Updated Wednesday 23rd March 2021
After many months of disruption to the cruise industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, cruise ships are slowly returning to service, with MSC Grandiosa leading the way in Europe. After a successful return in August 2020, starting with a 7-night sailing from Genoa, cruises were paused as Italy was again put into lockdown. However, on 24th January 2021, MSC Grandiosa was able to take to the seas once more to explore the Western Mediterranean. In May, MSC Virtuosa also returned with cruises from Southampton and other UK ports.
While MSC Grandiosa was not the first to resume itineraries, it is not only one of the biggest cruise ships currently sailing, but one of the biggest ships in the world. Having welcomed more than 30,000 guests back already, its success is a result of MSC Cruises' stringent health and safety protocols. Measures include health checks for crew and guests before boarding, changes to entertainment and dining venues to facilitate social distancing and enhanced cleaning throughout. These protocols continue to be monitored and adapted, with mid-cruise Covid-19 testing for guests and weekly testing for crew having been introduced in the latest return to service.
Despite the changes that have taken place, guests have been more than happy to be back onboard, saying that the new measures have made them feel safe. While MSC Grandiosa is yet to extend their welcome to UK cruisers, their success is a beacon of hope for those keen to sail once more in the near future. If you want to learn more about onboard protocols being introduced, be sure to read our guide to the new cruise experience.