Flagship MSC Virtuosa is first cruise ship to depart from the UK in 14 months
UK follows in the footsteps of Mediterranean restart in August 2020 when MSC Cruises became first line to offer international voyages
Geneva, Switzerland – Cruising from the UK resumes today after a 14-month hiatus when MSC Virtuosa departs from the port of Southampton for a four-night sailing that marks the start of her maiden season at sea.
The MSC Cruises’ flagship will be the first ocean liner to sail in British waters since the global cruise industry came to a voluntary halt in March 2020 as a result of the global pandemic ashore.
MSC Cruises was the first major cruise line to resume sailing in international waters in August 2020 when MSC Grandiosa began weekly cruises in the Mediterranean following approval by a range of European authorities for an advanced health and safety protocol that has since effectively set a new standard for the industry.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said: “We are very proud that MSC Virtuosa’s first ever sailing marks the resumption of cruising from British ports after an enforced break of more than a year and effectively heralds the next phase of restart for our industry.
“Our shipping prowess led the way last August with a health and safety protocol designed to protect our guests and crew, as well as the destinations that our ships visit. The data, knowledge and experience we have gleaned since our initial restart in the Mediterranean has helped us to drive forward with our plans to have nearly half of our fleet back at sea during this coming summer, with more to follow in other key markets around the world.