HealtH & Safety MEASURES 

The MSC Cruises family of guests and crew is at the centre of everything we do, and your health and safety are of utmost importance to us.

From the moment you start planning to when you return home, we are thoroughly assessing every step of the way to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable experience on your next cruise with us.


We are working together with leading international experts in the fields of Medicine, Public Health and related scientific disciplines to develop and validate our health and safety measures. Read more about our blue-ribbon panel by clicking here.


Our new operating procedures are designed to meet and exceed guidelines provided by national and international health authorities and we continue to monitor the situation in order to adapt them if required. Any updates to these measures will be posted on this website.





Click here to download our current Health & Safety factsheet for more details

As you travel or cruise with us, we invite you to follow
the World Health Organization recommendations:

meet our group of experts

The enhanced health and safety measures 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.


To find out more about our group of experts, click here.


We prepared a list of Frequent Asked Quesions (FAQ) to quickly get answers to you for the most common questions


- Are there any travel restrictions under the new protocol, such as past medical history, current health status, age or nationality?

All guests must be healthy and physically fit for travel. Health and safety is our number one priority, and we advise our guests to seek medical advice before travelling if they are part of a higher risk group.
The current advice from the World Health Organization, EU Healthy Gateways and other authorities is that COVID-19 is often more severe in people who are older or who have health conditions like lung or heart disease, diabetes or conditions that affect their immune system. Older guests or those with such conditions are advised to consult with a doctor or their local health authorities for guidance before travelling to assess whether they should be travelling at this time. According to the EU Healthy Gateways advisory, anyone over 65 years of age is considered part of a higher risk group.

- Are there any travel restrictions for certain nationalities or countries of residence that may prevent guests from being allowed on board?

For MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica sailings (starting in Summer 2020), we will initially only welcome guests who are residents in the 26 European ‘Schengen’ countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). 

Moreover, any guest travelling from any of the countries that are deemed ‘high risk’ by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will need to take an RT-PCR swab test within 72 hours prior to the ship’s departure. The test results will need to be presented at the terminal prior to embarkation.

We are closely monitoring the global health situation, and in case of changes to current travel requirements, we will update our booking conditions and inform our guests with existing reservations in a timely fashion. Additional travel restrictions for certain nationalities or even particular regions in a country may arise based on the COVID-19 situation. If conditions change over time, we will of course inform concerned guests.

- Will future cruises be just for members of the same family or household? Will groups of friends be allowed on board as well?

In line with regulations ashore, we can welcome groups of friends on board as well as families, travelling together as a “social bubble”. Guests are invited to confirm at the time of booking any family members or friends that they will be travelling with (if not included in the same reservation) so we can make seating dining arrangements once onboard. 


- Do guests need to provide any medical documents to show that they are COVID-19 negative at embarkation/disembarkation?

Before boarding, all guests must complete a health questionnaire and report any symptoms of illness or potential exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to embarkation. 

Please note that all guests (ages 5 years and above) embarking on MSC Orchestra South African departures, will need to take an Antigen test within 48 hours prior to the ship’s departure. The test results certificate must be printed in two copies and presented at the terminal in order to embark on the ship.

- What will happen if embarkation is denied to a guest for health reasons?

If a guest presents symptoms of illness such as temperature higher than 37.5°C / 99.5°F or there are concerns with their health questionnaire, they will undertake a secondary screening, including in-depth interview, a second temperature measurement, a medical examination and, if necessary, a laboratory examination.
If a guest is then not considered fit to travel, they will be assisted in their next steps of a return home or will be potentially being treated in a local medical facility to ensure maximum support and care.

- What safety protocols will be implemented on transfers and shuttles?

We are extending our enhanced health and hygiene measures to all MSC transfers, including:

- Cleaning and sanitisation of all vehicles before any new group of guests

- Availability of hand sanitisation stations and disinfectant mats for footwear

- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for all drivers

- Reduced number of guests with selected seats empty to ensure social distancing


- How are you cleaning and sanitising the guest cabins?

According to our enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols, every guest cabin will be thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis, with special attention to 40 frequently-touched areas, such as door handles, power switches, control panels, remote controls, desks and bathroom surfaces.
Every cabin will be deep cleaned at the end of each cruise before the next guests arrive for their holiday.

- How often are you sanitising public areas?

