Seabourn Announces 2022 World Cruise – Unforgettable 145-Day Voyage Visiting 72 Ports In 28 Countries

Seabourn is offering an unforgettable journey around the globe with its “2022 World Cruise: Extraordinary Horizons,” a 145-day voyage on Seabourn Sojourn, visiting 72 extraordinary destinations and ports in 28 countries on five continents.

The ultra-luxury Seabourn Sojourn will depart Los Angeles on January 11, 2022, and travel westbound, visiting Hawaii, the islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, a number of destinations in Asia, Arabia, Africa, before ending in Athens, Greece, on June 6, 2022. Among the notable highlights is Seabourn’s return to Egypt since 2014, with an overnight visit scheduled for Safaga (Luxor), as well as a stop at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Seabourn Sojourn will call at 72 ports and destinations in 28 countries throughout the course of the sailing, featuring a combination of visits to popular marquee ports, cosmopolitan cities and smaller hidden gems. The voyage will include 20 overnights and linger late into the evening in 21 ports, offering guests ample opportunities to explore these fascinating destinations in depth.

There will be three exclusive world cruise events planned for guests booked on the full 145-day voyage, as well as local shows, regional cuisines, and palate-pleasing wines for all guests to enjoy as they sail around the globe. In addition, the World Cruise will include two of the line’s most popular signature events available to all guests on a complimentary basis: Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue at Ko Kood, Thailand; and “Evening at Ephesus” at Kusadasi, Turkey, featuring a private classical concert in the ancient ruins under the stars.

A sampling of destination highlights includes:

  • Sydney, The Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Coast – Try “sand-tobogganing” on the world’s tallest dune, and marvel at the blue-white beauty of the breath-taking Whitsunday Islands. Two days in Cairns highlight the ship’s exploration of Queensland’s coast with awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Barrier Reef and the primeval rain forests of Daintree National Park. Darwin in the Northern Territory provides two days of WWII history, jumping saltwater crocodiles and timeless Aboriginal culture.
  • Marvels of Japan, Korea and China – Discover the sun-swept islands of “Japan’s Caribbean” – Amami-ringed with coral reefs and Okinawa’s ancient Shureimon Gate, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in Kagoshima’s picturesque skyline, dominated by snowcapped Sakurajima volcano, and contemplate Hiroshima’s poignant Memorial Peace Park. Overnight stays in bustling Busan, South Korea, and Nagasaki, Japan, provide a memorable crescendo to three full days in China’s luminous Yangtze River showplace – Shanghai.
  • Southeast Asian Treasures – Zhujiajian’s bridges preserve a medieval Chinese character now hidden in enclaves among Hong Kong’s towering skyscrapers. An overnight stay in Vietnam’s Halong Bay invites guests to absorb its ethereal beauty at every hour. Seabourn Sojourn sails right up the Saigon River to the heart of fascinating Ho Chi Minh City. Ko Kood’s unspoiled, white sand beach is the ideal setting for the line’s extravagant Caviar in the Surf beach barbecue, with complimentary water sports.
  • Egypt, Petra and the Suez Canal – The two-day visit at Safaga provides guests with ample time to explore Luxor’s immense sculptural colonnades and avenues, tour the temples of Luxor and Karnak with its vast Hypostyle Hall of carved lotus columns, and much more. Later, from Aqaba, discover the long-lost Nabatean city of Petra carved into the walls of a natural canyon fortress.
  • The Holy Land and Aegean Empires – Few places integrate antiquities with a modern, cosmopolitan outlook better than Israel. The two-day stay at Haifa is filled with UNESCO World Heritage landmarks of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Judea and Galilee, as well as the Bauhaus White City, colourful markets and seaside promenades of Tel Aviv. Complete your epic Seabourn Sojourn voyage tracing the roots of European history from Minoan Bronze-age Crete to the marble streets of Ephesus and onward to the sophisticated symmetry of the Parthenon standing high atop modern Athens.

The line is planning an array of optional shore excursions in more than 25 ports with designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites thanks to its unique partnership with UNESCO. The world cruise will also feature a number of optional, mid-voyage overland excursions where guests will disembark at one port and re-join the ship at another port, providing them with a more in-depth experience at certain destinations and sites such as the Luxor & the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, outback adventures in Australia, the magnificent Taj Mahal in India, UNESCO World Heritage sites in China and Cambodia, and more. Also available are optional Seabourn Journeys, offering guests an immersive longer pre- and post-cruise land-based excursion to and from select destinations such as Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.

