MSC Cruises announced on 29 March 2021 it will deploy its latest flagship for British guests to enjoy safe summer sailings around the UK.

MSC Virtuosa will make her maiden voyage on 20 May with guests on board from Southampton as the first of a series of three- and four-night mini-cruises before she begins seven-night cruises from 12 June with three embarkation ports in England and Scotland.

All voyages will be for British residents only and for guests of all ages who are either waiting for a Covid-19 vaccine or who have already been vaccinated.

All guests will be tested before they embark the ship and non-vaccinated guests will also be required to show proof of a negative test conducted up to 72 hours prior to embarkation.

Other pre-boarding and onboard measures will also apply to both guests and crew, in line with MSC Cruises’ industry-leading health and safety protocol.

The range of four-night mini-cruises will offer a late sail from Southampton and will provide the ultimate short getaway for couples or friends in search of a quick escape.

The ship will call at the Isle of Portland in Dorset, part of the Jurassic Coast, where guests will be able to go ashore to enjoy a day out at the beach. The itinerary will also include two days at sea so that guests can enjoy the facilities that MSC Virtuosa has to offer.

From 12 June, holidaymakers can join seven-night sailings that will include stops in Portland and Belfast in Northern Ireland and offer multiple ports of embarkation including Liverpool and Greenock, close to Glasgow in Scotland.

MSC Virtuosa was delivered in February and is one of MSC Cruises’ most innovative and environmentally-advanced ships and part of the generation of Meraviglia class vessels that are characterised by a 112m-long promenade with an LED sky dome as the social heart of the ship.

The 19-deck vessel will offer its British guests of all ages the very best of fine dining restaurants, world-class entertainment, relaxing bars and lounges, boutique shopping, spa and fitness centres, an aquapark and clubs for toddlers to teenagers.