MSC Cruises has extended its temporary suspension of operations through July 31, 2020, due to ongoing travel restrictions and other obstacles resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the cruise line announced on Thursday.
MSC Cruises USA guests affected by the latest July 11-July 31, 2020 cancellations will automatically receive a 125 percent Future Cruise Credit of the original cruise fare paid by June 19 that can be used on a sailing on or before December 31, 2021.
The cruise line has also extended its Cruise Assurance program for guests currently booked with MSC Cruises USA for sailings between August 1 and October 31, 2020, allowing them to cancel their sailing up to 48 hours prior to departure and reschedule with a 100 percent Future Cruise Credit valid for any ship and itinerary on or before December 31, 2021.
On a more positive note, MSC said it plans to resume shorter-term operations for the winter 2020-21 season in phases and by region based on the guidance from national and international health and other regulatory authorities. The cruise line plans to reveal a new operating protocol focused on health and safety.
MSC also reconfirmed its March-November 2021 program, which will feature 19 ships including two currently under construction, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seashore. Voyages will range from three to 14 nights and offer travelers a slew of different embarkation ports to choose from.
“While today we have taken the difficult decision to further extend the halt of operations of all our ships, it is important that we also look ahead as we know that our customers are dreaming of travel and are wanting to plan their holidays for next year. For this reason, we have now also confirmed our March-November program for 2021,” MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said in a statement accompanying Thursday’s announcement.
“Shorter-term, our ships will return to service only when the time is right, in phases and by region, and following guidance from the relevant national and international health and other regulatory authorities and the support of a new operating protocol especially focused on health and safety, which we will announce soon,” Onorato added. “This way, gradually, all of our ships will return to sea between then and the beginning of our summer 2021 season.”
Spring 2021 will also see MSC Divina begin cruising from Port Canaveral in Florida.
Unfortunately, MSC has been forced to cancel some spring, summer and fall 2021 sailings as several ships have been redeployed on new itineraries. Cancellations include all MSC Armonia sailings from Tampa, Florida from May 2, 2021, to October 31, 2021; all MSC Divina itineraries from Miami, Florida from March 28, 2021, to August 22, 2021, and all MSC Divina voyages from New York from September 3, 2021, to October 23, 2021.
Impacted guests can opt for a refund or move the amount currently paid on their booking to any other sailing in the fleet and receive $50 per person shipboard credit. The new booking must be made within the next 60 days, however.
Contact your travel advisor or visit MSCCruises.com for more information.
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