(10 a.m. EDT) -- MSC Magnifica became the second MSC Cruises ship to restart sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, departing yesterday from Genoa, Italy.
The ship set sail on a 10-night cruise with calls at Livorno for visits to Florence and Pisa, Messina in Sicily, Piraeus for Athens, Katakolon for Olympia, Valletta in Malta, and Civitavecchia for Rome, before returning to Genoa.
MSC Magnifica will operate six Mediterranean cruises before the end of the year, including an eight-night Christmas voyage that will depart December 18 from Genoa.
Like its sister ship, Magnifica has implemented a comprehensive health and safety protocol, which has been endorsed by external medical experts and formally approved by the relevant national and regional authorities.
The measures include pre-boarding COVID-19 testing for passengers and crew; significantly reduced capacity, enhanced 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. In this initial phase, the ship's capacity has also been reduced to 70 per cent to ensure social distancing can be guaranteed on board.
The line has also pioneered protected "social bubble" shore visits for passengers.
MSC Magnifica is currently only open to residents of Schengen countries.
The 3,223-passenger ship has four restaurants and 11 bars, a swimming pool with a sliding roof magrodome, theatre, casino, nightclub and a 4D cinema.