Costa Diadema, the second ship operated by the Italian company to resume service, has departed from Genoa on her first cruise. This marks the return of cruising with Costa to Liguria and the Western Mediterranean.
The departure of Costa Diadema from Genoa marks the return of Costa’s cruise holidays to Liguria and the Western Mediterranean.
The second Costa Cruises ship to return to the sea will visit Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.
“At last Costa’s cruises are back in Genoa and Liguria, which has been our home for over 70 years. We’re setting sail again gradually and responsibly, with safety protocols that are unrivalled in the tourism industry.” said Michael Thamm, Group CEO, Costa Group & Carnival Asia Michael Thamm.
Liguria is featuring prominently in Costa’s return to cruising. The cruise line wil make around 80 calls in this part of north-west Italy between now and the end of the 2020/21 winter season.
From October 10 Savona will be the homeport for the flagship Costa Smeralda, the company’s first vessel powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas). Smeralda will be offering one-week cruise holidays in the Western Mediterranean. After a series of cruises intended for the French market, from November Costa Diadema will also be moving to Savona. From here she will offer 12-day cruises to the Canary Islands and 14-day cruises to Egypt and Greece. Costa Firenze, the new ship under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard, will make her debut on December 27, again sailing in the Western Mediterranean. Costa Firenze will call at Genoa and La Spezia every week.
Meanwhile, from October 22 to mid-December La Spezia will see the arrival of AIDAblu, operated by the Costa Group’s German brand AIDA Cruises, on 7-day cruise vacations devoted entirely to Italy.
Costa’s cruises sailing on or after September 27 will be available for all European citizens who are residents in any of the countries listed in the most recent Prime Ministerial Decree.
Costa Diadema’s first departure
The embarkation of guests on Costa Diadema’s first departure from Genova has been carried out in accordance with the procedures set out in the Costa Safety Protocol. The protocol contains new operational measures in response to the COVID-19 situation, dealing with all aspects of the cruise experience both on and off the ship. The procedures, devised with the support of independent public health experts, are in line with – and in some cases even stricter than – the health protocols defined by the relevant Italian and European authorities.
On arrival at the Stazione Marittima in Genoa, 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, with the possibility of an additional molecular swab test for any suspected cases. Prior to embarking, crew members were also subjected to a molecular swab test at intervals and were quarantined for 14 days. In addition, each member of crew will have a monthly test.
A new cruise experience
Starting with the first call at Civitavecchia/Roma, the destinations on Costa Diadema’s itinerary can be visited only by joining the protected excursions. These are organized for small groups of people on sanitized means of transport, and subject to temperature measurement before leaving and rejoining the ship.
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; reduced capacity and minimum distance between tables in the theater, show lounge, bars and restaurants; staggered entrance for some facilities such as the spa, pools and kids’ miniclub with a limited number of people allowed in at any one time.
Also, there is 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.