Costa Cruises has resumed its operations with Costa Deliziosa, the first ship operated by the Italian company to return to sea. On Sunday Costa Deliziosa left Trieste, Italy, for a one-week cruise designed to rediscover the best of Italy.
After more than five months without cruising, Costa Cruises is delighted to finally welcome guests back on board its ships. Costa Deliziosa, the first ship to resume operations, set sail with Italian guests on a week-long voyage visiting visit Bari, Brindisi, Corigliano-Rossano, Siracusa and Catania.
“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 reintroducing cruising on more ships from October, with itineraries extended also to include guests from our other European markets.”
Embarkation for Deliziosa’s initial voyage was carried out in accordance with the procedures set out in the Costa Safety Protocol, a document developed by the company together with a panel of scientific experts. The protocol contains new operational measures in response to the COVID-19 situation and is perfectly in line with the latest requirements defined by the relevant Italian and European authorities.
On arrival at the terminal in Trieste, with staggered entrance times allocated during the online check-in, each guest had their temperature scanned. Passengers also submitted a health questionnaire and were subjected to an antigen rapid swab test. Only those passengers who tested negative were cleared for boarding. For any suspected case of COVID-19 an additional test with a molecular swab test can be performed.
Prior to embarking, crew members have also been tested with molecular swab tests at intervals and been quarantined for 14 days. In addition, each member of crew will undergo a monthly swab test.
During her initial voyage Costa Deliziosa will only visit Italian ports. Bari and the other destinations can be visited only by joining the protected excursions organized by the company for small groups of people on sanitized means of transport. Before leaving and rejoining the ship, all guests will be subjected to temperature measurement. On Costa’s shore tours, guests will be able to see other places in the vicinity of the ports of call, such as Lecce, Ostuni, Otranto, Alberobello, Gallipoli, Taormina, Noto, Modica, Ragusa and Sibari.
Life on board
The shipboard amenities and entertainment have been redesigned based on the procedures in the Safety Protocol but still retain the distinguishing features of a Costa cruise holiday, thanks partly to the physical distancing enabled by the ship’s reduced capacity. For example: repeat performances of the live shows for smaller audiences; a switch from buffet restaurants to seated dining in the restaurants; reduced seating capacity in theaters, show lounges, bars and restaurants to respect minimum distance; staggered entrance for some facilities such as the spa, pools and kids’ mini-club with a limited number of people allowed in at any one time.
Also, there will be enhanced cleaning and sanitization in all areas on board, including cabins, while the shipboard health services have been expanded. Other health & safety measures are the use of face masks whenever necessary, hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the ship and the introduction of self-service clinical thermometer kiosks.
Costa Deliziosa will be departing from Trieste until the end of the year. During her first three September cruises Deliziosa will only sail with residents of Italy.
Costa Cruises’ next ship due back in service is Costa Diadema, scheduled to leave from Genoa on September 19. Like Deliziosa, she will only be calling at Italian ports and carrying guests resident in Italy, with stopovers in Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia. Deliziosa and Diadema will be joined by Costa Smeralda in October. Costa Firenze – the company’s new ship currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard – will join in December.