Published on : Thursday, November 26, 2020
MSC Cruises recently received a health and safety certification from the official Japanese maritime classification society, ClassNK. The move is being considered as a major step towards an operational restart of the cruise services in the Japan, scheduled for April 2021. The certification of MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol for Biosafety Management System (COVID-19) now paves the way for the line to open sales in December to local residents for cruises homeporting in Japan.
The country is also planning to start working with ports to prepare for the forthcoming season. Health and safety operating protocols of port authorities in Japan and MSC Cruises will also follow guidelines established by JOPA, the Japan Oceangoing Passenger Ship Association. MSC Bellissima, which was launched in 2019, will be deployed to Japan, homeport in Yokohama to sail six to nine-night cruises in April, May and June 2021.
The cruise is also scheduled to operate in the country during October and November 2021. Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive, MSC Cruises said in a statement the company is extremely pleased to have received the certification and are now confident that Japan operations serving the local market can be restarted by April 2021. Junichi Hirata, General Manager, Innovation and Sustainability Department, ClassNK mentioned that the move is the first important step of a longer-term plan for MSC Cruises to resume Japanese cruise operations in the first half of 2021, and shared that the society will now work closely with the cruise line towards that goal.