Msc resumes cruises: Msc Grandiosa sailed from Genoa

Msc Cruises restarts: today the MSC Grandiosa became the first ship to set sail from an Italian port after the long pause caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. A 7-day Western Mediterranean cruise, with stops in Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo and La Valletta.

The cruise is a different experience to be sure, with new safety protocols, but an important step in the resumption and recovery not only of cruising but also of the entire economy involved with the ships’ itineraries. The procedures adopted, in accordance with the national guidelines of the port authority’s involved, requires among other things, medical screening and universal Covid-19 testing for all the guests and for the crew before coming on board; “protected” excursions organized by the company exclusively for their guests; more physical distancing on board thanks to a reduced capacity of the ship; and a strengthened health service on board.

At the port of Genoa, they worked to ensure that boarding was carried out in total safety but at the same time without inconvenience and repercussions for the guests who were departing on the cruise.

Paolo Emilio Signorini, President of the Port Authority System of the Western Liguria Sea, highlighted how “the departure of the MSC Grandiosa today from the port of Genoa is the outcome of the desire for a recovery of cruising tourism in the Mediterranean and the world, towards the new horizons of security, serenity and prosperity”. The importance of the event was also affirmed by Edoardo Monzani, CEO of Stazioni Marittime SPA, who underlined that today was a historic day for the port of Genoa. He said “MSC Cruises, leader in the Mediterranean cruising sector, chose Genoa and Stazioni Marittime to celebrate the return to cruising activity after the suspension of operations on a global level caused by the Covid-19 emergency. An important signal for the port and for the city, which also confirms the incredible efficiency of the services offered by our company even in this extremely delicate moment like the one we are living through.”

The company, after months of intense work to prepare for the restarting, was enthusiastic to finally embark passengers, even if on a smaller scale and with just one ship to begin with. “Today is a memorable day for Genoa,” declared Pierfrancesco Vago, “for Italy and for the cruise industry. We are proud to restart from Italy, the country of our roots, in which we are a leader and which represents our main market on a global level. And we are happy to restart from Genoa, a city that we carry in our hearts, in a port through which we move more passengers than any other port in the world and which has honored its great seafaring tradition by welcoming, thanks to the commitment of local authorities and institutions, such a large number of idle ships with a professionalism which has set a world-wide example.”

At the moment, Msc Cruises has two ships involved in their resumption plan, with two different itineraries, one from Genoa and one from Trieste. We hope that these departures, observing the maximum amount of safety precautions possible, can continue to increase and once again involve the entire fleet.

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Gabriele Bassi