- Two major lines, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises have paused their upcoming voyages
- On Friday, MSC Cruises cancelled 3 departures of the only ship that it currently has operating, MSC Grandiosa
THoD Newsdesk, Europe: Cruising services in Europe which had commenced over the summer period, have now been stalled entirely due to surging COVID cases. Two major lines, MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, had restarted their services in Europe in a phased manner, recently. But this week they have proclaimed that all the upcoming voyages have been paused, as a result of increased travel restrictions.
On Friday, MSC Cruises cancelled 3 departures of the only ship that it currently has operating, MSC Grandiosa, that were slated to take place between December 20 and January 10. The Grandiosa, one of the world’s largest passenger cruise ship with a capacity of 4,842 seats, had resumed sailings on August 16 out of Genoa, Italy. This had also tagged MSC Cruises as the first major cruise line to flag off sailings in the Mediterranean, since the start of the pandemic.
The MSC Cruises cancellations came a day after Costa announced it was cancelling all sailings from December 20 through January 6. The line restarted its operations in a graded manner out of Italy, back in September and has had as many as 3 ships sailing out of Italy at times over the past 3 months.
Further, MSC Cruises also pushed back its original plans to bring a second vessel into service on the 18th of December. The line now is targeting January 15 for the first COVID-era journey of the 2,550-passenger ship, MSC Magnifica.
The cancellations of these two lines are in the wake of the imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions in Italy, announced on Wednesday. The new restrictions are inclusive of a complete ban on travel between Italian regions from December 21 through January 6. The Italian government has also advised the residents against leaving their hometowns during the holiday season.