The resumption of sailing from AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises is part of a gradual, phased-in approach by Carnival Corporation to restart operations regionally with limited itineraries, adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed in coordination with government and health authorities to follow shoreside mitigation guidelines.
AIDA Cruises will initially resume its cruise operations in Italy with AIDAblu, scheduled to depart from Civitavecchia near Rome on seven-day itineraries visiting Palermo and Catania in Sicily, Naples and La Spezia. The first cruise for the cruise line is set to begin October 17, with voyages offered weekly until November 28.
The restart plans for AIDA Cruises build on the momentum of Costa Cruises’ return to cruise operations in Italy in early September, which began with two initial ships departing from Trieste and Genoa on seven-day itineraries with Italian guests visiting destinations in Italy.
Costa Cruises further expanded on October 10 with a third ship, flagship Costa Smeralda, sailing on one-week itineraries dedicated to the rediscovery of the best of Italy, including Savona, La Spezia, Cagliari, Naples, Messina and Civitavecchia.
In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises have developed a comprehensive set of enhanced health protocols to help facilitate a safe return to cruise vacations.
Both cruise lines are providing guests with detailed information about enhanced health protocols, which will continue to be modeled after shoreside health and mitigation guidelines as defined by each brand’s respective country, and approved by the flag state, Italy. Protocols will be updated based on evolving scientific and medical knowledge related to mitigation strategies.
“For all our brands, there is no higher responsibility and no higher priority than compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, our crew and the communities we visit,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. “We are excited to have AIDA joining Costa Cruises in resuming sailing operations with a gradual expansion of service over time. As we offer travelers a phased return to cruise vacations, we will continue sharing important learnings and best practices among our world-leading cruise line brands and across the industry to help ensure the resumption of cruise operations is done with the best interests of public health at the forefront.”
Based on health and mitigation guidelines in Germany and Italy, the AIDA health and safety program will be implemented on all of the brand’s cruises, with measures encompassing the entirety of the cruise experience, from booking to disembarkation.
Developed with leading medical experts, the program has been audited and confirmed by the renowned independent auditing company SGS Institut Fresenius and the classification society DNV-GL.
The measures include guests and crew being tested for COVID-19 with negative results required prior to boarding. Other protocols include regular temperature and health checks for guests and crew, physical distancing guidelines, facial coverings, capacity controls and increased sanitization measures, as well as guided shore excursions managed by AIDA to maintain health protocols.