For guests who book the full 145-day voyage, they will receive a value-packed menu of complimentary benefits and amenities, including:

  • Gala Bon Voyage dinner & overnight hotel stay at the Ritz Carlton – Marina Del Rey prior to departure in Los Angeles
  • Three exclusive World Cruise events
  • Exclusive World Cruise President’s event
  • Special World Cruise pillow gifts
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Posted in Cruise News, Seabourn

Princess Cruises Reveals Australia-Based 2022 World Cruise Onboard Coral Princess

For the ultimate bucket-list destination seekers, Princess Cruises announced today its 15th annual Australia-based World Cruise, sailing roundtrip from three homeports – Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland. This curated, 107-day circumnavigation of the globe features 43 top-rated destinations in 27 countries on six continents. Coral Princess sets sail, with 2000 guests, on her first World Cruise from Sydney on May 18, 2022, and goes on sale September 15, 2020.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel the world by cruise ship features desired destinations in the Mediterranean, Norway, Iceland, the Arctic Circle, a transit of the historic locks in the Panama Canal and access to more than 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Coral Princess 2022 World Cruise highlights include:· Sailing 34,000 nautical miles through the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Panama Canal and Pacific Ocean – this epic voyage crosses the equator twice, the international date line once and travels to the top of the world above the Arctic Circle.

· Three roundtrip departure homeports:

Auckland – May 14, 2022
Sydney – May 18, 2022
Brisbane – May 20, 2022· 14 unique itineraries ranging from 19 to 107 days, with a variety of World Cruise segments to choose from.

· Four maiden World Cruise ports: Sibenik (Croatia), Olden (Norway), Isafjordur (Iceland) and Cornwall (Falmouth, United Kingdom)
· Access to more than 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the archaeological “lost” city of Petra (from Aqaba); Gorham’s Cave Complex (from Gibraltar) a sea-level cave considered to be one of the last known habitations of the Neanderthals; The Statue of Liberty (New York), and Thingvellir National Park (Reykjavik) with stunning views of the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
· Notable sailing experiences with Easter Island scenic cruising, a full transit of the famed historic locks of the Panama Canal (including Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun Locks), as well as a Suez Canal transit in Egypt.
· More time in port with 12 late night, or “More Ashore” stays and four overnight stays in Dubai, Venice, New York and Lima (Callao).
· Optional overland tours are also available from Lima (Callao), Peru to see the marvels of Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands.

Stay Persistently Connected with MedallionNet – the Best Wi-Fi at Sea  

Coral Princess also offers the best Wi-Fi at sea, MedallionNet™, so guests can stay persistently connected to the things and people they love and share holiday memories with ease. MedallionNet offers unprecedented connectivity that’s fast, unlimited, reliable, and affordable with an access point in every stateroom, so guests can stream favourite movies, shows, games and music; connect to favourite social media sites; and video chat from anywhere on the ship.

World Cruise Early Booking Benefit and Captain’s Circle Savings

Princess Cruises past guests are eligible for onboard credit and discount off launch fares when they book by April 30, 2021. This discount can be combined with launch and group promotions. These discounts do not apply to third or fourth berth guests.

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Cunard Announces Classic World Voyage On Queen Mary 2 For 2022

Cunard classic queen mary 2 world voyage 2022

Cunard classic queen mary 2 world voyage 2022

Cunard’s 2022 classic World Voyage on the illustrious Queen Mary 2 goes on sale today.

The iconic ocean liner will make calls to Greece, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Bali, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Italy and Portugal. Sailings through the Suez Canal feature on both the outbound journey and return.

Cunard president, Simon Palethorpe, said, “Our guests have told us they want memorable destinations which combine intrinsic glamour and heritage. This unique programme spans 16 countries, offering a combined 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which we hope will combine the perfect blend of exploration on shore and relaxation on board.”

The 104 night voyage sets sail from Southampton on January 10th 2022 and returns on April 24th 2022.

It will include overnight stops in Haifa, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore, plus a late night departure from Colombo.

Palethorpe continued, “This 104 night voyage can be split into six sectors and booked individually, which is tailored to those who want to fully immerse themselves in the Cunard experience for just a portion of the journey. It truly is the ultimate exploration of east meets west experienced from the magnificent setting of the world’s only ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2.

