Carnival Corporation’s Italian brand Costa Cruises and its German unit AIDA Cruises are set to resume operations in March with enhanced health and safety protocols.
Costa’s restart begins with the departure of the flagship Costa Smeralda, scheduled for March 27 with a 3- and 4-day mini-cruises or alternatively a 7-day cruise, calling at Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.
From May 1, Costa Smeralda will return to sailing one-week cruises in the western Mediterranean, with visits to Italy (Savona, Civitavecchia and Palermo), France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca).
A second ship, Costa Luminosa, will also be back in service, departing from Trieste from May 2, and the following day from Bari, on one-week cruises in Greece and Croatia.
Costa said it is working with national and local authorities of the countries included in the itineraries of its ships outside Italy to define the details of the restart of cruise operations, with enhanced health and safety measures through the implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol.
Measures include limited capacity, swab tests for all guests and crew, temperature checks when disembarking and re-embarking the ship, protected shore excursions, physical distancing on board and at the cruise terminals, enhanced sanitation and medical services, and use of protective face masks.
AIDA Cruises opens 2021 cruise season on March 20
AIDA Cruises meanwhile announced it will open its 2021 cruise season starting March 20 with AIDAperla sailing around the Canary Islands. .
The German federal government has extended the lockdown to contain the pandemic until March 2021. Many of AIDA’s cruise destinations have also implemented measures that significantly restrict international holiday travel through early spring.
As a result, AIDA announced that all trips originally planned from March 6 up to and including March 19, 2021, are unable to take place.