ITINERARY UPDATES 20/03/2020

MSC ORCHESTRA ARRIVES IN DURBAN

 

Durban, South Africa, 20 March 2020 – After receiving permission from the Department of Transport, MSC Orchestra today arrived in the port of Durban as scheduled. All 2,408 passengers disembarked as planned after she returned from a five-day cruise which first set sail on 16 March.

 

MSC Cruises worked in close collaboration with the relevant government authorities to ensure a smooth disembarkation process and all MSC Orchestra passengers are now on their way home.

 

Ross Volk, MD MSC Cruises South Africa, said: “We would like to thank the health and port authorities in Durban today for their assistance as this sailing was the last of the season for MSC Cruises in South Africa. We’d like to further add our gratitude for their help and professionalism in the past few months.” 

 

MSC Orchestra departed Durban on Monday 16 March, after receiving confirmation from all relevant authorities that the port was open and operating as normal. In addition, the vessel was cleared for departure by all relevant port authorities.

 

The vessel remained at sea during her entire cruise as the ship’s only scheduled call along her itinerary, a visit to Pomene in Mozambique, was cancelled. The vessel did not call anywhere before today’s final port of disembarkation in Durban.

 

All 2,408 passengers and 929 crew are in good health. There were no cases of any passenger reporting to the ship’s Medical Centre with any flu-like symptoms during the ship’s time at sea.

 

All passengers were individually screened and medically examined by authorities for COVID-19 as prescribed by Regulation 4, Regulations issued in terms of Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act.

 

MSC Cruises fully complied with all applicable legislation and directives from authorities at the port of Durban.

Passengers were permitted to disembark 100 at a time in order to comply with local regulations that prevent more than 100 people from gathering in a seaport precinct.

 

They all cleared Port Health and Immigration processes and then left the cruise terminal for their onward journeys.

 

MSC Orchestra, with this cruise, officially ends her current season in South Africa.

 

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UPDATE: 17 MARCH 2020


MSC CRUISES ANNOUNCES STOP OF ALL ITS

SOUTH AFRICAN SHIP OPERATIONS

 

South Africa, Johannesburg, 17 March 2020 – In light of the extraordinary circumstances the world is currently facing in connection with the COVID-19 virus and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders and government. MSC Cruises has taken the decision to stop all its remaining South African cruise departures for the 2019/2020 cruise season ending April 2020. The last cruise departed on 16th March 2020 and will return on 20th March 2020.

 

On Sunday, 15 March President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national state of disaster resulting in the closure of the majority of South African ports of entry into the country to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. MSC Cruises’ decision aims to mirror and further support the effectiveness of these efforts and as a result we have no option but to stop all cruises for the remainder of the season.

 

Ross Volk, Managing Director of MSC Cruises South Africa, said: “This is not a decision we took lightly but under the current circumstances, the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities ashore – including our employees and their families – must come first. As a family company with over 300 years of maritime tradition, we felt that this was the right decision to make.”

 

In light of this, customers will receive a voucher for the value of their current 2019/2020 cruise package, which they can redeem in the upcoming local cruise season in 2020/2021. In addition, they will also receive shipboard credit of $50 per cabin to be used on a cruise in the next season.

 

For any other expenses that they may have incurred, such as flights, hotels, transport, etc. they will need to contact their travel insurance company or supplier directly.

 

Due to the above suspension in operations guests booked on the remaining theme cruises as well as the Grand Voyage will receive separate communications to explain the changes relating to these events.

 

Each passenger on the remaining cruises will receive communication in the coming days explaining the voucher. When you are ready to cruise move or redeem your voucher please contact our Customer Care department at customercare@msccruises.co.za or our call center

 

Due to the volume of passengers affected by this announcement we would appreciate your patience and understanding.


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UPDATE: 16 MARCH 2020

STATEMENT MSC CRUISES

SOUTH AFRICAN CRUISE DEPARTURES

 

Dear Guest,

 

We have received clarity from the various government stakeholders regarding port closures. The ports of Durban and Cape Town are open to cruise passengers and crew.

 

In addition, we are seeking clarification on gatherings of 100 people or more being prohibited. However, we know that cinemas, shopping malls and airports are still open. This has been confirmed by the Ministry of Health.

 

As a result of the above clarifications the cruise season is continuing as planned. We appreciate the severity of the situation and the request of the President to limit travel. In light of this, passengers have the option to move their current 2019/2020 cruise within 48 (forty-eight) hours of the initial cruise departure. Passengers who do not wish to travel will be provided with a voucher to the value of their current cruise for use in the upcoming local cruise season in 2020/2021. Guests will also receive an additional $50 on board credit per cabin to be used on a cruise in the next season.

 

Listed below are the extensive measures taken since early February to ensure the safety of all guests and crew. The travel bans for guests from high risk countries has been updated and included below:

 

  • Guests and crew from all nationalities are required to fill out a pre-embarkation questionnaire. Any guest that has travelled to, from or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Europe, South Korea, United States, UK, Canada and Iran, or visited or transiteded via these airports, will be denied access to the ship. The same rules will apply to the guests travel companions (including a parent, spouse, child, sibling, or any companion who will share a cabin).