“Guests on board will be able to take advantage of a multitude of luxurious offerings whether they want to be entertained, learn something new, get active or simply relax, while the ambience throughout the ship is warm, friendly and inclusive.”

Those sailing the full World Voyage will enjoy a welcome on board reception, services of a World Voyage Concierge and use of a private lounge, a gala event ashore and complimentary daily gratuities.

Prices for an inside stateroom for the complete 104 night voyage start from £11,499 per person.

For the latest information about the steps Cunard are taking to ensure the very best protocols are in place to guard against Covid-19, visit http://www.cunard.com/sailing-with-confidence

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Unveils Brand New Sailings For New Ship Bolette

The inaugural cruise programme for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ new flagship Bolette has been unveiled, including a number of brand new itineraries and a series of UK cruises, with guests able to book from today.

Bolette’s maiden voyage will be a seven-night ‘Scotland & Northern Ireland’ cruise, setting sail from Southampton on 5th March 2021. This will be followed by two further UK cruises before Bolette sets sail for the warmer climates of the Azores and Madeira over the Easter break.

Bolette’s inaugural programme will include itineraries previously scheduled for Boudicca, with a number of brand new sailings added, and will operate predominantly from the port of Dover.

Guests who book onto any of Bolette’s sailings for 2021 or 2022 by 30th September 2020 will enjoy FREE tips and up to £100 per person to spend on board.

Some highlights from Bolette’s inaugural cruise season include:

The seven-night T2103 ‘Scenic Scotland with Belfast’ cruise, departing from Southampton on 5th March 2021. Prices start from £699 per person.

Experience something very special and be among the first guests to sail on Fred. Olsen’s new flagship, Bolette. Immerse yourself in the beauty and remoteness of the Scottish isles; Marvel at the intriguing wonders of Dutchman’s Cap and Fingal’s Cave; Explore ashore in the Shetland and Orkney Islands and take in the highlights of Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast.

Ports of call: Southampton, England – Belfast, Northern Ireland – Cruising by Fingals Cave, Isle of Staffa – Cruising by Dutchman’s Cap (Bac Mor) – Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland – Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland – Southampton, England

The 12-night T2114 Icelandic Wonders & Wildlife cruise, departing from Dover on 3rd June 2021. Prices start from £1,799 per person.

Natural wonders and wildlife await your discovery as you explore Iceland’s incredible landscape and waterways. An overnight stay in Reykjavik offers plenty of time to witness the splendour of the Golden Circle’s many hot springs and waterfalls. Meanwhile, unforgettable experiences such as fjord kayaking and whale watching await, along with the spectacular sights of Seyðisfjörður, Eyjafjörður and Hrisey Island.

Ports of call: Dover, England – Reykjavík, Iceland (overnight stay) – Ísafjörður, Iceland – Akureyri, Iceland – Cruising Eyjafjörður, Iceland – Cruising by Hrisey, Iceland – Seyðisfjörður, Iceland – Cruising Seyðisfjörður, Iceland – Kirkwall, Orkney Islands – Dover, England

 

The 16-night T2128 ‘Moroccan Discovery with Cape Verde’ cruise, departing from Southampton on 20th November 2021. Prices start from £1,799 per person.

Experience the vibrant cultures, fascinating history and local way of life in visits to Cape Verde and Morocco; Be captivated by the African and Portuguese-influenced architecture, music and dance, in Cape Verde; Behold the buzz of day-to-day Moroccan life amongst the souks, streets and squares of Agadir, Tangier and Casablanca, and seek-out the country’s iconic, world-famous landmarks.

Ports of call: Southampton, England – Santa Cruz, La Palma, Spain – Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde – Praia, Santiago, Cape Verde – Porto Novo, Santo Antão, Cape Verde – Agadir, Morocco – Casablanca, Morocco – Tangier, Morocco – Southampton, England

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Posted in Cruise News, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Unveils ‘Back In The Water’ Plans

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has today unveiled its plans to have three of the fleet ‘back in the water’ in March and April 2021, with Balmoral to sail even sooner.

The company’s two new ships, Bolette and Borealis, will take on the existing itineraries for Boudicca and Black Watch, as well as offer some exciting new sailings, and alongside Braemar will take to the waters again in March and April 2021.

