(10 a.m. EST) -- MSC Cruises restarted cruises on MSC Grandiosa on January 24 from Italy for Italians after a month's pause.
Following the relaxation of strict travel restrictions by the Italian government and related updated health measures, MSC Grandiosa resumed its weekly cruises from Genoa, Italy and call at Civitavecchia (for Rome), Naples, Palermo and Valetta in Malta. Embarkation will be available from each port in Italy.
However, the line today confirmed that its hoped-for restart of cruises to Greece onboard MSC Magnifica on February 14 has been put back until the end of April.
Costa, meanwhile, has pushed back its restart date until March 13, again for Italians and around Italy, offering three- and four-day mini-cruises, or a seven-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.
All cruises originally scheduled on Costa Deliziosa, Costa Firenze and Costa Luminosa between February 1 and March 12, 2021, are cancelled.
Both lines were forced to pause the ship's operations in December due to a strict lockdown in Italy over Christmas and New Year, effectively preventing all travel.
The latest ministerial decree authorised the resumption of cruise operations under the protection of the line's health and safety protocol that was developed with and authorised by the Italian health, transport and safety authorities last summer.
- 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
MSC restarted in the summer. Since then, the line has safely welcomed more than 30,000 passengers across both ships.
• Separately, MSC Cruises has confirmed MSC Magnifica's third full UK season in Summer 2022, will include 21 sailings from its new purpose-built terminal in Southampton.