MSC Cruises has begun a fleetwide COVID-19 vaccination program for all its crew members. This becomes an additional core element of the company’s health and safety protocol that’s been part of MSC Cruises operations since its first ship returned to service in August 2020.
As the first step in the vaccine initiative, Captain Giuseppe Maresca and the entire crew of MSC Bellissima completed their vaccinations this past week. In this initial phase, MSC Cruises will prioritize crew members onboard 10 ships that are earmarked for summer 2021 cruise vacations in the Mediterranean and northern Europe, those scheduled to restart in the Caribbean out of U.S. ports, and others gearing up for their restart.
The crew of the line’s flagship, MSC Virtuosa, also will be vaccinated prior to that ship’s May 20 maiden voyage from Southampton, U.K. MSC said the global vaccination plan was developed and will be delivered with the support of national government authorities, destinations and private sector entities.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said in a written statement, “As our ships prepare to welcome more and more guests over the coming weeks and months, we are pleased to announce the start of a comprehensive plan of vaccinations for all of our crew. Our aim is of adding a further level of protection for both themselves and the guests they will welcome for their holidays as we lead the way in the industry’s restart this summer.”
He continued: “Our health and safety protocol last year spearheaded a safe resumption of cruising in the global industry and our huge vaccination program for all of our crew further demonstrates our commitment to their wellbeing, of our guests and of the communities that our fleet of ships will visit in the months ahead.
MSC Cruises became the industry’s first line to resume international sailings in August 2020 when the MSC Grandiosa set sail from Genoa for a seven-night voyage in the Mediterranean. The cruise line has since welcomed on board some 65,000 guests for a safe and relaxing cruise vacation at sea.
The line’s 10 ships set to serve the Mediterranean and northern Europe this summer have confirmed itineraries and ports of call in Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Germany and the United Kingdom, with plans to add France, Spain and more, as more countries open their borders and relax international and other travel restrictions.
For more information, visit www.msccruisesusa.com.