It has been a good week for Carnival’s AIDA Cruises brand. The German-based cruise line set sail with AIDAperla for her first voyage in the Canary Islands on December 5. She will be followed by a second vessel, AIDAmar, on December 20, 2020.
AIDA will be offering five more voyages in 2020 for those that want to escape the grey winter in Europe for some sunshine in the Canary Islands. The seven-day voyages the line offers from both AIDAperla and AIDAmar will continue throughout 2021, leaving every Saturday and Sunday.
Itinerary with Excursions
While most cruise lines have been choosing to do seacations or cruises with only sea days, AIDA is offering it voyages with excursions planned for most days. Guests will embark the vessel on the main island of Gran Canaria, followed by a day at sea.
The first day with excursions will be day three, with a day in the La Palma. Here AIDA is offering guests a stunning twenty different options for shore excursions. These include ATV tours, walking tours, bus tours to the national park, and much more.
The next two days will bring guests to the vacation island of Tenerife. Also here, the cruise line is offering more than 20 shore excursions to various must-see locations. However, for those who are dying to do something different, you can also go for 18 holes on the local golf course.
Before returning to Gran Canaria, Lanzarote will delight all Canary Islands fans with its fascinating volcanic landscapes, salt lakes, and architecture close to nature.
The Canary Islands: Relatively COVID Free
Throughout the pandemic, the Canary Islands have been relatively free from the coronavirus. This is why the region is one of the first to start its tourism industry, although with strict rules from the Spanish government. The country recently instated new rules for safe travels.
Luckily for AIDA, the companies own guidelines meet or exceed the Spanish guidelines in many cases. AIDA’s protocols have also been tested by SGS Institut Fresenius and confirmed by the classification society DNV-GL. AIDA is already the third cruise line to sail from the Canary Islands.
The list of measures the line is taking is quite extensive. However, the significant points that the line discusses on its website are below:
- Contactless service from start to finish wherever practical
- Free COVID testing before the voyage
- Charter flights to the Canary Islands and back
- Medical care and test capacities on board AIDA ships
- Distance regulations and increased disinfection measures
- Mandatory mask-wearing onboard
- Shore excursions will happen in a bubble, and contact with locals will be avoided
- All restaurants will be serviced, so no buffets
- There will be no disco, nor will there be any open-deck parties
All in all, it seems that AIDA has been fully prepared for the upcoming voyages. The line has been planning for months, yet was unlucky in the Mediterranean when voyages had to be canceled after the line had made one voyage.
AIDA will take away all the experience that sister company Costa cruises have gained from the voyages they have performed since the end of August in Italian waters.
What is done to protect the crew from COVID-19 infection?
A point which is often overlooked when cruises are re-started is how the crew members are being protected from potential infection. AIDA has a list of items they do for their crew:
- 72 hours before departure from the home country, international crew members take a COVID-19 PCR test and go into self-isolation.
- Each crew member is tested again immediately before boarding the ship
- During the voyage, health and temperature checks are carried out daily on all crew members; COVID-19-PCR tests are also carried out at regular intervals during their deployment on board.
- Before and during the voyage, the crew is regularly trained in prevention and hygiene measures.
- Masks are mandatory for the crew in all interior areas.
- All medical costs are covered while on-board.
It looks like the crew are in any case well taken care of, and they will surely be happy to be back to work again.
So, Another Cruise Line Sets Sail.
Good news for the Cruise industry seems to be coming mainly from Europe and Asia these days, as it stands right now we have sailing:
- Mediterranean: MSC and Costa
- Singapore: Royal Caribbean and Dream Cruises
- Taiwan: Dream Cruises and Costa Cruises
- Canary Islands: TUI, Hapag Lloyd, and now AIDA cruises.
Hopefully this trend will continue, and be a successful one.