Costa Crociere’s ‘Costa Deliziosa’ has become the first vessel in the Carnival Corp’s fleet to resume cruising.
She sailed from Triests on 6th September on a seven day cruise calling at Italian ports only, including Bari, Brindisi, Corigliano-Rossano, Siracusa and Catania and only carrying guests who are resident in Italy.
Costa has developed a health & safety protocol, including COVID-19 swab testing for all guests and crew, temperature screening, tours of destinations on protected excursions, physical distancing, thanks partly to a reduction in the number of passengers, new ways of enjoying shipboard amenities and services, enhanced sanitisation and increased health care facilities.
On 19th September, ‘Costa Diadema’ will also return to service, departing from Genoa, with another two ships due to resume operations from October.
“We’re delighted to be able to welcome our guests on board again after more than five months without cruising and we’re also happy to be restarting operations right here in Italy.
“Our decision to resume responsibly with Italian cruises for Italian guests is particularly significant for us, since we’ve believed and invested in this country for more than 70 years as the only cruise company flying the Italian flag” said Group CEO, Costa Group & Carnival Asia, Michael Thamm.
“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 re-introducing cruising on more ships from October, with itineraries extended also to include guests from our other European markets,” he said.
On arrival at the terminal in Trieste, with staggered entrance times by virtue of online check-in, each guest had their temperature scanned, submitted a health questionnaire and was subjected to an antigen rapid swab test. Passengers were not cleared for boarding unless and until they had tested negative. For any suspected case of COVID-19 it will be possible to perform an additional test with a molecular swab test.
Prior to embarking, crew members were also tested with molecular swab at intervals and been quarantined for 14 days. In addition, each member of crew will have a monthly swab test.
Bari and the other ports on the 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.
‘Costa Deliziosa’s’ shipboard amenities and entertainment have been redesigned based on the procedures in the Safety Protocol, including physical distancing enabled by the ship’s reduced capacity.
There will also be enhanced cleaning and sanitisation in all areas on board, including cabins, while the shipboard health services have been expanded. Other health & safety measures include the use of face masks whenever necessary, hand sanitiser dispensers throughout the ship and the introduction of self-service clinical thermometer kiosks.