MSC Cruises has been forced to cancel the scheduled port visit in Greenock, Scotland, for MSC Virtuosa due to the latest restrictions and regulations by the Scottish government. The ship recently started her inaugural season out of Southampton, UK, on May 21, 2021, which was also the restart of the UK cruise industry.
MSC Virtuosa Blocked to Visit Scotland
With MSC Virtuosa being the first cruise ship to begin sailing from the UK in May, there has been a huge interest in the vessel. However, the ship has now hit its first issue due to COVID restrictions and regulations in Scotland.
As part of its week-long voyage from the Port of Southampton, which departed on June 5, MSC Virtuosa’s scheduled call to Greenock near Glasgow in Scotland on Wednesday, June 9, has been cancelled. The cruise line announced the news to passengers onboard on Tuesday, and a letter has already been sent to everyone.
The impact on this goes beyond just those passengers onboard. It also impacts the guests who were set to embark on the ship when she was to arrive on Wednesday morning. Apparently, calls to Greenock on the following dates of June 16 and 23 have also been cancelled.
The Scottish Passenger Agents Association (SPAA) has already released a statement by president Joanne Dooey, “We’re now facing the situation where Scottish passengers who joined the cruise in Liverpool are barred from setting foot in their own country. The SPAA has been asking for clarity on the situation for this particular cruise ship since last week, and all we have received so far is an indicated that cruises may only restart when all of Scotland is in Level one. Inverclyde itself is currently in Level 1.”
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So even though the ports in England are open for cruise ships, those ports in Scotland now seem to be closed. Something which will have to be resolved as more cruise lines restart operations in the UK. It’s a huge disappointment for UK travelers after more than a year of restrictions. This has been the first chance many have for travel and despite it only being in UK waters, the MSC Virtuosa has so much to offer onboard.
MSC Virtuosa will now be spending an overnight in Liverpool instead as the vessel is already docked at the city for the first time today. The MSC ship will depart tomorrow at 7:00 PM to continue the week-long itinerary. There will be two sea days before arriving back in Southampton on June 12, 2021.
The new Meraviglia-Plus class vessel is 181,000 gross tons and is the largest ship in the fleet so far. She has a humanoid bartender, a 112-meter-long Mediterranean promenade with a huge LED sky screen, a magrodome pool, and a 1,000sqm aquapark along with many more features for the entire family. The ship is available for vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers.