinations and more time at sea.

The longer sailings are also expected to appeal to passengers flying from Schengen countries because of strong pan-European air links to both Rome and Genoa, which together with Messina, are two of the ship’s three embarkation ports.

The line also says ‘proximity cruising’ is proving to be popular with passengers who live both in Italy and in neighbouring countries.  

Longer sailings are seen by the company to also appeal to consumers who typically cruise during the autumn and winter and those looking for a longer alternative to the seven-night MSC Grandiosa sailings. 

MSC Magnifica is due to set off on a world cruise in 2021, for the second consecutive year, following the completion of the updated Med itinerary.

Feedback from some of the thousands of passengers who have so far sailed on MSC Grandiosa has been positive, with many calling their experience one of the safest holiday options available, according to the company.