One thing's for sure. Cruising is back and it's here to stay. After what seemed like a rocky restart for some smaller cruise ships, it appears large cruise lines have had the recipe for success so far in a COVID-19 world.
Costa is officially the first large cruise line to have 2 ships back in operation after the global suspension of cruising back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this week MSC also made headlines by completing its 5th successful cruise without a single case of COVID-19 onboard.
Carnival Corporation owned Costa Cruises originally resumed operations on September 6th in Italy.
The Costa Deliziosa which has a maximum capacity of 2828 passengers sailed from the Italian city of Trieste, Italy as Costa became the second large cruise line to officially resume operations.
As of yesterday Costa became the first large cruise line to relaunch the operations of a second ship with the Costa Diadema departing from the Italian port city of Genoa.
The ship will make six ports stops in the Western Mediterranean including:
- La Spezia
Originally the ship was scheduled to visit Greece but the itinerary was changed to only visit Italian ports.
Costa Cruises have only been open to Italian tourists so far while MSC cruises are open to all nationals of Schengen countries.
Starting September 27th, Costa Cruises will be available for all European citizens who are residents in any of the countries listed in the most recent decree from the Prime Minister of Italy.
“Genoa welcomes with great joy the departure of the first Costa Cruises ship from Liguria. Costa Diadema's journey in the western Mediterranean represents a tangible sign of recovery of one of the fundamental supply chains for the economy of our city. Once again, Genoa will be the home port of many Costa calls, bringing new tourists to discover our city. The future has yet to be written, but I'm sure we will come back even stronger than before,” said Mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci.
Costa Cruises has implemented strict health protocols for the restart of operations including:
- Mandatory PCR swab tests
- Health screenings
- Temperature checks
- Organized shore excursions only
“At last Costa’s cruises are back in Genoa and Liguria, which has been our home for over 70 years. We’re setting sail again gradually and responsibly, with safety protocols that are unrivalled in the tourism industry. The initial response from our guests has been most encouraging,” said Group CEO, Costa Group & Carnival Asia, Michael Thamm.
Carnival Corporation owned AIDA cruises is also scheduled to resume operations on November 1st.
The German cruise line announced that it would relaunch from the Canary Islands starting with two ships.
The CEO of Carnival Corporation, Arnold Donald, gave a statement regarding the relaunch of the two cruise lines in a recent press release:
“Our highest responsibilities and top priorities are always compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the communities we visit and our crew,” said Donald.
“We are engaged with a large number of medical experts and scientists around the world, and they are providing us with extremely valuable insight that we are using to develop new and enhanced protocols that are in the best interest of our guests, crew and overall public health. In areas of the world where community spread is largely mitigated and authorities are supportive of a gradual return to service over time, we look forward to again welcoming guests on board,” Donald concluded.