MSC CRUISES has begun the new tourist season on the island of Corfu with the portage of “MSC Opera” today. The cruise ship begins the island’s 2020 cruise season two weeks early, according to the report from the Athens News Agency (ANA). The ship sailed to Corfu with a clean bill of health from authorities despite a former passenger having tested positive for COVID-19.
The 66,000 ton MSC Opera set sail for its 11-day cruise from Genoa, Italy, with 1,572 passengers from many different countries on board, and has already docked at the ports of Katakolo, Heraklion, Rhodes, and Piraeus.
Corfu port authorities, in an announcement on Wednesday, pointed out that “there is no suspected incident of coronavirus among the passengers as a thorough examination has been conducted by health authorities and the owner company”. However, Austrian health authorities notified MSC Cruises that a man who’d sailed on MSC Opera Feb. 17-28 had tested positive for coronavirus on March 3.
The Austrian man had returned directly home through northern Italy on Feb. 28 immediately after disembarking from his cruise in Genoa. And, when MSC Opera arrived in Piraeus, Greek health authorities were informed about the case and reviewed the ship’s full medical records as well as the medical and travel history records of the former traveler. Greek authorities gave MSC Opera permission to sail, so the ship proceeded to Corfu.
Opera is the third cruise ship of the Lirica class, capable of carrying 2,679 passengers in 1,071 luxurious cabins.