It is no easy task to book a cruise in corona times. Today, a Norwegian cruise line announced that it will suspend all cruises because some 40 Covid-19 infections had been identified. Still, the cruise line MSC tries to make the most of it. “If we get permission from the Italian authorities, we can restart with Grandiosa and Magnifica from August 15,” said Vinciane Jacquiez, MSC spokesperson.
Grandiosa would depart from Genoa for seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean. Magnifica would depart from Trieste or Bari to Greece and Malta. For the first phase of the restart, only guests who live in Schengen countries are welcome. MSC Cruises previously announced that all operations would be suspended until August 15. With the exception of two ships, they are now extending this to the end of September.
Precautions are in place to keep cruise ship travel as safe as possible. For example, everyone who goes on board, passengers and crew, must complete a questionnaire and have a test taken 72 hours in advance. Those who test positive are not allowed to embark. The temperature is measured every day, when returning from shore or at special stations around the ship. In the first stages, guests will only go ashore as part of an organized cruise.
‘We also focus on sanitary facilities and cleaning measures. Among other things, we apply UV-C light technology, which kills 99.97 percent of microbes, ”says Jacquiez. And of course the rules for keeping a distance must also apply to a cruise ship, and reservations must also be made here for a seat in the theater. Where distance is not possible, guests will be asked to wear a mask. “We fall back on 70 percent of our capacity. For example, about 10 m² per person is provided. ‘
What if it still goes wrong and someone turns out to be infected? “Special isolation booths will be available to isolate any suspicious cases and their close contacts,” the press release said. There are medical personnel on board who can carry out further tests. They can then be disembarked in accordance with local and national regulations.
Correction August 3: in an earlier version it was stated that MSC Cruises is a Belgian company. MSC Cruises is an Italian-Swiss company.