Costa Cruises is scheduled to restart sailing in Italy this Sunday, Sept. 6.
Carnival’s Italian brand will be followed by Germany-based AIDA Cruises scheduled to resume on Nov. 1.
The brands will begin in a gradual, phased-in manner with six initial ships and limited itineraries, becoming the first two of Carnival’s nine brands to resume operations.
“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 Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “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.
The initial cruises will take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed with government and health authorities to follow shoreside mitigation guidelines, the company said.
Costa Cruises is restarting sailing with two initial ships departing from Italian ports beginning Sept. 6.
The Costa Deliziosa will offer weekly cruises from Trieste on Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27, visiting five destinations in southern Italy, including Bari and Brindisi in Puglia, Corigliano-Rossano in Calabria, and Siracusa and Catania in Sicily.
The Costa Diadema will follow on Sept. 19 from Genoa, calling at Italian ports in the western Mediterranean, including Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.
The one-week itineraries are being reserved exclusively for Italian guests.
AIDA Cruises will resume its cruise operations with two of its ships, sailing from the Canary Islands in November 2020, followed by an additional two ships departing from the western Mediterranean and United Arab Emirates beginning in December 2020.
The first of the brand’s cruises is set to begin Nov. 1, with seven-day voyages to and departures from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with AIDAmar, followed by sailings from Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife with AIDAperla on Nov. 7. In December, AIDA Cruises will resume sailing operations in the Western Mediterranean with AIDAstella departing on seven-day cruises from Palma, Mallorca, beginning Dec. 12. Additionally, AIDAprima will offer seven-day cruises from Dubai starting Dec. 11 and from Abu Dhabi beginning Dec. 15.
In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises have developed a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols to help facilitate a safe, healthy return to cruise vacations, according to a press release.
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“We will continue to have a buffet at Royal Caribbean,” commented Linken D’Souza, vice president of food and beverage operations, on a recent webinar aimed at travel agents.
The company’s iconic Windjammer venue, however, could look a bit different across the 26-ship Royal Caribbean International fleet.
Scenarios, said D’Souza, range from employee service to individual portions to individual (i.e.disposable) tongs, among many options.
When Ponant resumes service, the company will be benefiting from Bureau Veritas’ (BV) ‘Restart your Business’ suite of solutions and the ‘Safeguard’ label developed for passenger ships.
BV said it has been working with Ponant and its fleet of 11 ships, combining state-of-the-art technology and respect for the environment, to implement effective infection prevention measures.
Restart your Business with BV for passenger ships meets the specific requirements of this market addressing biological risks, as posed by COVID-19 and other infections, BV said in a prepared statement. The program provides procedures and measures to protect passengers, company personnel, and other stakeholders as operations are resumed, helping ensure that appropriate health and safety standards are put in place.
UnCruise Adventures has confirmed that its 2020 Alaska sailings will start on August 1.
“As one of the first companies to restart service, this is a pivotal moment for the travel industry and Alaska,” said UnCruise Adventures Owner and CEO Dan Blanchard (pictured). “These initial departures represent a re-framing of what adventure travelers are increasingly looking for, small groups, inclusion, and human connection.”
The initial Alaska sailing will take guests roundtrip from Juneau to Juneau on its seven-night Glacier Bay National Park Adventure with an enhanced wilderness itinerary.
Virgin has unveiled some new health protocols. View more info here.
Key pillars of the Voyage Well Plan include:
● Rapid and effective COVID-19 testing for all Sailors and Crew prior to embarking.
● Post-voyage notification process through which Sailors and Crew can report on becoming unwell within 14 days of leaving the shi* (through an ethical health tracking app).
● Advanced pre-boarding health checks and screenings for both our Crew and Sailors.
● Thermal Camera technology in terminals and on board to monitor our Crew and Sailors’ temperatures.
● Fair and flexible booking policies — from moving the final payment dates to 60 days (from 120 days) before sailing, ability to cancel up to 48 hours before and receive a 100% Future Voyage Credit for sailings through December 16th, 2020.
● Implementing best practices around sanitation, physical distancing, limited occupancy, and health checks for everyone onboard.
● Installing the latest technology from AtmosAir Solutions — an air purification system that disinfects air on board. Leveraging bi-polar Ionization technology that has been shown to kill 99.9% of viruses.
● Managing overall ship occupancy so appropriate physical distancing is possible across all public spaces.
● Leveraging digital onboard technology to limit contact; The Band (for contactless payment), Service Chat (for assistance digitally) and Virtual Queues (for getting in lines for onboard experiences without actually getting in physical lines).
● As has always been a part of the Virgin Voyages experience since first introducing the brand, there will be no communal food sharing, buffets or large dining halls, allowing for hygienic service of fresh food.