Guests looking to book onto the new ships can do so from early September, with Bolette to go on sale on Monday, 7th September, and Borealis on Tuesday, 15th September.

A return to the water date for Balmoral will be confirmed over the coming weeks, with plans underway to have this ship sailing first.

Fred. Olsen Junior, Chairman of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“We have really missed taking our guests on their holidays this year. Without our guests, there is no vibrancy, no life and no fun on board our ships, and we can’t wait to be able to offer them the award-winning cruises for which we are renowned once again.”

Peter Deer, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“We are so pleased to be able to share our ‘back in the water’ plans with our guests. When they join us back on board, they will do so aboard a refreshed fleet.

“We have been working hard to add that ‘Fred. Olsen touch’ to our two new ships, Bolette and Borealis, so they are ready to offer the Fred. Olsen experience that our returning guests know and love, and enchant those joining us for the very first time.”

Cruises for Boudicca and Black Watch will remain on sale on the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines website until the two new ships are launched, with Bolette taking on the existing itineraries for Boudicca, and Borealis taking on Black Watch itineraries. All guests who have a booking aboard either Boudicca or Black Watch will have their cruise automatically transferred onto the new ships.

The two new ships are set to join the rest of the fleet in Babcock’s Rosyth Facilities in Scotland in early September.

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MSC Cruises Says “THANK YOU” To All Healthcare Heroes Around The World With Cruise Discounts Of Up To 50%

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.

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca And Black Watch To Retire

Black Watch in Eidfjord, Norway

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has today confirmed it will retire two classic vessels, Boudicca and Black Watch, as the company prepares to welcome two new ships, Bolette and Borealis, into the fleet.

The two new ships will take over existing itineraries for Boudicca and Black Watch, when cruising begins again with the company’s ‘back in the water’ plan for next year.

When Bolette and Borealis join the fleet it will increase Fred. Olsen’s overall capacity by circa 30 percent – meaning more guests can enjoy exciting new itineraries. Both vessels carry under 1,400 guests and have new and larger public areas, whilst remaining true to Fred. Olsen’s small ship experience.

Those guests who had cruises booked on the two classic vessels will be among the first to sail on the new ships, with their bookings being automatically transferred onto either Bolette or Borealis. Additional cabins will go on sale in early September.

Peter Deer, Managing Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“I am pleased to say we are now at the stage of finalising our back in the water plans and we are very excited to be doing this with two new vessels within our fleet.

“While we are still looking at a number of options for Boudicca and Black Watch, what we do know is that they won’t resume sailing with us when we do start to cruise again.

“We know that these ships are much loved among our guests, as indeed they are by us, but it is time to evolve and look ahead to a long and bright future for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

“We will soon be revealing more details on our plans to resume sailing again, but in the meantime we hope many of you will join us on our virtual farewell cruises to see our two ships off in style.”

As part of Fred. Olsen’s virtual cruise programme, the company will be holding virtual farewell sailings for both Boudicca and Black Watch on Facebook, with guests and crew invited to share their favourite photographs and memories of the two ships.

The virtual cruises will be held for two weeks starting from Monday, 24th August.

Guests who were booked to sail on Boudicca and Black Watch will automatically have their booking transferred to the same itineraries on Bolette or Borealis, and will be contacted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines with final details in the coming weeks.

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P&O Cruises Further Extends Pause In Operations And Cancels World Cruise

In an acknowledgement of Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance, P&O Cruises has extended its pause in operations until November 12, 2020 and also cancelled two long itineraries due to depart in January 2021.

In the company’s latest video P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “It is clear that whilst the guidance is in place it is not advisable for us to resume operations.

“As well as cancelling all cruises up until November 12, 2020 we will, sadly, also be cancelling Aurora’s Caribbean & South America Adventure and Arcadia’s World Cruise. Given long-term planning, combined with the complexity and length of these long-haul itineraries and evolving border restrictions, we need to ensure that we adhere to the guidance as it stands. I know that these January cruises, in particular, are holidays of a lifetime and we are so sorry for the disappointment that these cancellations will cause.

“We continue to work in partnership with public health agencies at the highest level as well as Department for Transport; EU Healthy Gateways and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry association. We will follow all applicable guidelines to enhance our already stringent measures to keep our guests and crew healthy and well and we will not resume sailing until this approved framework is in place. Fundamentally, we will be adopting best practice within the travel industry.

