Costa Cruises Announces Resumption of Service Beginning This Week
Carnival Corp.'s Costa Cruises brand is restarting operations in the Mediterranean market this weekend, putting it back into competition with rival MSC, which has already resumed service.
The 2,800-passenger Costa Deliziosa will offer weekly domestic cruises out of Trieste, Italy beginning on Sunday, visiting five Italian ports of call - Bari, Brindisi, Corigliano-Rossano, and Siracusa and Catania in Sicily. Her initial sailings are scheduled for September 6, 13, 20, 27. On September 19, Costa Diadema will depart Genoa for ports on Italy's western coast, Sicily and Sardinia, including Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.
For now, only Italian passengers will be permitted to board, thereby removing concerns over spreading COVID-19 between international passengers, crewmembers and local residents in ports of call. Costa says that it is implementing a comprehensive set of prevention protocols to keep the risk of coronavirus infection to a minimum, including new policies on crew health and safety, booking, activities, entertainment, dining and embarking and disembarking operations. The requirements include COVID-19 testing for all guests prior to embarkation.
"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," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "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."
Carnival's German-market brand, AIDA, also announced a new date for its return to service. It had previously pushed back its restart date, and it now says that it will be resuming sailings on November 1. Its first sailings will not be in Germany: the first departure aboard AIDAmar leaves Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, followed by a second aboard AIDAperla from the same port November 7. An additional two ships will be sailing out of Mallorca and the UAE in December.