Families won’t need to be vaccinated to sail around the British Isles this summer, MSC Cruises has revealed.
The cruise line – whose flagship MSC Grandiosa was the first to return to sea last August and has since safely carried more than 50,000 guests in the Mediterranean – will offer a series of short breaks for UK guests from 20 May followed by week-long cruises.
Departing from Southampton’s new cruise terminal, they will call in at some of the UK’s ‘favourite destinations’ and offer additional ports of embarkation to guests.
‘It’s time for UK holidaymakers to get back on board and enjoy a well-deserved break from what has been a very challenging 12 months for everyone in so many ways,’ Antonio Paradiso, managing director for MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said.
‘Our hope is to offer every type of holidaymaker the chance to escape this summer – from grandparents to teens and even the smallest of passengers looking to explore.’
‘MSC Cruises is a family-owned company and our guests are an extension of that, so we are looking forward to welcoming them and their families back on board.
‘Our hope is to offer every type of holidaymaker the chance to escape this summer – from grandparents to teens and even the smallest of passengers looking to explore.
“We will welcome both vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests. All guests will be tested prior to embarkation, while non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of negative test done within 72 hours prior to embarkation.’
As well as the protocol-mandated test, crew will be quarantined for 14 days prior to sailing and will also receive weekly testing and constant monitoring.
Even though no vaccination is required to sail, MSC Cruises has led the way with their health and safety protocols since the pandemic began. These include continual deep-cleaning, protected shore excursions plus social distancing and the wearing of face masks. Ships will also sail at reduced capacity to ensure guests have more space.
‘Our UK customers can be assured that we will continue to adapt the protocol in line with relevant requirements and guidance, to provide the same seamless experience they are used to when cruising,’ Antonio Paradiso explained.
‘We understand how important this particular summer is to holidaymakers and we’re committed to providing guests with a range of fantastic activities in a healthy and safe environment.
“We are also working on a programme of protected shore excursions for our guests to experience the destinations we will visit following our successful experience since last summer in other markets, but, of course, this is subject to prevailing circumstances and local guidance at the time of sailing.’
No vaccination required – children can sail with MSC Cruises on staycations this summer
Children will have play areas on board while all the family will enjoy the round-the-clock entertainment and multiple dining options for the ultimate staycation at sea.
‘We believe that this special offering will provide UK holidaymakers with a unique summer of cruising and be the ultimate destination for families and friends to reconnect and create new memories this summer.’
Domestic cruising was given the green light last week to restart on 17 May.
The no vaccination needed cruises will go on sale later this month.