     

  • Mandatory non-touch thermal scans will be conducted for all guests and crew prior to embarkation for every cruise operated by MSC Cruises globally. Passengers with signs or symptoms of the illness such as fever (≥38 C°/100.4 F°) or feverishness, chills, cough or a difficulty with breathing will be denied embarkation. The same rules apply to their travel companions, as above.

     

  • Any guest who, within 14 (fourteen) days before embarkation, has had close contact with or helped care for anyone suspected or diagnosed as having coronavirus, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to coronavirus, will be denied boarding.

     

  • Elevated deep-sanitation will be carried out on every ship in the line’s entire global fleet.

     

  • If guests develop fever symptoms once on board, they will be isolated in their cabin and the same measure applies for their travel companions and close contacts on-board, including guests staying in the same cabin and family members, as well as any crew member who may have had contact with these guests.

     

  • Any guest on board is able to have their temperature checked at the Medical Centre should they have any concerns in this regard.

 

Please be advised that the above actions are being carried out purely as a preventative measure.

 

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, MSC Cruises has been closely monitoring the public health and safety situation in each of the regions in which its ships sail. We have been continuously consulting with both international and local health authorities in order implement the necessary recommendations and measures.

 

The safety of our passengers is of paramount importance. MSC Cruises undertakes to keep you informed of any further developments from relevant authorities and the port of Durban and if any changes are made to your cruise, this will be communicated with you.

 

Should you wish to cruise move please contact our Customer Care department at customercare@msccruises.co.za 

 

 

 

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UPDATE: 15 MARCH 2020

STATEMENT MSC CRUISES

SOUTH AFRICAN CRUISE DEPARTURES

Dear Guest,

 

With regards to the cruise commencing tomorrow, at present the port of Durban is open and the cruise is scheduled to carry on as planned.

 

With regard to the potential closure of sea ports. We have been in contact with the Port Authority seeking clarification, they have however indicated that they have not been informed that it is Durban or Cape Town.

 

We have requested to be notified as soon as clarification has been made and we will take guidance from the relevant authorities in South Africa.

 

In line with the Presidents statement around international travelling the following has been in place prior to embarkation since the middle of February, this is applicable to both guests and crew:

 

  • Guests and crew from all nationalities are required to fill out a pre-embarkation questionnaire. Any guest that has travelled to, from or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Europe, South Korea, United States, UK, Canada and Iran, or visited or transiteded via these airports, will be denied access to the ship. The same rules will apply to the guests travel companions (including a parent, spouse, child, sibling, or any companion who will share a cabin).

     

  • Mandatory non-touch thermal scans will be conducted for all guests and crew prior to embarkation for every cruise operated by MSC Cruises globally. Passengers with signs or symptoms of the illness such as fever (≥38 C°/100.4 F°) or feverishness, chills, cough or a difficulty with breathing will be denied embarkation. The same rules apply to their travel companions, as above.

     

  • Any guest who, within 14 (fourteen) days before embarkation, has had close contact with or helped care for anyone suspected or diagnosed as having coronavirus, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to coronavirus, will be denied boarding.

     

  • Elevated deep-sanitation will be carried out on every ship in the line’s entire global fleet.

     

  • If guests develop fever symptoms once on board, they will be isolated in their cabin and the same measure applies for their travel companions and close contacts on-board, including guests staying in the same cabin and family members, as well as any crew member who may have had contact with these guests.

     

  • Any guest on board is able to have their temperature checked at the Medical Centre should they have any concerns in this regard.

 

Please be advised that the above actions are being carried out purely as a preventative measure.

 

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, MSC Cruises has been closely monitoring the public health and safety situation in each of the regions in which its ships sail. We have been continuously consulting with both international and local health authorities in order implement the necessary recommendations and measures.

 

The safety of our passengers is of paramount importance. MSC Cruises undertakes to keep you informed of any further developments from relevant authorities and the port of Durban and if any changes are made to your cruise, this will be communicated with you.

 

 

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14 MARCH 2020

MSC CRUISES ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY STOP OF ALL ITS U.S.-BASED SHIP OPERATIONS UNTIL APRIL 30

Today’s decision follows suspension of MSC Cruises operations in other regions

 

South Africa, Johannesburg, 14 March 2020 – In light of the extraordinary circumstances the world is currently facing in connection with the COVID-19 virus, MSC Cruises has taken the difficult decision to temporary stop all its U.S.-based new cruises embarkations for 45 days until 30 April.

As the COVID-19 situation is now a global pandemic, governments across the globe are continuously reviewing ashore public health and safety measures to protect local populations and limit the further spread of the virus. MSC Cruises’ decision aims to mirror and further support the effectiveness of such efforts.

 

Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, said: “This is not a decision we took lightly but under the current circumstances, the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities ashore – including our employees and their families – must come first. As a family company with over 300 years of maritime tradition, we felt that this was the right decision to make.”

 

However, South Africa will continue as scheduled until the end of the cruise season in April or until notified otherwise.

 

We are continuing to interact with international and local authorities and will consult with the Minister of Health should the conditions change in South Africa. 

 

In 2019, MSC Cruises hosted nearly 3 million guests on board its ships deployed across five continents, representing over 170 nationalities. International passengers will be contacted by MSC Cruises to discuss any interruptions as a result of international cancellations.

 

For additional details guests should contact their travel advisor or consult MSC Cruises Call Centre.

 

 

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