All public areas and public restrooms will be deep cleaned and sprayed with disinfectant each night, as well as regularly sanitised throughout the day.  For example, public toilets will be cleaned every 20 minutes, and all cleaning staff will wear appropriate PPE.

- What measures are you taking for the disembarkation process at the end of a cruise?

To ensure that all guests are disembarked safely and efficiently, we are providing detailed, step-by-step information and allocated time slots.


- What happens if there is a suspected case of COVID-19 on board?

The preventative health and safety steps in the protocol are designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission on board. In the event that someone should fall sick, we have a fully equipped onboard 24/7 Medical Centre with highly qualified medical staff who are fully trained for COVID-19 treatment and who are supported by a 24/7 ashore medical team. 
In case of flu-like symptoms, guests should notify immediately the Medical Centre and free treatment will be provided. If the onboard medical team determines a suspected COVID-19 case, a comprehensive isolation procedure and response plan will be activated in close cooperation with the health authorities.

- Have you agreed with specific ports that they will welcome your ships that have positive cases on board for medical assistance ashore?

Yes. As part of our comprehensive and enhanced health and safety protocol, we have a contingency response plan in place with all the relevant authorities in the ports where the ships will call. 

- Do you have certified COVID-19 tests on board your ships?

We have COVID-19 testing equipment on board for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab testing and serological rapid testing for antibodies.


- Will social distancing rules be applied onboard? 

We have redesigned activities, adapted our services and reduced venue capacity to ensure that our guests can easily adhere to current social distancing recommendations, both onboard and ashore. 
Guests will be reminded of social distancing guidelines at the time of booking and during their cruise through signage, public announcements, in-cabin TV and staff engagement.

- Will guests be required to wear a mask?

Whenever social distancing cannot be met in public places such as in the lifts or the theatre, guests will be asked to wear a face mask.  
Face masks will be available throughout the cruise. We also advise all guests to wear a face mask when travelling to and from the port and in the terminal, in compliance with local regulations.


- How will the Main Dining experience change?

Our main restaurants will continue to serve our guests with a wide array of inspiring dishes and high-quality cuisine. We are modifying the seating layout to enable safe physical distancing, and guests will have the same table and waiter throughout their cruise for extra peace of mind. 
We are elevating our strict food safety protocols by enhancing the cleaning and sanitising of all venues, providing appropriate protective equipment to all servers and increasing the number of hand sanitisation stations at all restaurants.

- Will Specialty Restaurants be open?

Yes, our sought-after Specialty Restaurants will be open while operating at a reduced capacity to comply with the precautionary health and safety measures. Reservations are available at the time of booking to help guests secure spaces and save money compared to onboard prices.

- Will there be any changes to the bars and lounges?

Our bars will be open and ready to serve our guests with their favourite cocktail or aperitif. To ensure we comply with the current social distancing recommendations, our staff will deliver drinks at the table and we will limit the capacity of each venue.


- Will guests still be able to enjoy the theatre shows and other activities? 

Guests will enjoy our onboard award-winning entertainment but with a few changes:

- We are reducing the capacity of the theatre to allow for empty seats between guests
- The entertainment programme will be extended so that all guests can enjoy our award-winning shows
- Shows and activities will be pre-booked to manage the number of participants
- Guests will be required to wear a face mask when in the theatre

- Will the Kids Club be open and what kind of kids’ activities will be available?

Our Kids Club and family activities will welcome kids and parents in a healthy and safe environment while ensuring a fun and enjoyable experience.
New measures include reduced capacity, a streamlined registration process, contactless temperature check and hand sanitiser provided upon entry. We're adding new exciting activities and family game shows that will be available for booking up to one day in advance. Toys and water will be provided by our staff, while we'll keep out personal belongings as an additional safety measure.

- Will you still have Spa and Fitness services available to guests? 

All MSC Aurea Spa and Fitness facilities and services will be available with enhanced health and sanitation measures, extended opening hours and reduced capacity in public spaces.
For their health and comfort, guests will pre-book spa treatments, fitness sessions and thermal area visits by phone.
Fitness machines and equipment, spa areas and treatment rooms will be thoroughly sanitised after each use as well as deep-cleaned and disinfected every night.
All Spa staff have been trained on rigorous health and sanitation measures and will wear appropriate protective equipment.

- Will guests be able to use the casino?

The casino remains fully functional under the new protocol with added sanitation and social distancing measures in place, including frequent sanitising of chips, replacing playing cards on a regular basis and a reduced number of seats at gaming tables.