MSC Cruises will resume regular sailing to The Bahamas beginning next month, following the successful completion of a simulated cruise for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It would be the second cruise company to officially begin sailing to The Bahamas from US ports since the COVID-19 pandemic docked cruise ships more than 16 months ago.
The simulated three-night cruise from Port Miami to the Port of Nassau and then MSC’s private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve included volunteer passengers.
President of MSC Cruises USA Rubén Rodríguez said the successful simulated sail was a milestone for the cruise company.
“We are getting closer to bringing our guests back to sea from the US and come August 2, they will finally have the opportunity to again enjoy everything they know and love about our rich experience, with gourmet dining, world-class entertainment and immersive experiences onboard,” he said.
“With Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve still new to many of our guests, they can also now step onto our natural paradise when cruising The Bahamas, spending the day and evening enjoying activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling and more.”
Royal Caribbean International began home port cruises from New Providence last month before expanding to sailings from US ports. Soon after, Crystal Cruises began its home porting from The Bahamas.
Although these ships are sailing at reduced occupancy, tourism officials have said they expect the cruise passengers – who typically make up the majority of annual visitors to The Bahamas – to generate an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 cruise visits into The Bahamas in 2021 and spend approximately $50 million during their stay in the country.
The MSC Meraviglia is expected to resume sailing from the US on August 2 for three- and four-night cruises to The Bahamas, before expanding to seven-night cruises to The Bahamas and the Caribbean on September 18.