The new 181,541gt cruise ship MSC Virtuosa made her maiden arrival at Southampton on 12 May 2021 ready to welcome guests as cruising restarts in the UK.

MSC Virtuosa will embark on her maiden voyage around the British Isles on 20 May 2021 sailing from Southampton.

Antonio Paradiso, UK Managing Director said:

“The arrival of our flagship MSC Virtuosa into Southampton today is an exciting moment, as we prepare to welcome UK guests back on board from 20 May for her inaugural season around the British Isles.

“We are proud to be the first cruise line to set sail from UK waters this summer and offer holidaymakers the chance to experience all of the new and incredible features on board our latest and most innovative ship. ”

MSC Virtuosa is one of MSC Cruises’ most innovative and environmentally advanced ships.

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

The ship’s main feature is the 112m promenade with an LED sky dome, the social heart and hub of the ship.

MSC Virtuosa was originally scheduled to be delivered in October 2020 and sail her maiden voyage on 8 November 2020 from Genoa.

However, due to the Covid pandemic, delays at the shipyard slowed the ship’s construction and her delivery to MSC Cruises.

She was delivered on 1 February 2021 with a traditional flag ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard.

She will re-position to Dubai in autumn 2021, where she will be based throughout the winter, sailing seven-day itineraries in the Persian Gulf to the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

MSC Virtuosa’s homeport for the summer will be ABP Southampton, with whom MSC Cruises recently announced a long-term partnership.

The ship will initially set sail from City Cruise Terminal, before moving to embark guests from the newly-named Horizon terminal once it has opened.

MSC Virtuosa is a Meraviglia Plus class cruise ship, and is the second ship in the class following sistership MSC Grandiosa.

MSC Virtuosa will become the third MSC Cruises ship back at sea when she departs for her maiden voyage on May 20, joining two ships already operating in the Mediterranean: MSC Seaside welcomed guests back on board last week, and MSC Grandiosa has been sailing in the Mediterranean since August 2020.

All ships operate under the same industry-leading health and safety protocol, including universal testing upon embarkation, which has been developed with a Blue Ribbon Panel of experts.

 

Photo by Chris Brooks