Costa Cruises restart out of Italy (for a third time) was meant to begin in early in 2021, but the cruise line has announced a delay to those plans due to an apparent third wave of COVID-19 infections in Europe.
The decision to delay its resumption of cruises in the Mediterranean, the third time it has been forced to do so since its first resumption of operations last year, is a reminder of the fluid nature of the industry efforts to get back to sea.
“The decision has been taken in consideration of the restrictions still in place in Italy and other European countries to contain COVID-19,” the cruise line said in a statement, adding that lockdowns in Italy do not allow it to offer quality shore excursions.
Costa Smeralda’s previously announced 3- and 4-day mini-cruises roundtrip from Savona, visiting Italian cities, remain unchanged, but will now resume on May 1st, 2021. Costa Cruises restart plans also include 7-night itineraries visiting Savona, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.
From June 12th, 2021 she will resume her one-week cruises in the Western Mediterranean, with visits to Italy (Savona, Civitavecchia and Palermo), France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca).
A second ship, Costa Luminosa, will now resume cruises on May 16th, 2021, sailing from Trieste and Bari, to destinations in Greece and Croatia. These one-week itineraries are subject to accordance with a recent roadmap for the resumption of international tourism in Greece.
“Costa Cruises is also working with national and local authorities of the countries included in the itineraries of its ships outside Italy to define the details of the resumption of its cruise operations,” the cruise line said.
“As previously announced, all other cruises scheduled until the end of May, and not included in the Costa Smeralda and Costa Luminosa programs updated today, are cancelled. Costa is in the process of informing travel agents and customers affected by changes,” the statement added.
Costa Cruises restart last year included development of a program that it calls the Costa Safety Protocol.
The protocol contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore, which were implemented ahead of the resumption of cruise operations.
These measures include limited capacity, swab tests for all guests and crew, temperature checks when disembarking and re-embarking the ship, protected shore excursions, physical distancing on board and at the cruise terminals, enhanced sanitation and medical services, and the use of protective face masks in public areas.