MSC restarts its SA cruises next week – and all passengers must now be fully vaccinated

The MSC Orchestra is due to embark on a 5-day voyage on Monday after a prolonged absence from South African shores.

MSC Cruises previously said it would welcome both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests on board but has now changed its tune.

South Africa’s summer cruise season hangs in the balance. With the recent discovery of the highly mutated Omicron variant and a sudden surge in Covid-19 infections hastening the fourth wave, an anticipated move to a higher level of lockdown could leave cruise lines high and dry.

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Source: Business Insider, South Africa

The first passenger ship to return to South Africa since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Europa, docked in Cape Town on Tuesday. What was meant to signal a joyous restart for the industry, fit with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, was overshadowed by Omicron and mounting international travel bans imposed on South Africa.