MSC Cruises will be able to resume operations from US ports from August, thanks to official approval from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The cruise line said the CDC has approved its planned sailings from PortMiami and Port Canaveral in Florida, as well as the provisional approval of a request to conduct a simulation cruise, to be held on MSC Meraviglia from PortMiami on July 17, 2021.
MSC Meraviglia (pictured) will start sailing on August 2, 2021, with three- and four-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas.
The itineraries will feature MSC Cruises’ exclusive new private island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
From September 18, MSC Meraviglia will add seven-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Caribbean, including Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
MSC Divina will resume cruising from Orlando (Port Canaveral) on September 16, offering three-, four- and seven-night cruise options around the Bahamas and Caribbean, also including stops at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
Gianni Onorato, chief executive of MSC Cruises, said: “With our vast experience cruising in Europe since August 2020, along with our industry-leading health and safety protocol, our US guests can book with confidence knowing we are well prepared for a successful restart in that market.
“To ensure the safest experience for our guests, we previously announced a fleet-wide vaccination programme for all crew, and we expect that the majority of our guests booking a cruise this summer will plan to be vaccinated prior to sail.
“The rapid distribution of vaccines in the US has been a positive step toward helping vacationers get back to travelling, and we encourage our guests to take advantage of this added layer of protection when resuming travel this summer.”
MSC Cruises will reveal additional itinerary details for cruises on board MSC Meraviglia and MSC Divina in the coming week, as well as health and safety measures and guidelines for guests. Those who are not vaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be subject to requirements such as additional testing, as well as restrictions.
The cruise line has also cancelled several US departures, on MSC Divina from July 1- September 15; MSC Meraviglia from July 1-September 17; and MSC Armonia from July 1-October 24.
MSC has more experience of running cruises during the pandemic than many other lines. More than 70,000 passengers have cruised with the line in the Mediterranean since August last year.
It will operate new and updated itineraries on 10 ships across Europe this summer, and began a series of UK sailings with MSC Virtuosa from Southampton last month.