(7:20 a.m. EST) -- MSC Cruises will deploy MSC Seaside in Europe for the first time since the ship's launch in 2017, to sail Mediterranean itineraries starting May 1.
The 4,132-passenger ship will join MSC's flagship, MSC Grandiosa, which has been sailing around Italy for Schengen citizens on and off (there was a pause over December since August last year, with new health and safety protocols.
MSC Seaside will be offering a new itinerary -- a seven-night cruise calling at Genoa, Valetta in Malta and Civitavecchia with two first time ports of call -- Siracusa in Sicily and Taranto in Puglia.
MSC Seaside will also be fully fitted with new health and safety protocols including universal testing at embarkation as well as mid-cruise, weekly testing of crew, social distancing, the wearing of masks in public areas, only protected shore excursions as well as enhanced deep sanitation and ongoing cleaning procedures.
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MSC Grandiosa's current itinerary will be extended through to the end of May with the ship calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo as well as Valetta in Malta.
MSC Grandiosa has been sailing at around half capacity since last summer and has carried more than 40,000 passengers without a significant outbreak.
MSC Seaside and MSC Grandiosa itineraries are currently available to residents from Schengen countries and Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania.
MSC Cruises today also updated the itineraries for the start of its summer season as a result of the delay in the return to availability of certain ports across Europe and is cancelling all other itineraries in the West Mediterranean for April and May, with cruises there resuming from June as planned.
Similarly, in the East Mediterranean cruises are cancelled for April, with cruises resuming from May as planned. In Northern Europe, all itineraries are cancelled in April.
MSC Magnifica's May sailings for UK & Irish passengers from Southampton are not included.
In the Caribbean all itineraries are cancelled through to 31 May.