While U.S. travelers await their turn to cruise again, it is reassuring to to see European cruising in the Mediterreanean be so successful, including sailings by MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises. For its part, MSC Cruises is taking yet another step toward even safer cruisig by installing a new sanitation system called "Safe Air" to further improve the quality and cleanliness of the onboard air for its guests and crew. "Safe Air" will be fitted on MSC Seashore, currently under construction at shipbuilder Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard. MSC Seashore is set to be delivered in July 2021 as the first of two "Seaside Evo" Class ships.
The "Safe Air" next-generation sanitation system is based on UV-C ultraviolet lamp technology applied in combination with the ship's air conditioning system, radiating air flow at the source with short wavelength light that neutralizes organic particles while preventing the circulation of air pollutants such as viruses, bacteria and mold. The "Safe Air" sanitation system was developed by Fincantieri's designers and technicians and the virology laboratory of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, a leading global research institute headquartered in Trieste, Italy. The Institute provides businesses with scientific support to develop innovative technological solutions for the control of virus infections, which is particularly relevant today given the current global pandemic.
MSC Cruises' response to the health challenges faced by the worldwide travel and tourism sector has been in operation since Aug. 16 when MSC Grandiosa resumed seven-night sailings in the West Mediterranean. She has successfully completed nine voyages with more than 16,000 guests and has been joined by MSC Magnifica, sailing longer 10-night cruises in the West and East Mediterranean.
All guests go through three health screenings before boarding a ship, including a temperature check, a review of a personal health questionnaire and a COVID-19 antigen swab test. Crew are tested up to three times before being permitted to start their work. Other aspects of the health and safety protocol cover elevated sanitation and cleaning, protected "bubble" shore excursions, facemasks and maintaining social distancing, enhanced onboard medical facilities, daily health monitoring and a robust contingency plan. The protocol was designed by MSC Cruises' in-house specialists in medical services, public health and sanitation, hotel services, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, other shipboard engineering systems, information technology and logistics.
MSC Seashore will also feature some of the latest technologies and solutions available to reduce her environmental footprint. These notably include a state-of-the-art selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system and a next-generation advanced wastewater treatment (AWT) system. SCR reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent through advanced active emissions control technology and AWT systems take wastewater through a comprehensive process of purification and very fine filtration that transforms it into nearly tap-water quality. MSC Seashore will also be fitted with shore-to-ship power capabilities that allow the vessel to connect to local power grids while at berth, further reducing air emissions. For more information, visit www.msc.com.
SOURCE: Insider Travel Report, Alan Fine (Oct. 23, 2020); Photo Credit: MSC Cruises
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