MSC Virtuosa to sail from UK with no vaccine requirement

Mar 29, 2021

MSC Cruises announced the return to UK shores with the newest ship in the fleet, MSC Virtuosa departing from Southampton for the first time on May 20. The MSC Virtuosa will make its UK debut instead of the MSC Magnifica, as previously announced by the company. According to MSC Cruises, there will be no compulsory vaccination for the cruises, which only British passengers are allowed to sail.

While other cruise companies will start UK cruises from June and July, with strict vaccination requirements MSC will set sail as early as May 20, and continue with the more stringent Covid-19 test model which has been proven successful with cruises from Italy. All passengers are subjected to an antigen test before embarkation, passengers who have not been vaccinated additionally require a PCR test with a negative result. In addition, MSC Cruises requires all passengers to have Covid-19 insurance. All voyages will welcome families and guests of all ages for both non-vaccinated and vaccinated British guests.

“Following our recent announcement that we intend to offer cruises in the UK we have been overwhelmed by the response from MSC Cruises customers and avid cruisers eager to get back on board and experience a cruise with us this summer. I am personally very proud to be able to bring our newest ship MSC Virtuosa to the UK so that our valued British guests are the first to officially come on board and the first to experience this incredible next generation ship. She is the latest, most-innovative and environmentally advanced to join the MSC Cruises fleet and we couldn’t be more delighted to offer UK holidaymakers and their families the chance to discover her world class facilities. We have all been waiting for something exciting to look forward to and this ship has lots of new features for our guests to experience including new speciality restaurants and a brand-new immersive entertainment lounge with a humanoid robotic bartender and much more.” Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said:

Rebekah Keeler, Head of Cruise for ABP Southampton said, “We are really excited to be welcoming MSC Virtuosa to the Port of Southampton for her range of summer sailings. We are proud to be the departure port for MSC Virtuosa’s inaugural sail and are sure that she will be a popular choice for cruise passengers as we welcome MSC Cruises back to the port this summer.”

MSC Virtuosa will initially operate six mini-cruises from the new cruise terminal in Southampton and will include a stop in Portland. These will be followed by a series of seven-night sailings providing embarkation also in the ports of Liverpool and Greenock, giving holidaymakers across the UK the option to easily escape on holiday with minimal travel.

The range of four-night mini-cruises will offer a late sail from Southampton and will provide the ultimate short getaway for couples or friends in search of a quick escape. The ship will call at the Isle of Portland in Dorset, part of the Jurassic Coast, where guests will be able to go ashore to enjoy the perfect day out at the beach. The itinerary will also include two days at sea so that guests can enjoy the incredible array of facilities that MSC Virtuosa has to offer. 

From June 12th, holidaymakers can join seven-night sailings that will include stops in Portland and the cultural city of Belfast and offer multiple ports of embarkation including Liverpool and Greenock, close to Glasgow.