Italian cruise ship Costa Deliziosa is the latest liner to resume services, setting sail from the Adriatic port of Trieste on Sunday, more than five months after the pandemic put global sailings on pause.
This marks the return of the first Carnival-owned Costa Cruises ship to the sea, with a stringent set of health and safety protocols in place.
Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group & Carnival Asia, said: “For the last few weeks, we’ve been working together with the authorities on implementation of the new health procedures that will allow our guests to make the most of their cruise experience while ensuring maximum safety.
“Meanwhile, we’re continuously monitoring the situation with a view to gradually reintroducing cruising on more ships from October, with itineraries extended also to include guests from our other markets.”
Costa Cruises said that its resumption arrangements and procedures have been fully advised by the Italian government and relevant health authorities, and are in accordance with the Costa Safety Protocol.
Safety measures for guests include staggered entry timings, online check-ins, temperature scanning, health questionnaires, and rapid swab tests. Guests will only be cleared for boarding once they have tested negative.
Prior to embarking, crew members have also been tested with molecular swab at intervals and been quarantined for 14 days. In addition, each member of crew will have a monthly swab test.
The destinations on Costa Deliziosa’s itinerary can be visited only by joining the protected excursions organised by the company for small groups of people on sanitised means of transport, and subject to temperature measurement before leaving and rejoining the ship.
In line with the safety protocols, the shipboard amenities and entertainment have also been redesigned. New measures include repeat performances of the live shows for smaller audiences; a switch from buffet restaurants to seated dining in the restaurants; a revision in seating capacity in theatres, bars and restaurants; as well as staggered entry timings and capacity caps for select facilities. Enhanced cleaning and sanitisation will also be implemented in all areas on board.
Other measures include increased sanitation frequency, hand sanitiser dispensers throughout the ship, the introduction of self-service clinical thermometer kiosks, as well as medical staff and supplies. Costa Cruises is also the first cruise company to obtain RINA Biosafety Trust Certification.
Costa Cruises said that it is now working closely with relevant national and local authorities to define the dedicated protocols for different countries and areas in Asia, to resume cruise travelling safely as soon as possible.