Geneva, Switzerland – 8th October 2020 – MSC Cruises bolstered its industry leading health and safety credentials by obtaining the Biosafe Ship additional class notation assigned by the classification society RINA to its flagship MSC Grandiosa, which is currently operating in the Mediterranean.
RINA had previously verified that the MSC Cruises health and safety protocol met the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Joint Guidance, which incorporates additional health standards including those from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action. This verification that the protocol is aligned with the guidance of the two key European authorities was a crucial part of the process to enable the August restart of operations in the Mediterranean.
The Biosafe Ship, achieved by the MSC Grandiosa, is a goal-based and voluntary notation that certifies that the ship is equipped with systems, components and has a layout and operational procedures that reduce infection risk.
MSC Grandiosa is currently on her eighth consecutive weekly cruise serving guests from the entire Schengen area. MSC Magnifica is scheduled to welcome back guests starting on 19 October for 10-night cruises across both the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.
For both ships, MSC Cruises has developed comprehensive operating procedures, that build upon already stringent health and safety measures that have long been in place on board the Company’s ships. The new procedures include universal COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew prior to embarkation, protected “social bubble” ashore visits at each destination as added level of protection for guests and the introduction of a COVID Protection Plan for further peace of mind. With all of these measures in place MSC Cruises aims to offer guests the safest possible holiday option.
Having set up a cross-functional task force comprised of in-house experts in the areas of Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation, Hotel Services, HVAC and other Shipboard Engineering Systems, Information Technology and Logistics to achieve this, MSC Cruises also engaged a world-renowned expert consultancy of Aspen Medical to further assist with the development of the Company’s own enhanced protocol and procedures.
In addition, MSC Cruises convened a Blue Ribbon COVID-19 Expert Group to support its work in this space on an ongoing basis. The group includes:
- Professor Christakis Hadjichristodoulou, Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology at the Faculty of Medicine as well as its Vice President, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Greece;
- Professor Stephan J. Harbarth, Hospital Epidemiologist, Infectious Diseases Specialist and Head of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) and Faculty of Medicine;
- Doctor Ian Norton, a Specialist Emergency Physician with post graduate qualifications in Surgery, International Health and Tropical Medicine, currently managing director of Respond Global, formerly the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Medical Team Initiative program from 2014 until January 2020.
MSC Cruises has worked to encompass every aspect of the guest’s journey from the moment of booking to embarkation, life on board and through to the return back home, whilst preserving the uniqueness of the guest experience.
For more information about MSC Magnifica
, MSC Grandiosa
and MSC Cruises’ new health and safety measures, click here and to find out how to book click here