MSC Cruises Marks One Year Back at Sea

MSC Cruises marks one year back at sea today, as the first major cruise brand to resume international sailings back on August 16, 2020.

MSC Seashore Activities


August 16th marks the line’s 12-month anniversary of safe return to cruise operations

First major cruise brand to resume international sailings one year ago

Undiminished focus on environmental sustainability and sustainable growth

Geneva, Switzerland (August 16, 2021) – MSC Cruises today commemorated being back at sea for twelve months following the global industry’s shutdown in March 2020 as a result of the global pandemic.

One year ago, MSC Cruises on this day became the first major cruise brand to resume operations for international sailings when MSC Grandiosa departed Genoa for a seven-night voyage in the West Mediterranean.

MSC Cruises Marks One Year Back at Sea

This re-start was down to a range of local, regional and national authorities in Europe sanctioning a Health and Safety protocol that MSC Cruises had developed with an external panel of medical and public health experts designed for the wellbeing of guests, crew and communities that the Company’s ships would call. A protocol that, eventually, set the standard for the industry and paved the way for more lines to restart.  

Twelve months on and more than half of the line’s fleet is safely back at sea – sailing around the UK, both the Mediterranean Sea and Baltic Sea in Europe, North America and the Caribbean and the Red Sea in the Middle East. More ships are scheduled to resume operations in the coming weeks and months as part of the line’s phased plan for returning the full fleet to operations by next year.

Remarkably, MSC Cruises has forged ahead with its determined ambition for sustainable growth as it simultaneously returned ships to water.

For the line, the past twelve months were a very busy year of return to service but it retained an undiminished laser-focus on the long-term future of the business and in a sustainable manner. Below are some highlights from the past year at MSC Cruises.


  • Two new builds delivered in the calendar year 2021.
  • No ships put up for sale.  No ships sent to the scrapyard.
  • MSC Virtuosa in February from the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France (CdA).
  • MSC Seashore in July 2021 from Fincantieri in Monfalcone, Italy. 
  • Steel cut in June 2021 for second LNG-powered ship MSC Euribia to be delivered in 2023 (CdA).
  • Keel laid in June 2021 for MSC Seascape to be delivered in November 2022 (Fincantieri).
  • Five-year preferential berthing rights deal signed with Cruise Saudi for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
MSC Cruises Takes Delivery of MSC Seashore

Restart Schedule

  • First line to resume international cruise sailings (MSC Grandiosa in the Mediterranean)
  • First cruise sailings around the UK
  • First major cruise line to call Barcelona, Spain
  • First major cruise line to call Marseille, France
  • First major cruise line to call Valletta, Malta

Ten Ships Currently Sailing

  • MSC Virtuosa – UK
  • MSC GrandiosaMSC SeasideMSC Seashore – West Mediterranean
  • MSC OrchestraMSC SplendidaMSC Magnifica – East Mediterranean
  • MSC Seaview – Baltic Sea, Germany
  • MSC Bellissima – Red Sea, Saudi Arabia
  • MSC Meraviglia – North America and the Caribbean, USA

Countries Called in Past Twelve Months

Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia, France, Spain, Montenegro, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, USA, The Bahamas, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. 

New Business

Luxury brand Explora Journeys launched in June 2021.

Also in June, cutting of the first steel of first ship Explora I for delivery in 2023 (Fincantieri)

Port Development 

Pledged commitment to invest in new cruise terminals at Miami, Barcelona and Ancona, Italy.

Durban, South Africa terminal to see completion of works during the current year.

Shipyard Management

Joint venture to operate the Palumbo Malta Shipyard announced in July 2020.


  • MSC Seashore – first cruise ship in the world to feature ‘Safe Air’, UV-C lamp technology to eliminate 99 percent of viruses and bacteria onboard.
  • MSC Grandiosa in October 2020 received RINA’s ‘Biosafe Ship’ notation for infection risk mitigation.
  • MSC Seashore in July 2021 received RINA’s ‘Sustainable Ship’ notation for environmental management.


Fleetwide crew COVID-19 vaccination underway.


  • On track to achieve decarbonization target of a 40 percent improvement by 2030. 
  • Pledged commitment to have net carbon neutral operations by 2050.
  • Announced plans to assess feasibility of building hydrogen-powered cruise ship and the necessary supply chain in partnership with Fincantieri and Snam, one of Italy’s leading energy infrastructure companies.
  • Cruise industry lead in EU-funded ‘CHEK’ research project to promote low-carbon shipping solutions.
  • Signed UK Chamber of Shipping’s ‘Single Use Plastic Charter’.



What do you think of the news that MSC Cruises marks one year back at sea? Do you have plans to sail with this cruise line in the near future? Drop us an anchor below to share your upcoming travel plans.

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Heidi is a physical therapist by profession, cruise enthusiast at heart, and Princess all the time! She is a self-confessed thrill seeker, obsessive planner, and over-packer. She is always looking for the latest and greatest adventures onboard and ashore, enjoys researching top things to do in ports of call, and loves dressing up for formal nights.
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