“The good news is that confidence in cruising is strong and we are seeing increasing and significant demand from our guests. We know that the FCO guidance is under constant review and we are hopeful that, as they are aware of the work the industry is doing, this will change before too long.”

Guests booked on the cancelled cruises will automatically receive an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit or alternatively can fill in the website form for a 100% refund.

Ludlow continued: “We have invested significantly in new systems and technology to speed up the refund process and to date we have refunded tens of thousands of guests, although it is heartening to see that the majority of our guests have opted for the FCC so they have a holiday to look forward to in the future.”

He also confirmed that the company will take delivery of much anticipated new ship Iona “before the autumn.”

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Posted in Cruise News, P&O Cruises

Emerald Waterways 2021/2022 Southeast Asia River Cruises Now Open For Booking

Guests planning ahead for their 2021 and 2022 holiday can now book one of Emerald Waterways’ vibrant Southeast Asia itineraries on the majestic Mekong River, travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia on the stylish, Emerald Harmony.

To accompany the 2021 & 2022 Vietnam, Cambodia & Mekong River Cruising brochure launch, Emerald Waterways is offering guests that book before 31 August 2020 the chance to save up to £1,500 per couple, plus receive a complimentary Premium Drinks Package, entitling guests to unlimited on-board drinks*. New bookings paid in full by 31 October 2020 will also enjoy an additional Early Payment Discount of £250 per couple. Guests can be confident of full flexibility with their booking with the Emerald Cruises ‘Book with Confidence assurance’.

Guests can choose the 15-day Majestic Mekong river cruise from £3,020 per person (based on 7 April 2021 departure) calling at Siem Reap, Kampong Tralach, Prek’kdam, Phnom Penh, Hong Ngu, Long Khanh, An Long, My An Hung, Sa Dec and My Tho before arriving in Ho Chi Minh City where guests disembark for the flight home.

The trip includes a fascinating journey to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site Angkor Wat, a traditional Buddhist Monk blessing, and a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels. In Phnom Penh, guests are invited to a family-owned silk-producing factory and can attend a scarf-weaving workshop in Long Khan Island. This is all through EmeraldPLUS and included excursion programmes, giving guests even more opportunities to enjoy each destination and gain new experiences.

Or for guests that want to discover more, choose the 19-day Treasures & Temples of Vietnam & Cambodia itinerary (prices start from £4,120 per person based on 07 May 2021 departure) or the 23-day Grand Tour of Vietnam and Cambodia (prices start from £4,570 per person based on 27 April 2021 departure) which both include the 15-day Majestic Mekong itinerary, with additional destinations and excursions.

The Emerald Harmony Star-Ship has been custom designed to cruise into the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, the dynamic Vietnamese city, offering river access into the heart of the city.

On all three itineraries, guests will be interested to note that Emerald Harmony has removed all single-use plastic. Initiatives include providing all guests with a complementary metal water bottle to refill from water stations on the Star-Ship. Other initiatives are also in place such as glass water bottles in the cabins, using bamboo and paper straws in the Reflections Restaurant & Horizon Bar and cabin toiletry miniatures replaced with refillable dispensers.

Prices for the 15-day Majestic Mekong river cruise include return economy flights and airport transfers, 30 meals including 12 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 9 dinners, 11 included excursions, 6 EmeraldPLUS activities (exclusive highlights to Emerald Waterways) and all tipping and gratuities.

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MSC Cruises Returns To Service In The Mediterranean This Summer

MSC Cruises announced today that flagship MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will resume operations in the Mediterranean starting from 16 and 29 August 2020 respectively, offering guests full-experience cruise holidays with the opportunity to discover five different destinations during a 7-night cruise. The two ships will be the first to implement a new comprehensive health and safety protocol that has been approved by the relevant national authorities from the countries that the ships will call along their East and West Mediterranean itineraries this summer.  

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman commented, “During the pause in our operations we focused on developing a comprehensive operating protocol that builds upon already stringent health and safety measures that have long been in place on board our ships. We have worked closely with the relevant EU-level, national health and other authorities from the countries that MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will call along their Mediterranean itineraries to develop a comprehensive set of procedures designed to protect the health and safety of all passengers on board our ships as well as ashore to ensure that local communities feel comfortable welcoming our guests.”

