MSC Grandiosa has become the first large cruise ship to return to operation in the Mediterranean.
The first guests began embarking MSC Cruises’ flagship in the port of Genoa, Italy yesterday morning ahead of departure.
They arrived at the cruise terminal according to their allocated time slots and followed the new universal screening procedures according to a new safety protocol.
This includes a temperature check, medical review of a health questionnaire and an antigen Covid-19 swab test for every guest prior to boarding.
All guests received a wristband, which provides them with contactless options whilst on board such as opening the cabin or making payments and will also help to facilitate proximity and contact tracing, if needed.
Additionally, over the past several weeks, all crew members have gone through similarly stringent health screening measures, which included three Covid-19 tests in various phases as well as a period of isolation before commencing their duties.
Each crew member will then be regularly tested, and their health monitored.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ chief executive, commented: “It is a real pleasure for me to be here and sail on board the first of our ships to return to service and to be able to welcome back our guests.
“Our main goal during these last months has been to put in place the right measures that will protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit.
“But at the same time, we have worked to ensure that we are able to provide our guests with a cruise holiday that they can enjoy and still experience all of the elements that they know and love from entertainment and activities on board through to protected ashore visits.”
Following the embarkation of the new guests today in Civitavecchia, more guests will also embark in the ports of Naples and Palermo and then the ship will call at Valetta in Malta, before returning to Genoa on Sunday.
The cruise industry will be holding its breathe to see if the trip is a success.