MSC Cruises has some good news for cruise lovers, announcing it is restarting its operations in the Mediterranean this summer.

The cruise line will welcome guests in the Med from 16 August 2020, with Mediterranean sailings on MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica.

MSC Grandiosa will sail a seven-night western Mediterranean cruise, which will call at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, Palermo and Malta’s Valetta.

Shortly after, a seven-night eastern Mediterranean sailing will depart on MSC Magnifica.

MSC Cruises: Rome
Stops on the western Mediterranean cruise include Rome

Ports of call include Bari, on Italy’s southern coast, Trieste and the Greek ports of Corfu, Katakolon and Piraeus (Athens).

Adhering to travel advice and restrictions, these initial MSC Cruises sailings, and sailings up until 31 October 2020, will only available for guests who are resident in Schengen countries.

“During the pause in our operations we focused on developing a comprehensive operating protocol that builds upon already stringent health and safety measures that have long been in place on board our ships,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman.

MSC Cruises: Acropolis - Athens - Greece
MSC Magnifica will sail the Greek islands and to Athens

“We have worked closely with the relevant EU-level, national health and other authorities from the countries that MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will call along their Mediterranean itineraries to develop a comprehensive set of procedures designed to protect the health and safety of all passengers on board our ships as well as ashore to ensure that local communities feel comfortable welcoming our guests.”

He continued: “The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected ashore visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises excursion as an added level of protection for our guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for further peace of mind for our guests.

“With all of these measures in place, we aim to offer our guests the safest possible holiday.”

According to the cruise line, the August sailings meet guidelines provided by key international and regional regulatory and technical bodies, as well as regulations set by governments of countries MSC operates in.

For non-EU residents, sailings will be available from 31 October 2020.