Following other major cruise lines, MSC Cruises has announced the cancellation of cruises until March 2021. This only impacts U.S. sailings as the cruise line is already operating in Europe. Three cruise ships are impacted by the further cancellations.
MSC Cruises Extends U.S. Suspension
So it’s really looking that the cruise industry in the United States will not make a return until March at the earliest, with all the major cruise lines now announcing further cancellations.
MSC has also just announced that all U.S. departures will remain on hold through February 28, 2021. This means that ships based in the U.S. won’t restart until March 2021 at the very earliest.
This impacts three MSC cruise ships that are based in Florida including MSC Seaside out of Port Canaveral along with MSC Armonia and MSC Meraviglia out of PortMiami.
Refunds and Future Cruise Credit Options
Guests booked and paid in full through MSC Cruises USA or affiliated US-based travel advisors on the impacted sailings will be offered a 125 percent future cruise credit (FCC) of the original cruise fare where they have the opportunity to transfer the full amount paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice – on any ship, and any itinerary – through April 30, 2022, or can request a refund.
Related: How to Speed Up Your Cruise Refund
The 125% FCC provides guests with opportunities to upgrade their stateroom category and add pre-purchases such as specialty dining, beverage packages, Wi-Fi, or spa treatments to their booking.
What is MSC Doing Right Now?
Like other cruise lines, MSC is working with the relevant authorities, including the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), on a safe return to operations.
Even though MSC has already started limited cruises in Europe, there will be different measures needed from the U.S. to follow the CDC framework on the Conditional Sailing Order.
With all the new series of cancellations across the industry, it’s proving that the return will be complex, and a lot needs to be done first, such as training crew on new measures, getting crew back to the ships, trial sailings, and a lot more.
MSC Cruises had previously suspended operations in the U.S. through December 31, 2020. Hopefully, this new extension will be the final one. The cruise line recently announced a restart of operations in Japan in April 2021 and at the moment cruises have been suspended in Europe until December 18 for one of its ships.
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