The Italian group Costa Cruises is preparing to resume the sea on Saturday evening from the port of Savona (northwest) with its pioneer Costa Smeralda, after more than four months of forced disconnection due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
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This Mediterranean cruise will last from three to seven days, depending on the formulas, with stops on the Italian coast at La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari.
The recovery will be accompanied by compliance with a strict health protocol, with a limited number of passengers, COVID tests for all passengers and crew, temperature measurements and mandatory wearing of a mask.
France Press agency
“The desire to leave is very strong among our customers.” We receive several hundred bookings every day, covering every month until the end of 2022, “said Raphael D’Ambrosio, general manager of the French channel Costa Cruises, told AFP.
But the French tourists will be missed, as they have not obtained a permit to travel more than 10 kilometers from their homes, pending the lifting of restrictions on May 3. Ships are still prohibited from landing in French ports.
“Sailing, like tourism in general, is one of the sectors most affected by the crisis: 2021 will be the year of recovery, and the beginning of 2022 we are waiting for things to return to normal,” according to Mr. D’Ambrosio, who is counting on the imminent opening of the port of Marseille (southern France).
The cruise line resumed at the beginning of September with its ship, Costa Deliziosa, after more than five months of suspension due to the epidemic, and only contacted Italian ports.
After the Italian government decided to ban cruises during the holiday season, the company suspended flights on December 20.
Another Costa fleet ship, the Costa Luminosa, is scheduled to depart on May 16 from Trieste, on a cruise in Greece.
Between mid-March and September 2020, the cruise industry suffered a $ 77 billion deficit and a loss of 518,000 jobs, according to calculations by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA).