(9:31 a.m. EST) MSC Cruises has announced the introduction of custom, accessible shore excursions designed for passengers with all types of mobility, available in 20 destinations including 11 ports in the Caribbean and nine ports to come in the Mediterranean.

MSC has curated a collection of shore excursions with its new Accessible Tours Program that offer, among other things, tour routes that are completely step-free; wheelchair accessible; cover short distances; run at a slower pace; and include planned stops at accessible restrooms.

Jean-Pierre Joubert, MSC Cruises' head of shore excursions, said, "MSC Cruises is committed to offer an incredible choice of shore excursions designed to suit all tastes, giving guests the freedom to make the most of every moment ashore. We have always been sensitive to the needs of our guests, and constantly strive to offer the best possible service, meeting international accessibility standards. This program is unique because for the first time we offer accessible tours available in both popular cruise regions of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. By joining these tours, all guests will have the carefree opportunity of enjoying the best of every excursion."

Far from being just for cruise passengers looking for improved accessibility, family and friends can join these tours as well, led in small groups by processional tour guides who are experienced in working with guests with varied mobility.

Examples of MSC's new Accessible Tours Program in the Caribbean include the highlights of San Juan; an excursion to the Open Air Museum or Kokono Falls Park in Ocho Rios; a scenic drive and authentic tasting of the specialties in both Philipsburg and Marigot on St. Maarten.

 In Europe, accessible tours include a scenic drive of Malta and the historic city of Mdina; an excursion to Pompeii in Naples; and Marseille's historic Old Port.

For the summer 2020 season, three more Mediterranean ports of call -- Naples, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia -- will offer MSC's new Accessible Tours program.