The time is nigh: Costa Cruises plans to sail again starting this weekend.
Costa and its Carnival Corp. sibling AIDA Cruises plan to resume sailing in phases – Costa starting Sept. 6 and the German AIDA Cruises on Nov. 1.
The two brands will begin in a gradual manner with six ships and limited itineraries initially. The cruises will reduce passenger capacity and follow enhanced health protocols to stem the spread of COVID-19. All Costa guests will undergo health screenings, including temperature and swab tests, and must take Costa-approved shore excursions on land.
Costa is restarting with two ships departing from Trieste and Genoa, Italy, carrying only Italian passengers. While the cruises originally were scheduled to call at Greek ports, these voyages will only visit Italian destinations.
Costa Deliziosa will offer weekly cruises from Trieste on Sept. 6, Sept. 13, Sept. 20 and Sept. 27, visiting five destinations in Southern Italy, including Bari and Brindisi in Puglia, Corigliano-Rossano in Calabria and Siracusa and Catania in Sicily.
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.
Although it initially had announced departures from German ports, AIDA Cruises now plans to resume its operations Nov. 1 with two ships sailing from the Canary Islands, followed by an additional two ships departing from the Western Mediterranean and United Arab Emirates beginning in December 2020.
The AIDAmar is scheduled to launch seven-day voyages from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, on Nov. 1, followed by sailings from Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife on AIDAperla on Nov. 7.
Then, the AIDAstella will begin seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Palma, Mallorca, beginning Dec. 12, while AIDAprima will offer seven-day cruises from Dubai starting Dec. 11 and from Abu Dhabi beginning Dec. 15.
Costa and AIDA have developed a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols. All guests will undergo a health screening at the boarding terminal, which includes body temperature control and a COVID-19 diagnostic test with a swab. For more information on the Costa Safety Protocol, click here.
“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,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp. “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.”
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