It’s looking brighter for these major cruise lines in Europe as operations are expected to restart very soon.
European Cruise Lines to Resume Operations
The situation with the cruise industry in Europe is improving as cruise lines work out new health measures with countries and economies try to get back up and running again. A major part of returning to some normality is resuming travel and tourism sectors such as cruises.
Major cruise lines such as MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises and Aida Cruises are already planning the restart of operations unlike in the United States where operations continue to be suspended with the latest extension now through October 2020.
The Carnival-owned cruise line has received the all green for cruises in Italy which is where the cruise line is based. This is good news for Costa which will now be able to resume operations whenever it would like and once health procedures are in place. The cruise line will gradually start cruises again and will work with the relevant authorities and ports on doing so.
It was stated by Michael Thamm, Group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia:
“We are extremely excited that we will be able to cruise again soon and we want to thank the Italian Government and all the authorities for their constant availability and support. The cruise industry and Costa specifically, as the only Italian cruise company, create significant value to the economy and to the destinations we visit. The gradual restart of our operations will give relief to the local economies in port communities and to the whole ecosystem of almost 5,000 suppliers and business partners, and over 7,500 travel agents, in Italy, who have been suffering from the pause of our activities.”
At the moment, Costa Cruises has suspended operations until August 15, 2020, and the entire North European season is cancelled for the remainder of the year. Now that the green light has been given it shouldn’t be too long until the first departures and we’ll hear from the company on that front very soon indeed.
Thamm went on to state:
“The resumption of our operations in this phase is also a great responsibility towards our guests, our crew members and the residents of the communities we visit. In the next days, we will be working closely with national and local authorities, ports and terminals, RINA and internally on board our ships, for the full implementation of the protocols issued by the Italian Government so we can all together guarantee a smooth, well organized and safe restart of our cruises, both on board and ashore. We look forward to announcing shortly the full program of our itineraries so that thousands of loyal Costa Guests can have the opportunity to sail again with us for the holiday they missed so much”.
In August MSC Cruises will resume sailings with two cruise ships in the Mediterranean and this comes thanks to the cruise line working with the relevant EU authorities.
MSC Grandiosa will kick off 7-night cruises on August 15 in the western Meditteranean calling at Genoa, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, and Valetta.
MSC Magnifica will begin 7-night sailings from August 29 in the eastern MedittereaNAN calling at the Greek ports of Corfu, Katakolon, and Piraeus out of the Italian ports of Bari and Trieste.
Guests and crew will experience new health protocols to protect them from any possible outbreak onboard. There will even be universal testing for all guests and crew and procedures even apply to the experience at port of calls.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman commented:
“During the pause in our operations we focused on developing a comprehensive operating protocol that builds upon already stringent health and safety measures that have long been in place on board our ships. We have worked closely with the relevant EU-level, national health and other authorities from the countries that MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica will call along their Mediterranean itineraries to develop a comprehensive set of procedures designed to protect the health and safety of all passengers on board our ships as well as ashore to ensure that local communities feel comfortable welcoming our guests.”
Aida Cruises which is another popular cruise line based in Europe has also announced a return to service next month. However, it will be a phased-in restart with only two ships kicking things off. The majority of sailings are suspended through September 2020.
Cruises from Kiel will begin on September 6, 2020, and the first cruises to the Norwegian Fjords will depart with the AIDAperla out of Hamburg on September 12, 19, and 26. There will be a phased-in return starting in October.
TUI Cruises has already resumed cruises starting with Mein Schiff 2 out of Hamberg, Germany. The ship set sail with reduced capacity and social distancing at the end of July and was one of the first larger cruise lines to restart service.
The cruise line has launched “Blue Cruises” which are safer cruises in the North and Baltic seas. The cruise line will introduce further options as the situation improves, In fact, on their official site there are already week-long cruises available starting at the end of August a good sign for sure.
Even though some of the largest cruise lines in Europe are about to start operations again things could change depending on the global health crises and the impact on specific countries where there are ports of call.
One of the most important aspects also depends on any new health measures and that guidance from the European Maritime Safety Agency is followed along with local health authorizes. Unfortunately in the UK, cruising still remains on pause, and the UK Foreign Office guidance advises against international cruises.
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