Geneva, Switzerland, 17 June 2021 - MSC Cruises announced today that it has chartered the industry-largest air charter programme for summer 2021 to make more ports of embarkation easily and safely accessible from a range of European countries.
Guests will have access to a seamless journey from their homes to the ship for their holidays at sea, all under the protection of the Company’s industry-leading health and safety programme now extended to also cover air travel.
This opens up a wide choice of ports, ships and itineraries this summer for MSC Cruises’ guests from Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland for sailings in the West Mediterranean, East Mediterranean and Northern Europe.
Gianni Onorato, CEO, MSC Cruises, said, “As more of our fleet continues to return to service this summer, and our returning and new guests look to plan their holidays on one of our ships across Europe, we felt we had to respond to the impact that the pandemic has had on many airlines. As many are still not yet operating with a normal flight timetable, we wanted to give our guests from across Europe the peace of mind that they can reach their embarkation port in a seamless and safe way.”
MSC Cruises’ industry-leading health and safety protocol will be extended to apply to the chartered flights, which will be operated together with some of Europe’s leading airlines.
Mr Onorato added, “We have utilised the experience gained since we returned to operations last August and will work with our aviation partners to apply our industry-leading health and safety protocol to the charter flights so that we extend also to that portion of the guest journey the social bubble of the ship. This is yet another example of how we are pushing boundaries and delivering another industry-first to provide our guests with the confidence and the peace of mind that they need to be able to fully enjoy their holiday with us.”
MSC Cruises has committed to charter flights between July and October - more than 26,000 seats - from airlines, including Iberia, Alitalia, Eurowings and Neos, to fly from convenient and accessible airports across Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Switzerland so that guests can arrive at convenient times at an airport close to their embarkation port ahead of the start of their cruise holiday.
With many airlines having to alter their flight schedules at relatively short notice as a result of changing travel restrictions MSC Cruises decided to take charge of the situation and charter aircraft to assure its guests that their air transport connections will take-off as planned and their holiday plans won’t be affected.
MSC Cruises this summer will operate eight ships in Europe, six of which benefit from this full and rich fly and cruise programme. These are:
Western Mediterranean – MSC Grandiosa and MSC Seaside
Eastern Mediterranean – MSC Splendida, MSC Orchestra and MSC Magnifica
Northern Europe – MSC Seaview
Once guests land at airports they will then travel to the port ready for embarkation using private MSC Cruises transfers that are protected with the same high standards of MSC Cruises’ industry-leading health and safety protocol on board its fleet of ships and now on board its chartered planes.
In a further commitment to offer stress-free holidays and ensure the wellbeing of its guests for summer sailings, MSC Cruises has also worked with Europe’s largest insurance provider Europ Assistance to have a COVID-19 protection plan in place, priced at Euros €25 per person to cover guests before, during and after a cruise.