(9:30 a.m. EDT) -- MSC Cruises has pushed back the restart date for its second ship to sail in the Mediterranean -- MSC Magnifica -- from later this month to October 19.
The ship was originally due to offer four proposed seven-night cruises from Bari, Italy between 26 September to 24 October, all of which have now been cancelled.
MSC Magnifica will instead offer a series of seven cruises including an eight-night Christmas cruise departing on 18 December from Genoa, Italy.
MSC Magnifica's new program covers both the West and East Mediterranean and will see the ship homeport in 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, before returning to Genoa.
The ten-night itinerary is designed for guests who prefer longer voyages that offer more destinations to visit and more time at sea.
Separately, the line has extended MSC Grandiosa’s current sailings through to the end of the year, including the ship's Christmas cruise to depart from Genoa, Italy on 20 December.
MSC Grandiosa is offering seven-night cruises with embarkation in the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo, plus a calling at Valletta, Malta. The ship, which returned to service on August 16(/news/5533/, has now successfully completed four cruises without a health incident.
MSC Cruises’ new protocol, which will also be applied to MSC Magnifica passengers and crew, includes universal screening of everyone before they can board a ship, elevated sanitation and cleaning measures throughout the vessel, managed social distancing, wearing of face masks in public areas and technology to aid track and trace on board.
The protocols are also applied for all excursions ashore where guests are contained in a "social bubble" to protect their wellbeing and the communities being visited.