Pierfrancesco Vago continued, “The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected ashore visits at each destination only with an MSC Cruises excursion as added level of protection for our guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for further peace of mind for our guests. With all of these measures in place we aim to offer our guests the safest possible holiday.

MSC Grandiosa, the Company’s flagship, will offer seven-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo and Valetta. MSC Magnifica will offer seven-night cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean departing from the Italian ports of Bari and Trieste, calling at the Greek ports of Corfu, Katakolon and Piraeus.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO commented“We are very pleased to be able to start welcoming back guests for full-experience cruise holidays this summer, on board two of our most popular ships including our flagship MSC Grandiosa, and in the Mediterranean, the very region where our Company’s roots are and we have long been market leaders.”

MSC Cruises’ new operating protocol has been designed to protect the health and safety of guests, crew as well as the local communities that the Company’s ships visit. For this reason, it meets and goes beyond guidelines provided by key international and regional regulatory and technical bodies, as well as regulations set forth by the governments in the countries in which MSC Cruises ships operate. Additionally, RINA, the independent maritime certification corporation, has verified that the protocol meets the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) Guidance, which incorporates additional health standards including those from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action. MSC Cruises has worked to encompass every aspect of the guest’s journey from the moment of booking to embarkation, life on board and through to the return back home, whilst preserving the uniqueness of the guest experience.

For this initial phase of the restart of operations, the two MSC Cruises ships operating in the Mediterranean for the current summer season will initially only welcome guests who are residents in Schengen countries[1]. Additionally, their itineraries have been designed according to the accessibility of the ports, reducing where possible, the need for guests to use of public transport or flights and have been planned in conjunction with the authorities.

 MSC Cruises has today cancelled all other cruises in the Mediterranean from 16 August through to and including 31 October. Guests who are resident in Schengen countries, and subject to any restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities, booked on any MSC Cruises itinerary until 31 October can transfer their booking to either MSC Grandiosa or MSC Magnifica, receiving up to three complimentary shore excursions, depending on the category they book; alternatively, they will be offered a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) that they can use on any ship with any itinerary in the MSC Cruises fleet sailing through to December 2021. Also, any other guests who are resident in Schengen countries and subject to any restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities, who already have an FCC voucher from previous cancelled cruises can also use their voucher on these two ships taking advantage of up to three complimentary shore excursions.

For non-Schengen residents, they will automatically be eligible for an FCC that can be used to transfer their bookings at no cost, to any ship on any itinerary in the MSC Cruises fleet sailing through to December 2021.

MSC Cruises also announced the cancellation of all U.S cruise departures up to and including the 31 October, in line with the announcement that CLIA members will voluntarily extend the suspension of cruise operations to this date. CLIA stated that “This proactive action further demonstrates the cruise industry’s commitment to public health and willingness to voluntarily suspend operations in the interest of public health and safety, as has occurred twice prior.” MSC Cruises will only restart operations in the U.S only when the time is right, following approval by the CDC and other relevant authorities across the region in observance of their requirements and guidelines.

Finally, MSC Cruises also cancelled the Far East cruises from 10 September through to and including 26 October.

All guests affected by the latest cancellations will be contacted in due course directly by MSC Cruises or their travel agent and all their options shared with them. 

Beyond the summer itineraries announced today, MSC Cruises is following the evolution of the pandemic and gradual introduction of other ships coming into service is possible during this same summer period.

Today’s announcement follows the confirmation of full details of MSC Cruises programmes starting in late October this year through to November 2021, covering the Winter 2020/2021 and the Summer 2021 seasons. Ships will offer guests itineraries across all the regions traditionally served by MSC Cruises in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, the Gulf, South Africa, South America and Asia.

Regarding MSC Cruises’ itineraries beyond the current summer season, Gianni Onorato concluded: “We will closely monitor updates and new guidelines at a global, European and national level and will continuously review and update our health and safety protocol not only to make sure that its measures reflect the most updated medical know-how and technology as it becomes available but also to reflect in it the different phases in the evolution and spread of the virus and as social restrictions change over time. To this end, with time and in line with the development of the health situation ashore we are hoping to be able to relax certain measures while continuing to ensure that the health and safety of everyone on board our ships remains our outmost priority. At the same time, we will always make sure that our guests can enjoy and relax whilst on holiday on board one of MSC Cruises ships the way they always have – now including this summer.”

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