MSC has announced the MSC Magnifica will set sail on October 19th following the restart of MSC Grandiosa – with a new, longer itinerary to visit more destinations.

Although this is the second time MSC Magnifica’s restart date has been changed, the cruise line is softening the blow by announcing a new itinerary which covers both the West and East Mediterranean and will see the ship homeport in Genoa.

The new programme includes a series of seven cruises with calls at Livorno for Florence and Pisa, Messina in Sicily, Valletta in Malta, Piraeus for Athens and Katakolon for Olympia in Greece and Civitavecchia for Rome, before returning to Genoa.

It also includes a Christmas cruise to depart Genoa, Italy on 20 December, 2020.

The itinerary change is orientated toward longer cruises to appeal to passengers who typically cruise during the Autumn and Winter months, who have more time available and are looking for a longer alternative to the 7-night cruises, MSC has said.

MSC has also extended the itinerary of the first ship in their fleet to sail, MSC Grandiosa, to the end of this year. She is now on her fourth consecutive 7-night cruise in the Western Mediterranean, with no cases of COVID-19 aboard and rules strictly imposed.

The MSC Cruises flagship resumed sailing in August following the approval of the company’s new health and safety operating protocol by national and local authorities in Italy, Greece and Malta.

New protocol will see universal screening of each passenger and crew member before they are allowed to board a ship, elevated sanitation and cleaning measures throughout the vessel, managed social distancing, wearing of face masks in public areas and technology to aid track and trace on board.

All shore excursions see guests contained in a ‘social bubble’ to protect their wellbeing and the communities they are visiting.

As a result of the new programme changes, MSC Magnifica’s four proposed seven-night cruises from Bari, Italy between 26 September to 24 October have been cancelled.

Guests affected by the cancelled cruises will either be moved onto another cruise in particular on MSC Grandiosa, or will receive a future cruise credit valid until the end of 2021.