MSC Opera won't be arriving in South Africa this 2020/2021 cruise season.
MSC Cruises said in a statement that MSC Opera was scheduled to sail shortly from her base in Europe to South Africa.
However, with many ports closed as a result of the pandemic ashore for her long journey south to Durban and local travel restrictions in some countries along the way, the voyage was cancelled, which in turn has contributed to its decision to cancel the ship’s scheduled sailing programme in the local 2020/21 season.
The company said in a statement: "We are genuinely sorry for this most unfortunate situation and would like to extend our gratitude to our guests booked on the cruises for their understanding."
Those who booked on MSC Opera will receive a voucher for the value of their cruise package. The voucher is redeemable for the proposed coming season on MSC Orchestra or for the 2021/22 season. The future cruise credit can be used for any sailing departing on or before December 31, 2021. Guests will also receive a shipboard credit of $50 (R812.45) per cabin to be used on their next cruise.
Ross Volk, Managing Director, MSC Cruises South Africa, said the company will continue to work with the South African government and all other relevant authorities, ports and destinations.
"We want to demonstrate that our new health and safety protocol can ensure that future guests can enjoy a safe and relaxing cruise holiday when we are able, subject to approval, to resume our operations in the coming season with MSC Orchestra," he said.