MSC Virtuosa will sail its inaugural season from Southampton beginning May 20, it was announced this morning, March 29. MSC Cruises’ newest flagship will replace MSC Magnifica in a series of six four-night mini-cruises from Southampton that will include a stop in Portland, along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.
There will follow a series of seven-night sailings from Southampton beginning June 12 that will also include embarkation in Belfast and Greenock.
The sailings are available to UK residents only, both vaccinated and unvaccinated at the present time. Sales open for these cruises on Thursday, 1 April.
Antonio Paradiso, Managing Director MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said the company was “overwhelmed” by the response to its initial offering of UK cruises.
He also added: “[MSC Virtuosa] 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.”
“These special sailings not only represent a step towards the restart of the cruise industry in a safe and secure manner but also that of the local economies. Bringing a new ship to the different regional ports will enable our guests to discover the best of the UK this summer, showcasing different British ports around the country.”
Guests will have to have provide evidence of ‘Covid-specific’ travel insurance before embarkation; non-vaccinated guests will need proof of a negative PCR test.
MSC Virtuosa was previously scheduled to serve itineraries in Northern Europe out of Germany, she will be replaced by MSC Seaview. Booked guests and travel agents will be contacted directly, while guests who have bookings on MSC Magnifica will be able to transfer their cruise to MSC Virtuosa.