Meet our group of experts

Meet our group of experts

The enhanced health and safety protocol 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

The group of Experts

Prof. Stephen Harbarth

Prof. Stephen Harbarth

Prof. Stephan Harbarth (1967) received his medical degree at the University of Munich. He completed training in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases in Munich and Geneva, followed by postgraduate training in Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and research activities at Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. In April 2007, he was appointed Associate Physician, working as a Consultant in Infectious Diseases and in the Infection Prevention and Control Department of Geneva University Hospital (HUG). He has published more than 150 original articles and has received several awards from international companies. His research activity currently focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of antibiotic resistant infections. Complementary research interests include the molecular epidemiology of emerging bacteria, pharmaco-epidemiology and improvement of antibiotic use, and rapid diagnosis of severe infections.

​Prof. Christakis Hadjichristodoulou

​Prof. Christakis Hadjichristodoulou

Prof. Christakis Hadjichristodoulou is Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology at the Laboratory of Hygiene & Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Greece since 2013. In 2017 has been Elected Vice-president of the Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly. 
Since 2006, he is also Director of the Laboratory of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly and since 2014 is Scientific Coordinator/Director of the WHO Collaborating Center for the International Health Regulations: points of entry, Laboratory of Hygiene & Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly. 
Since 2018 is the Coordinator of the European Joint Action 04-2017 Preparedness and action at points of entry (ports, airports, ground crossings) (Acronym: Healthy Gateways), and President of the European Scientific Association for Health and Hygiene in Maritime Transport. 
From 2011 has collaborated as expert with the World Health Organization (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland), providing technical advice for management of public health events onboard of ships.
From 2006 to 2008 Prof. Hadjichristodoulou has been the Coordinator of the European project "Assessing the usefulness of an EU ship sanitation programme and coordinated action for the control of communicable diseases in cruise ships and ferries" and Coordinator of European project "Assessing the usefulness of an EU ship sanitation programme and coordinated action for the control of communicable diseases in cruise ships and ferries", at the EUROPEAN COMMISSION - DG SANTE.
Since 2019 he is Founding Member and President European Scientific Association for Health and Hygiene in Maritime Transport (EU SHIPSAN ASSOCIATION).
From 2012 to 2015 he was the Coordinator of the “Integrated surveillance and control program for West Nile virus and malaria in Greece” NSRF 2007-2013.
Dr Ian Norton

Dr Ian Norton

Dr Ian Norton, founder and Managing Director of Respond Global, is a specialist emergency physician and infectious diseases expert with post-graduate qualifications in Surgery, International Health and Tropical Medicine. 
Ian was head of the WHO’s Emergency Medical Team (EMT) initiative in Geneva from 2014 to 2020. During this time, he led responses to Ebola, Diphtheria and Measles outbreaks in various countries. 
Previous to the WHO, Ian led the creation of disaster response teams in Australia and became the Director of Disaster Preparedness and Response at the National Critical Care & Trauma Centre (NCCTRC) in Darwin. 
Ian established Respond Global in early 2020 with the aim of empowering others to be able to plan, prepare and respond to health emergencies in their own countries. He and his team are currently assisting numerous organisations, both nationally and internationally, with their COVID-19 responses, including helping businesses and tourism return to COVID-Safe operations.

Aspen Medical
Aspen Medical

We have also engaged a leading healthcare provider Aspen Medical to further assist with the development of our own enhanced protocol and procedures. Founded in 2003, Aspen Medical is an Australian-owned global provider of healthcare services. 


The company managed elements of the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2015 on behalf of four separate national governments – Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK. Aspen Medical is the only commercial organisation in the world to be certified by the World Health Organization as an Emergency Medical Team for infectious disease outbreaks. Aspen Medical has been central to the Australian Government’s response to COVID-19 having established 150 respiratory clinics, procured PPE for the national stockpile, developed online training platforms, provided surge teams to Aged Care facilities and managed land-based quarantine for Australian citizens returning from overseas that were required to self-isolate for 14-days. Internationally, the company has provided land-based and off-shore quarantine for the cruise industry, managing mobile health facilities in Canada and the US and is providing healthcare staff in the UAE.