MSC Cruises has announced that it has begun a fleet-wide COVID-19 vaccination program for all of its crew members. The program’s roll-out began with MSC Bellissima‘s Captain Giuseppe Maresca and all of the ship’s crew completing their vaccinations yesterday.
In this initial phase, MSC will prioritize crew members onboard its 10 ships that are set to operate summer 2021 cruises in the Mediterranean and northern Europe, as well as those that are scheduled to resume voyages in the Caribbean out of U.S. ports.
Crew aboard the line’s flagship MSC Virtuosa will be vaccinated ahead of the ship’s maiden voyage on May 20 around the UK from Southampton.
The plan is for all of MSC’s crew onboard operational vessels, as well as ships preparing to restart in different parts of the world, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The line’s vaccination program has been developed with the support of a number of national government authorities, destinations, and private sector entities.
“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,” said MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato. “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.”
“We focused and invested heavily in a health and safety protocol last year and worked relentlessly to engage and gain approval from a range of authorities to return to cruising safely and responsibly. Similarly, we have taken this approach to vaccinations for our crew – plan, prepare and perform.”
MSC Cruises became the industry’s first line to resume international sailings in August 2020 when MSC Grandiosa set sail from Genoa on a seven-night voyage in the Mediterranean. Since then, the line has sailed with around 65,000 guests.
MSC’s 10 ships set to sail in the Mediterranean and northern Europe this summer will visit ports of call in Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Germany, and the UK. There are plans to more countries to the schedule as well, including France and Spain.