Health & Safety
From the moment you start planning your holiday to when you return home, we are thoroughly assessing every step of the way to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable experience on your next cruise with us.
We are working together with leading international experts in the fields of Medicine, Public Health and related scientific disciplines to develop and validate our health and safety measures. Read more about our blue-ribbon panel by clicking here.
Our new operating procedures are designed to meet and exceed guidelines provided by national and international health authorities and we continue to monitor the situation in order to adapt them if required. Any updates to these measures will be posted on this website.
We constantly monitor the global health situation and stand prepared to modify our itineraries when needed. We will call only in ports that local authorities and health organisations have cleared as safe and in full compliance with all local port and health authorities’ regulations.
- We are updating our booking process with new terms and conditions, step-by-step guidance and clear travel requirements.
- Guests will be required to provide their contact details to receive all the necessary information and any important updates
- Booking prepaid onboard packages is highly recommended in order to avoid queues, secure space and save money compared to onboard prices. By booking in advance, you can enjoy your holiday from the moment you step on board
- You will need to complete an effortless web check-in to receive your cruise tickets, including travel documentation and a mandatory pre-cruise health questionnaire
- When booking, you should indicate any friends or family members you will be travelling with (if outside of your reservation) so we can make seating dining arrangements once onboard.
We will deny boarding in case of:
- Symptoms such as: fever (>37.5°C / 99.5°F), cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle/body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat and loss of taste/smell in the 14 days prior to embarkation
- Potential exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to embarkation
- Temporary travel restrictions based on local circumstances. For example, certain countries may deny visas or prohibit entry based on travel history or nationality.
We continue to work with relevant authorities to keep the above requirements up to date.
To ensure a safe and healthy environment on board, all guests will undergo comprehensive health and COVID-19 screenings before embarkation:
- Health questionnaire (provided with your cruise ticket)
- Touchless temperature check
- COVID-19 compatible signs or symptoms
Depending on the screening results, guests may participate in a secondary review (including in-depth interview, a second temperature measurement, a medical examination and if necessary, a laboratory examination) or be denied boarding.
- We’ve redesigned our embarkation process with assigned arrival times indicated in the cruise ticket to minimise contact and enable responsible social distancing
- The terminal and gangway areas will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised according to the same high standards as onboard
- You will be asked to wear a face mask during embarkation and while in the terminal in compliance with local regulations
- Your hold and hand luggage will be sanitised
- Embarking and disembarking guests will not cross the same walking paths.
We’ve taken our cleanliness and sanitation measures to the next level by implementing the highest standards of health and hygiene across our fleet:
- We have increased cleaning and disinfection frequency, introducing new cleaning methods and the use of hospital-grade disinfectant products
- Key venues and public spaces are sanitised frequently, with a focus on high-traffic areas and deep disinfection every night through electrostatic spray technology
- Cabins are meticulously cleaned on a daily basis, with careful attention to high-touch surfaces and additional deep cleaning at the end of each cruise
- All recreational and sporting equipment, fitness machines, sunbeds, outdoor furniture, toys, games and Kids Club equipment are sanitised after each use
- One of the best ways to stay healthy is to keep your hands clean. We recommend that you wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser before any activity and before entering venues. For your convenience, we have increased the availability of hand sanitiser dispensers around the ship.
100% external fresh air is supplied to all cabins and public areas, with no recirculation between cabins or within the ship. Highly effective UV-C light technology will sanitise the air, killing 99.97% of all microbes.
All MSC Cruises’ ships are equipped with state-of-the-art medical services and an increased number of qualified medical staff onboard, supported by dedicated 24/7 ashore Medical Team.
- Our ships have a fully equipped Medical Centre including COVID-19 testing equipment and ventilators
- We continuously monitor the health of our guests and crew with contactless temperature checks during the cruise; in case of flu-like symptoms, guests should immediately notify the Medical Centre and free treatment will be provided
- Our medical staff is trained to deal with COVID-19 with a response plan in place in cooperation with local authorities
- We have established a comprehensive medical protocol to deal with suspected cases and dedicated isolation zones with separate air supply.
We have redesigned activities, adapted our services and reduced venue capacity so our guests and crew can easily adhere to current social distancing guidelines. Whenever social distancing cannot be met in public places such as in the lifts, you will be asked to wear a face mask.
For the health of all our guests and crew, MSC Cruises ensures that all crew members are fully trained and follow strict health and safety preventive measures:
- Crew members undergo extensive screening and medical checks including COVID-19 testing prior to embarking in addition to daily health monitoring and temperature checks
- Crew members follow proper handwashing practices and wear protective equipment such as face masks and gloves.
We are committed to preserving the uniqueness of the onboard experience whilst ensuring that your health and safety are protected. You will continue to enjoy unique experiences including award-winning shows, world-class dining, excursions, family activities, boutique shopping, beauty and fitness services, engaging events and much more.
Restaurants and Bars
We have adapted our service and seating layouts to allow for social distancing, and all meals and drinks will be served at your table. Self-service at the buffet restaurant will be temporarily unavailable, and the food will be plated and served by our crew. For a contactless experience, you can access restaurant and bar menus from your personal mobile device by conveniently scanning a QR code.
If you wish to go ashore during your cruise, we highly encourage you to participate in one of our MSC Shore Excursions. On all our carefully selected and curated MSC shore experience, you can rest assured that every aspect of your time ashore meets the highest standards of health, hygiene and comfort. For summer 2020 sailings, different conditions will apply. For more details, please download the dedicated factsheet for MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica.
