MSC Cruises announced Monday it will deploy its latest flagship for British guests to enjoy summer sailings around the U.K. MSC Virtuosa’s maiden voyage on May 20, with guests embarking from Southampton, will be the first in a series of three- and four-night mini-cruises before beginning seven-night cruises starting June 12 from three embarkation ports in England and Scotland.
All voyages will be for British residents only and for guests of all ages who have either already been vaccinated or are waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine. All guests will be tested before embarking the ship, and non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of a negative test conducted up to 72 hours prior to embarkation. Other pre-boarding and onboard measures will also apply to both guests and crew, in line with MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol.
The range of four-night mini-cruises will offer a late sail from Southampton and will call at the Isle of Portland in Dorset, part of the Jurassic Coast, where guests will be able to go ashore and enjoy a day at the beach. The itinerary will also include two days at sea, so guests can enjoy the activities, entertainment and amenities that MSC Virtuosa has to offer.
Starting June 12, cruisers can join seven-night sailings that will include stops in Portland and the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland with multiple ports of embarkation, including Liverpool and Greenock, close to Glasgow in Scotland.
MSC Virtuosa was delivered in February and is MSC Cruises’ most innovative and environmentally advanced ship. MSC Virtuosa is part of the Meraviglia-class vessels that are characterized by a 367-foot-long Mediterranean-style promenade with an LED sky dome, serving as the social heart of the ship.
The 19-deck ship will offer its British guests of all ages fine dining restaurants, entertainment, a number of bars and lounges, boutique shopping, spa and fitness centers, an aquapark and dedicated clubs for kids from toddlers to teenagers. The brand-new MSC Starship Club is home to the world’s first humanoid robotic bartender, named Rob, offering a futuristic immersive bar and entertainment experience.
MSC Cruises resumed its operations in August 2020 following approvals from regulatory bodies throughout Europe for a health and safety protocol designed to protect the well-being of MSC Cruises’ guests, crew and communities its ships visited. More than 55,000 guests since have enjoyed safe and responsible cruise vacations, including the company’s protected shore excursions.
MSC Virtuosa was previously scheduled to serve itineraries in Northern Europe out of Germany, and she will be replaced by MSC Seaview. Booked guests and travel advisors will be contacted directly.