Switcharoo for MSC Cruises deployments after COVID

Revised and updated Northern Winter 2020/21 program confirmed

MSC Cruises has unveiled its full Northern Winter 2020/2021 Season of over 90 itineraries through the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, South Africa, South America and Asia. Itineraries range in length from two to 24 nights, along with the third MSC World Cruise departing in January 2021 and an extensive Grand Voyages program.

The program runs from 31 October 2020 to 31 March 2021 with some updates to the original planned deployment of specific ships. MSC Magnifica will visit Sydney in February as part of her 2021 World Cruise (view a snapshot of the program at the bottom).

“We are still able to offer our main itineraries so that guests can enjoy the holiday that they booked with us,” said Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO.

Guests whose booking is affected by changes to the Northern Winter 20/21 program (31 October 2020 to March 2021) they will automatically be redirected to another ship serving the same or similar itinerary and date. These guests will be eligible for compensation* that includes either a cabin upgrade or shipboard credit of up to US$200.

Alessandro Guerreri, Managing Director of MSC Cruises’ Australia & New Zealand, said the cruise line was pleased to offer local guests an extension to MSC’s Flexible Cruise Program for all existing bookings up to 31 December 2020.

“This allows our valued guests the option to move their cruise booking, at no charge, to a future cruise date in 2021. The safety and wellbeing of our guests is and always will be our main priority and we are looking forward to welcoming our guests onboard.”

All new guest bookings with MSC Cruises from today to 31 July 2020 will benefit from ‘Stress Free Booking’ conditions to give them added peace of mind should they need to reschedule or cancel their cruise covering cruise departures through to 2 May 2021 with the possibility to reschedule free of charge up to 15 days prior to the cruise departure date.

For further details, see msccruises.com.au 

Northern Winter 2020/2021 program highlights

MSC Grandiosa Atrium

MSC World Cruise 2021

MSC Magnifica will sail her third World Cruise, replacing the previously announced MSC Poesia. The original itinerary is fully confirmed and the 119-day journey around the globe, departing from Genoa, will commence on 5 January 2021, with guests travelling to 53 destinations across 33 countries in style and comfort.

MSC Magnifica is scheduled to make a whistle-stop visit to Sydney on 26 February en route to Barcelona, however, the 69-day voyage is currently not sold as a segment, with embarkation only available in Genoa, Italy.

The ship will also visit two ports in Queensland, Brisbane and Cairns, before continuing onto Papua New Guinea.

The Mediterranean

MSC Grandiosa will replace sister ship MSC Virtuosa for the winter. All guests currently booked on MSC Virtuosa will be reprotected to MSC Grandiosa, with the original itinerary in the western Mediterranean, with embarkation possible at each port: Marseille, France; Genoa, Italy; Civitavecchia/Rome, Italy; Palermo, Italy; Valetta, Malta; and Barcelona, Spain.

MSC Magnifica will offer two festive cruises in December with a five-night Christmas cruise calling Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona and Civitavecchia and a 10-night New Year cruise from Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona before calling Gibraltar, Lisbon/Cascais in Portugal, Cadiz/Seville and Malaga in Spain before returning to Civitavecchia/Rome and Genoa.

MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite, MSC Grandiosa

The Caribbean

MSC Meraviglia will sail every Saturday from Miami on one of two itineraries.

MSC Armonia homeporting in Miami will offer three-, four- or seven-night cruises.

MSC Seaside will offer three-, four- or seven-night cruises from the brand-new embarkation port of Port Canaveral in Florida.

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will remain a key highlight of the MSC Cruises offering from Florida, with all three ships calling at the private island destination in the Bahamas.

MSC Poesia will replace MSC Splendida, to serve the South Caribbean and the West Indies.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar

MSC Fantasia will replace MSC Seaview and MSC Lirica in this region.

Spectacular Grand Voyages

MSC Fantasia, which replaces MSC Seaview, will depart on her Grand Voyage from Barcelona, Marseille and Genoa on 14, 15 and 16 November, respectively, as she moves to Dubai for winter. MSC Opera will offer the originally planned itinerary from Italy to South Africa. All other Grand Voyages from Europe to the Caribbean, South America and South Africa will be cancelled.

In spring 2021, nine Grand Voyages will be available with ships returning from the Emirates, Brazil, South Africa, Martinique and the United States, sailing to Europe for the start of the summer 2021 season.

MSC Virtuosa

South Africa

MSC Orchestra, replacing MSC Musica, will offer a range of cruises from either Durban or Cape Town to destinations including Maputo, Mozambique, Portuguese Island, Pomene, Mozambique and Port Elizabeth, as per the originally planned itinerary.

MSC Opera will operate the planned itinerary from Cape Town and Durban.

The Far East

MSC Bellissima will offer a choice of different length cruises in Asia – a detailed sailing program will be announced soon.

MSC has also revealed a new comprehensive and enhanced health and safety protocol is being developed in collaboration with relevant national health authorities and with the support of a team of external medical experts. This protocol will cover all aspects of the cruise from the booking phase through to disembarkation and the return home. Full details of these new precautionary health and safety measures will be announced soon.

* Compensation does not apply for MSC World Cruise, MSC Preziosa as well as bookings previously made on MSC Musica and MSC Opera South Africa

Lead image: MSC Meraviglia Bahamas, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC-Cruises | Photo credit: Conrad Schutt

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