AIDA Cruises, Germany’s largest cruise line and a wholly-owned subsidy Carnival’s German subsidiary AIDA to resume cruising in Augustiary of Carnival Corporation today announced it will resume cruising in August 2020.
Following an industry-wide shut down in operations in mid-March, three of its ships will resume sailing next month. The 4,350 passenger AIDAperla will be the first to set sail on August 5 from Hamburg, followed by the Sphinx Class AIDAmar, with a capacity of 2,686 passengers, from Rostock-Warnemünde on August 12 and the 2,192 passenger, Sphinx class AIDAblu from Kiel on August 16. Bookings commence today, July 9.
AIDA Cruises Resume Sailngs
AIDA becomes the second major cruise line to resume ocean sailings. Norwegian expedition cruise line Hurtigruten which became the first ocean cruise liner to resume sailing in June, yesterday announced plans to bring back 14 of its 16 ships. Hong Kong based Genting has also announced the restart of cruise operations for Dream Cruises with Explorer Dream operating two and three-night “Taiwan Island-Hopping” itineraries beginning from July 26.
AIDA said it has worked with several global and national health authorities to develop a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols to help facilitate a safe, healthy and phased-in return to cruise vacations. A press release said the company would provide extensive information about the enhanced protocols and procedures it plans to implement against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
AIDA Cruises has introduced a variety of preventive measures to complement existing health and hygiene standards.
Aida Cruises – COVID-19 safety measures
These measures range from a health questionnaire prior to the cruise, to temperature measurements before check-in for guests and crew, to physical distancing guidelines and routing systems on arrival and departure and on board, to closely managing capacities at venues such as restaurants, bars, theatres, sports and wellness areas.
The enhanced protocols are supplemented by additional hygiene and safety measures, such as increased cleaning and disinfection measures, which take place in all cabins and public areas according to a defined protocol, as well as additional disinfection dispensers at check-in and on board.
Reduced capacity and onboard coronavirus testing
The first cruises will take place with reduced passenger capacity and without calling at another port.
Onboard medical care for all guests and crew is available around the clock. The ships will be equipped with PCR-test-kits and diagnostic devices for the immediate evaluation of suspected COVID-19 cases, and the medical team on board is trained in the relevant test procedures and treatment methods. Together with the responsible authorities, extensive processes have been developed to facilitate medical care and safe disembarkation for passengers diagnosed with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
The comprehensive health concept and the measures taken to manage suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases have been developed with medical experts and are based in part on the current guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the German Robert Koch Institute (RKI) as well as other governmental and health authorities, AIDA said. Additionally, independent testing company SGS Institut Fresenius will check the implementation of the hygiene standards and the processes of preventive measures against COVID-19.
AIDA said it was already working intensively on the next phase of its resumption of cruising and that depending on the opening of further European ports for cruise ships, the first foreign destinations could be integrated into the itinerary soon.
“In a third phase, the gradual return to the original itinerary will be possible, naturally taking into account current developments in the destinations and in compliance with the respective international and national regulations of health and hygiene authorities and AIDA’s own high standards,” the company said in a statement.
AIDA’s parent company Carnival has currently suspended sailing through September 30, 2020.