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MSC Cruises, Costa, Ponant Temporarily Suspends Some Sailings Due to Europe Lockdowns
MSC Magnifica

MSC Cruises, Costa, Ponant Temporarily Suspends Some Sailings Due to Europe Lockdowns

MSC Cruises, Costa, Ponant Temporarily Suspends Some Sailings Due to Europe Lockdowns
MSC Magnifica

November 19, 2020

Adam Coulter
UK Managing Editor
By Adam Coulter
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(updated 1:40 p.m. EST) -- Two cruise lines that had resumed sailing in Italy, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, have temporarily suspended some sailings from that country, due to various lockdowns in Europe. In mid-November, Ponant joined them by suspending sailing through the end of 2020.
MSC temporarily suspended sailings of MSC Magnifica due to lockdowns in Germany and France -- two of the line's key source markets.The affected cruises are from November 8 to December 18, included, which is when the lockdowns in Germany and France are due to be eased.
The ship only started restarted cruising last month, offering 10-night cruises across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean calling at ports in Italy, Greece and Malta.
When the ship resumes sailings, it will continue sailing from December 18 with its special one off eight-night Christmas cruise itinerary that week then return to its current 10-night itinerary across the Eastern and Western Mediterranean until the end of April 2021.
As a result of this, MSC Cruises is also cancelling its 2021 World Cruise, which was due to be on MSC Magnifica.
MSC's second operating ship, MSC Grandiosa will continue. however, and extend its current sailings into next year, offering seven-night itineraries in the Western Mediterranean with embarkation in Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo, Italy as well as calling Valetta, Malta, until 27 March 2021.
MSC Cruises has introduced a strict set of new health protocols onboard MSC Grandiosa since it resumed cruising in August and these will be further enhanced with the following new protocols:
  • Additional onboard testing for all guests mid-way through their cruise (on top of the existing pre-boarding universal testing for all guests)
  • Testing of all crew during their time on board is increased from twice-a-month to weekly (in addition to pre-boarding testing for all crew and other ongoing health monitoring measures)
  • Increased frequency of onboard sanitation, in particular of public areas and high touch points
  • Tightening of the definition of close contact for tracing purposes, reducing the time that individuals are in contact from 15 minutes to 10 minutes
** Costa To Suspend Sailing One Ship
Meanwhile, Costa Cruises announced that Costa Deliziosa would pause its weeklong cruises to Greece after that country went on a national lockdown.
The affected sailings run from Nov. 7 to Dec. 26, 2020. When the ship resumes sailing, it will begin an Italian itinerary visiting Trieste, Bari, Brindisi and Catania. More destinations will be added in the coming weeks, the line said in a release.
Costa Smeralda, the second Costa ship currently in service, will continue her cruises dedicated to Italy as scheduled, observing the enhanced health protocols introduced by the company.
** Ponant Suspends Through End of 2020
On November 19, the French line Ponant announced that it would suspend all northern hemisphere cruises through the end of 2020.
"The safety and security of passengers, crew members and the locals of the regions visited remains PONANT's priority," the line said in a statement.
Passeengers on cancelled voyages will receive a credit of 120 percent of the amount paid, which can be applied to a future sailing.
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