Costa Cruises has introduced two new cruise itineraries, departing from Italian and still exclusively for Italian residents only, as it resumes cruising in the Mediterranean alongside MSC, AIDA and TUI.
The two new cruises are aboard Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema, the only two ships included in Costa’s resumption of cruises plans thus far.
Costa Deliziosa will depart every Sunday from Trieste, calling in Bari and Brindisi in Puglia, Corigliano-Rossano in Calabria, Siracusa and Catania in Sicily. These weekly cruises will run from September 6th to September 27th.
Costa Diadema will feature one additional cruise, from Genoa on September 19th, calling at Civitavecchia(Rome), Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.
Costa Cruises restart plan is for Italian residents only, sailing only to Italian ports. Guests will only be allowed off the ship on organized shore excursions from the cruise line, with interaction with the public strictly prohibited.
Costa Cruises says that this is to ensure the safety of passengers, its crew, and the general public as Italy emerges from several months of lockdown in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“With the aim to allow guests to better enjoy their holidays, while respecting safety of guests, crew and local communities, the company has developed the Costa Safety Protocol for its fleet,” the company said in a statement.
“The Costa Safety protocol is a comprehensive set of measures and procedures in response to the COVID-19 situation, relating to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore,” it added.
The protocols were developed by a panel of independent scientific experts in Public Health, and areconsistent with the health protocols defined by the Italian Government and European (EU Healthy Gateways) authorities.
Costa says these protocols will be constantly updated based on the evolution of the scenario and medical knowledge.
Costa is one of four cruise lines returning to service in the Mediterranean. The limited resumption of cruises by Costa, MSC, AIDA and TUI are being closely watched by cruise destinations and cruise lines around the world.
The experiment in post-pandemic cruising will reveal whether it can be done safely, and if successful, may pave the way for similar cruises from other major markets, such as the UK, Asia, Australia and the US once local coronavirus outbreaks are brought under control.