Interviste ai Soci

Interviste ai Soci


CRUISES IN TIMES OF THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC : NEW SAFETY STANDARDS AND NEW ITINERARIES

18/12/2020 - Autore:
Come and discover how MSC Cruises reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic, how they adapted their ships in order to ensure the guests safety and what they have already planned for 2021-2022.

Enjoy your reading !


1. Who is MSC Cruises and how does it distinguish itself from other brands in the market?

MSC Cruises, based in Geneva, is the world's only privately owned major cruise line employing over 30,000 staff globally and selling cruise holidays in 69 countries around the world. In addition to being the leading cruise brand in Europe, South America, the Emirates and South Africa - both in terms of market share and capacity -, the Swiss company is also the fastest growing cruise brand in the world with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East.

MSC Cruises is part of the MSC Group, the Swiss shipping and logistics company with a 300-year maritime heritage. The state-of-the-art fleet of MSC Cruises - the contemporary brand - currently comprises 17 ships. In addition, there is a substantial investment portfolio for the construction of further ships. It is planned that the fleet will grow to 23 cruise ships by 2024, with additional options for further ship orders until 2027.

The Swiss cruise line has long been committed to environmental protection with the long-term goal of creating emission-free shipping operations. The company also invests in the latest maritime environmental technologies to accelerate their development and help make them available to the industry as a whole.

2. What do your guests love about MSC Cruises?

We have a passion for the sea and a commitment to excellence in hospitality, mastering all the details that make each cruise a unique experience while respecting the sea and the environment.

We offer guests a unique and safe cruise experience inspired by our Mediterranean roots. The guest experience starts with a warm welcome on board. An adventure awaits the guests on every cruise. Everyone loves the spectacular design of our ships, the delicious international cuisine we serve in our restaurants, and the magic of our onboard world-class entertainment. Not to forget the award-winning family offerings and the latest technology designed specifically for cruising. Particularly popular is the luxurious MSC Yacht Club – our "ship within a ship".

The MSC Yacht Club is a place where you can savour exclusivity and privacy in a world of choice, a place where you can indulge in the luxury of a private club while enjoying access to a myriad of recreation and entertainment possibilities that the ship has to offer. Lavishly appointed suites, an exclusive 24-hour butler service and a dedicated concierge are just the beginning of these exclusive cruise experiences. The MSC Yacht Club is a cruise experience like no other.

3. Clearly, this has been a difficult year for all the travel and hospitality sector. What has MSC Cruises done to make cruising possible even in times of the pandemic?

The health and safety of guests, crew members and communities we visit with our ships has always been a top priority for us. In August 2020, MSC introduced a comprehensive health and safety protocol. This effective, industry-leading protocol has allowed to safely and responsibly host more than 30,000 guests since August.

Our protocol, which was designed at the outset to adapt to a fluctuating health situation ashore, was recently strengthened in line with the current evolution of the pandemic in mainland Europe, with a series of enhanced rigorous measures. It is based on nine key elements, many of which have been also adopted by other cruise companies: testing of all guests at least twice per voyage; testing of all crew at least three times before embarkation and weekly on board; protected shore excursions organised as ‘social bubbles’; ventilation with HVAC fresh air inside the ship; a contingency plan that does not burden local health infrastructures; isolation space on board and tracking and tracing including close contacts; guests wear masks in public areas; we ensure physical distancing – aided by reduced capacity of the ship; and a COVID-19 prevalence monitoring.

4. What are some of the highlight itineraries in your program?

The pandemic has disrupted travel plans for holidaymakers all over the world this year but there is nothing to stop people dreaming and planning their much-needed break. A cruise is still the best way to discover and appreciate a corner of the planet which is still populated by mysterious legends and millenary stories, such as a cruise during the Summer season to spectacular sights in the great North and Norwegian fjords. It’s a unique experience, sailing past enchanted castles and glaciers under the midnight sun, between some of the most fascinating cities in the world.

Many of our guests are also looking forward to next summer and a cruise through the Western Mediterranean, since this is one of the most iconic and popular cruise regions for summer and MSC Cruises offers a attractive combination of itineraries visiting Italy, France, Spain and Malta. With multiple embarkation ports that are easily accessible from around the world, these itineraries offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the unique spirit of the Mediterranean, discover some of the world’s most famous cultural sites, enjoy browsing shops and boutiques and sample world-class cuisines. By the way, the embarkation port in Genoa, for example, can be easily reached by car from Switzerland in only 6 hours.

And for the Winter season 2021/2022, for example, MSC Cruises has already reconfirmed its programme with a tantalising array of itineraries in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the Gulf region as well as South America and South Africa as well as the Grand Voyages, with new itineraries across continents and different oceans. Guests can choose from an array of sought-after destinations, discover multiple countries by sea as well as enjoying the winter sun. All of this whilst relaxing and unwinding in style on board some of the best and most modern cruise ships with round-the-clock entertainment and activities, authentic international dining, award-winning kids and family offering, luxurious spa and wellness facilities, boutique shopping and more.

The winter 2021/2022 programme offers something for every type of traveller - those looking for a short getaway, families looking to enjoy the holidays together or adventurers looking for longer adventures to discover new destinations. A world of discovery awaits MSC Cruises guests.

A highlight in the Caribbean is the pristine island which MSC was bringing to life in the Bahamas: Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. We converted an industrial sand excavation site into a thriving marine reserve that harmoniously coexists with the local ecosystem. This new private island features uninterrupted sweeping views of crystal blue waters and over two miles of pristine beachfront spread across eight world class beaches allowing guests to connect with the natural environment and its beauty, feel the warmth, fun, and hospitality of the Bahamian spirit and immerse themselves in an ecologically-intelligent atmosphere.

Ocean Cay is founded on a deep commitment to ecological principles that shape everything from how the venues are built and how the island is run, to the kinds of activities featured on the island. MSC Cruises has made significant efforts to clear the island and the surrounding ocean bed from all discarded debris – while removing a total of 1,510 tons of scrap metal – and relocating coral with the longer-term vision of encouraging coral to grow and repopulate. These efforts will give guests the opportunity to learn about the protection of the oceans and the importance of preserving coral reefs through dedicated edutainment programs.

5. What is your personal favorite route?

My favorite trip is a cruise to the breath-taking North Cape and the Norwegian archipelago, Spitzbergen – a voyage of rugged beauty and contrasting landscapes. What fascinates me most is the silence in the North and the sound of cracking glacier ice.