Coronavirus – MSC OPERA Passengers ordered to stay onboard – 04.03.2020

MSC OPERA with 2,300 passengers is on high alert after an Austrian passenger who disembarked from the ship on February 28th in Genoa, Italy and back in Austria tested positive for Coronavirus. MSC Cruises was notified yesterday 4th March 2020 by the Austrian Health Authorities that upon arrival back home the male person has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

MSC OPERA was berthed at Piraeus Port, Greece when they received the news and the captain informed all passengers to return immediately back on the cruise ship, cancelling all the excursions.

Passengers received a message saying they had to return to the ship because of a safety issue. But once they all were assembled on board, were informed through the captain’s letter exactly what had happened. There are no passengers or crew members who have reported any flu like symptoms, but additional sanitary measures have been implemented. MSC OPERA is currently sailing as planned and is continuing her scheduled voyage from Piraeus to Corfu.

The following letter signed by Captain Pietro Esposito was sent to guests on board MSC OPERA –

MSC Cruises released the following statement:

“Health Authorities in Austria today informed us that a passenger of Austrian nationality, who had cruised with us on MSC Opera in the East Mediterranean from 17 to 28 February, tested positive yesterday, 3 March, for COVID-19. This passenger returned directly to Austria through northern Italy on 28 February immediately after disembarking from his cruise in Genoa, Italy.

MSC OPERA earlier today arrived in Piraeus, Greece, and we promptly informed the Greek Health Authorities about this reported case and asked for their guidelines. We requested at the same time that passengers, as a precautionary measure, remained on board while awaiting guidance from the local authorities.

We shared with the local health authorities the ship’s full medical records as well as the medical and travel history records of the former Austrian passenger. The Greek health authorities gave MSC OPERA permission around 1300hrs CET to sail from Piraeus, Greece, and continue her journey to her next scheduled port in Corfu, Greece. No additional health measures were required to be taken and the ship is currently sailing as planned.

There are no passengers or crew members currently on board the ship who have reported any flu-like symptoms. The health and safety of our passengers and crew will always remain our top priority.”

All images are of MSC OPERA at Valletta, Malta back to April, 2006.

Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –

Published – Thursday 5th March, 2020