MSC Cruises announced today that it will deploy its newest ship for summer sailings around the UK this year.
The line’s new flagship, MSC Virtuosa, will sail her maiden voyage on May 20, with passengers embarking in Southampton. It will be the first cruise in a series of three and four-night mini voyages before the vessel begins seven-night sailings starting June 12.
All cruises will be for British passengers only and for travelers of all ages who have either already been vaccinated or are waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Everyone will be tested before boarding, and non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of a negative test conducted up to 72 hours before embarkation.
The four-night mini cruises will offer a late sail from Southampton, and call at the Isle of Portland in Dorset, part of the Jurassic Coast, where passengers can go ashore and enjoy a beach day. The voyage will also include two days at sea to enjoy the new ship.
Starting June 12, cruisers can take seven-night sailings that will include stops in Portland and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Multiple ports of embarkation will include Liverpool and Greenock.
“We are incredibly proud that we can offer British guests of all ages our very latest vessel MSC Virtuosa for their summer holiday and I’m sure they will have a fabulous time on board with all that this incredibly innovative ship has to offer, as well as being able to enjoy a range of protected shore excursions in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises.
“We also look forward to the day when current international travel restrictions are lifted in the UK and we can welcome British guests back on board our ships once again in the Mediterranean and other parts of the world that we know that they love to visit.”
MSC Virtuosa was delivered in February, and is one of the most environmentally-advanced cruise ships to date. It features a Mediterranean-style promenade, a variety of bars and restaurants, a water park, spa and fitness center, and dedicated clubs for kids and teens.
The ship was previously scheduled to sail in Northern Europe out of Germany this summer, but she will be replaced on that route by MSC Seaview.
MSC Cruises resumed its operations in the Mediterranean in August, and since then over 55,000 passengers have cruised safely under the company’s health and safety protocol.