MSC Cruises delayed the relaunch of its second ship returning to service, the MSC Magnifica, until Oct. 19, and said the ship will sail from Genoa, Italy, on both western and eastern Mediterranean itineraries.
The ship was originally scheduled to sail this month along with the MSC Grandiosa, which was the first MSC ship to resume service during the pandemic, when it departed Genoa in mid-August.
The Magnifica will offer 10-day sailings calling at Livorno (Florence and Pisa) in Italy; Messina, Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Piraeus (Athens) and Katakolon (for Olympia) in Greece; and Civitavecchia (Rome), before returning to Genoa.
MSC also extended the Grandiosa's current sailings through the end of the year, on seven-day cruises in the Mediterranean embarking the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo, plus calling at Valletta.
Both ships will offer the cruises to residents of the Schengen countries only. The ships will operate at 70% capacity and employ strict protocols, including only allowing guests off the ships on MSC-approved shore excursions, as part of the cruise line's new health and safety protocols.
They include universal screening of everyone before boarding; elevated sanitation and cleaning procedures; social distancing and the wearing of face masks in public areas; and technology to aid track and trace on board.