Passengers who are wanting to explore the ports of call on a number of cruise lines will have to purchase a shore excursion through the cruise line if they want to get off the ship.
While this is only a temporary measure, it is part of new health protocols as many cruise lines begin to slowly resume cruises.
Carnival Corporation’s Costa Cruises will restart cruises on September 6 and offer week long cruises around Italy. The two itineraries that will be offered at first can only be visited with protected shore excursions organized by Costa.
MSC Cruises resumed cruises on one cruise ship this past week. One family was denied boarding at one of the ports of call after breaking away from their group during a tour. Passengers must take a cruise line sponsored tour and must stay with the group the entire time.
This is help stop the spread of coronavirus and keep passengers in a protected “bubble” as much as possible. The cruise line is ensuring that transportation to and from the ship is sanitary and is also allowing adequate space for social distancing.
All tour guides have undergone health screenings and wear PPE (personal protective equipment).
Passengers can also choose to stay onboard the ship while in port if they wish.
It is too early to tell if this policy will carry over to cruises from the States. Currently, all major cruise lines have canceled cruises from U.S. ports until November.