Entertainment and Activities
We are introducing newly designed onboard activities and entertainment for smaller group sizes. A wide array of activities including shows, entertainment and the Kids Club will be available by reservation at no extra charge.
As the capacity of the theatre will be reduced to ensure responsible social distancing, the entertainment schedule will be extended so you can still enjoy a great variety of award-winning shows.
Outdoor areas and pools
All open decks will be accessible and pools, whirlpools and the Aquapark will be available with a reduced occupancy for social distancing. Sunbeds will be separated in clusters, sanitised after every use and deeper sanitation will take place every night.
To easily find information while avoiding queues, we encourage you to utilise our new Information Centre available by phone and digital services such as MSC for Me* (mobile app, interactive touchscreens, in-cabin Smart TV). Remote desks will be available on embarkation day for in-person questions. You should always call before going to any desk for information. Cashless payments will be highly recommended.
*MSC for Me digital programme is available on MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica.
As you travel or cruise with us, we invite you to follow
the World Health Organization recommendations:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and help young children to do the same. Where soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. If a tissue is not immediately available, cough or sneeze into your upper arm.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid personal contact such as handshaking, or sharing cups and eating utensils.
Whenever social distancing cannot be met in public places, wear a face mask.
meet our group of experts
The enhanced health and safety measures has been developed with external health experts including Aspen Medical, a leading global healthcare provider and international university professors and doctors in the field of epidemiology and virology alongside our MSC Cruises Medical Department.
We have established a blue-ribbon COVID Expert Group in the fields of Medicine, Public Health, and/or related scientific disciplines, and we are collaborating with them to inform and review our health and safety measures as they relate to COVID-19 to help ensure that the actions taken are appropriate, effective, and informed by the best available science and health practices.
To find out more about our group of experts, click here.
We prepared a list of Frequent Asked Quesions (FAQ) to quickly get answers to you for the most common questions
- Are there any travel restrictions under the new protocol, such as past medical history, current health status, age or nationality?
The current advice from the World Health Organization, EU Healthy Gateways and other authorities is that COVID-19 is often more severe in people who are older or who have health conditions like lung or heart disease, diabetes or conditions that affect their immune system. Older guests or those with such conditions are advised to consult with a doctor or their local health authorities for guidance before travelling to assess whether they should be travelling at this time. According to the EU Healthy Gateways advisory, anyone over 65 years of age is considered part of a higher risk group.
- Are there any travel restrictions for certain nationalities or countries of residence that may prevent guests from being allowed on board?
Moreover, any guest travelling from any of the countries that are deemed ‘high risk’ by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will need to take an RT-PCR swab test within 72 hours prior to the ship’s departure. The test results will need to be presented at the terminal prior to embarkation.
We are closely monitoring the global health situation, and in case of changes to current travel requirements, we will update our booking conditions and inform our guests with existing reservations in a timely fashion. Additional travel restrictions for certain nationalities or even particular regions in a country may arise based on the COVID-19 situation. If conditions change over time, we will of course inform concerned guests.
- Will future cruises be just for members of the same family or household? Will groups of friends be allowed on board as well?
EMBARKATION / DISEMBARKATION
- Do guests need to provide any medical documents to show that they are COVID-19 negative at embarkation?
For MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica sailings (starting in Summer 2020), all guests will undertake a COVID-19 screening (immunofluorescence swab test) at the cruise terminal before boarding, to ensure they are healthy and fit for travel.
Moreover, any guest travelling from any of the countries that are deemed ‘high risk’ by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will need to take an RT-PCR swab test within 72 hours prior to the ship’s departure. The test results will need to be presented at the terminal prior to embarkation. The list of high-risk countries is available on the MSC Cruises website based on the guidance of the ECDC. Any updates will be communicated to our guests with existing reservations in a timely fashion.
- What will happen if embarkation is denied to a guest for health reasons?
If a guest is then not considered fit to travel, they will be assisted in their next steps of a return home or will be potentially being treated in a local medical facility to ensure maximum support and care.
- What safety protocols will be implemented on transfers and shuttles?
We are extending our enhanced health and hygiene measures to all MSC transfers, including:
- Cleaning and sanitisation of all vehicles before any new group of guests
- Availability of hand sanitisation stations and disinfectant mats for footwear
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all drivers
- Reduced number of guests with selected seats empty to ensure social distancing
- How are you cleaning and sanitising the guest cabins?
Every cabin will be deep cleaned at the end of each cruise before the next guests arrive for their holiday.
- How often are you sanitising public areas?
- What measures are you taking for the disembarkation process at the end of a cruise?
ONBOARD MEDICAL SERVICES
- What happens if there is a suspected case of COVID-19 on board?
- Have you agreed with specific ports that they will welcome your ships that have positive cases on board for medical assistance ashore?
- Will social distancing rules be applied onboard?
- Will guests be required to wear a mask?
DINE & DRINK
- How will the Main Dining experience change?
- Will Specialty Restaurants be open?
- Will there be any changes to the bars and lounges?
ENTERTAINMENT & SERVICES
- Will guests still be able to enjoy the theatre shows and other activities?
- We are reducing the capacity of the theatre to allow for empty seats between guests
- The entertainment programme will be extended so that all guests can enjoy our award-winning shows
- Shows and activities will be pre-booked to manage the number of participants
- Guests will be required to wear a face mask when in the theatre