MSC Cruises has confirmed it has started a fleet-wide programme to vaccinate its crew members.
The crew of MSC Virtuosa will be vaccinated ahead of the ship’s maiden voyage on 20 May around the UK.
MSC said it will prioritise crew members on board its 10 ships earmarked for summer 2021 cruises in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, those scheduled to restart in the Caribbean out of US ports as well as “others that are gearing up for their restart”.
The 10 ships set to serve the Mediterranean and Northern Europe this summer have confirmed itineraries and ports of call in Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Germany and the UK, with plans to add France, Spain and more, as more countries relax their travel restrictions.
The line said in a statement: “The plan is for all MSC Cruises’ crew on board operational vessels, as well as ships preparing to restart in parts of the world the company has served traditionally, to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
“It has been developed and will be delivered against with the support of a number of national government authorities, destinations and private sector entities.”
MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said: “As our ships prepare to welcome more and more guests over the coming weeks and months, we are pleased to announce the start of a comprehensive plan of vaccinations for all of our crew.
“Our aim is of adding a further level of protection for both themselves and the guests they will welcome for their holidays as we lead the way in the industry’s restart this summer.
“Our health and safety protocol last year spearheaded a safe resumption of cruising in the global industry and our huge vaccination programme for all of our crew further demonstrates our commitment to their wellbeing, of our guests and of the communities that our fleet of ships will visit in the months ahead.
“We focused and invested heavily in a health and safety protocol last year and worked relentlessly to engage and gain approval from a range of authorities to return to cruising safely and responsibly. Similarly, we have taken this approach to vaccinations for our crew – plan, prepare and perform.”