MSC Cruises has delayed the restart of cruises by MSC Magnifica in Europe, citing decreasing consumer demand created by new government requirements impacting Italian customers.
The ship's departures from August 29 through September 19 have been cancelled. The first cruise will depart from Bari, Italy with an unchanged itinerary on September 26, 2020.
Right now, MSC Magnifica’s sales are open only to residents of the Schengen Area. In addition, at the same time in this early phase of restart, MSC Cruises said that "the majority of guests are expected to be Italian nationals and residents."
MSC said in a statement: "In connection with the recent introduction of additional testing measures for residents of Italy having traveled to Greece, we are seeing cancellations and a softening in demand since the ship’s itinerary includes as many as three ports in that country. This has led to the decision to delay the restart of the ship by four weeks."
Another of the cruise line's ships, MSC Grandiosa, already has returned to cruising in the Mediterranean on seven-night cruises with embarkation in the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples and Palermo and also calling at Valletta, Malta.
MSC Cruises confirmed last month details of its fall and winter 2020-21 season, offering over 90 different itineraries across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, the Gulf, South Africa, South America and Asia—all of the regions where MSC Cruises traditionally operates. Itineraries range in length from two to 24 nights, along with the third MSC World Cruise departing in January 2021 and an extensive Grand Voyages program.
In the U.S., MSC Cruises continues to stress that it will only restart operations when the time is right, following approval by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other relevant authorities across the region in observance of their requirements and guidelines.