MSC Cruises has announced that it is launching a special global discounted cruise fares programme applicable to the end of 2021, for all front line and back office healthcare professionals globally as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for their ongoing contribution to fight the global pandemic, and let them know that when they’re ready, they can enjoy a much-deserved holiday with their loved ones.
Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “As a family-owned company we think it’s only right and proper to find a way to express our heartfelt ‘thank you’ to each and every healthcare professional around the world – as well as their families – for their selfless and tireless dedication, professionalism and bravery in tackling the current global pandemic.
“To all of them, NHS and private health care staff. Front line and back office workers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists those who work in research laboratories, and in fact everyone who is a health worker, at all levels.
“Their work and dedication has also helped to pave the way for our new health and safety operating protocol which was recently implemented successfully when our flagship MSC Grandiosa was the first ship from our fleet to return to welcome guests at sea in the West Mediterranean.
“For the past five months we have worked around the clock with highly qualified and internationally respected medical experts to draw up a comprehensive healthcare and safety operating protocol to protect the wellbeing of all passengers on board our ships as well as the communities we touch in the ports we call and the tourist destinations our guests visit.
“The backbone of our protocol is down to the new data, research into COVID-19 and improved understanding of the virus that worldwide healthcare professionals have established during the pandemic and we want to thank them for their selfless and tireless work.
“And what better way to do that than on a cruise holiday together with their loved ones, who have also endured much to support them during the past months and continue to do so?
“We very much look forward to welcoming them on board whenever they are ready for a much-deserved holiday. And we will also welcome their feedback to improve further our protocol as they will witness it first hand while on board.
The special ‘thank you’ discounted cruise fare programme for healthcare professionals and their immediate families will go on sale on Monday, 31 August and will be available on all MSC Cruises sailings of any duration through to the end of 2021. This includes all cruises departing up to 31 December 2021, when the booking is made by 30 April 2021.
These special per cabin fares will result in a discount up to or exceeding 50 per cent off the regular rates and will be available to healthcare workers booking through travel agents and MSC Cruises contact centres from Monday, 31 August. Additionally, the programme will include a series of on-board activities to properly recognise and celebrate these special guests and their families.
MSC Cruises halted its operation in connection with the global pandemic in mid-March and resumed sailing on 16 August when MSC Grandiosa departed from the Italian port of Genoa for its first 7-night cruise with calls to Civitavecchia for Rome, Naples, Palermo in Sicily and Valletta in Malta, before returning to her homeport of Genoa.
The ship is now halfway through her next 7-night cruise along the same Western Mediterranean itinerary. Every guest and crew member goes through a comprehensive medical screening before boarding the ship, which includes universal testing for all guests and crew as well as only protected ashore excursions at each port of call.