Germany-based AIDA Cruises, part of the Carnival Corporation, will resume cruises in Italy this weekend, marking the second Carnival Corporation brand to resume sailing since the sailing suspension prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The return of AIDA follows the resumption of sailings by Italy-based Costa Cruises in early September.
Carnival Corporation, the world’s top cruise group, has adopted a phase-in approach to restart operations regionally with limited itineraries, adjusted passenger capacity and beefed-up health protocols developed in coordination with government and health authorities. The protocols require, among other things, that guests and crew test negative for COVID-19 prior to boarding.
AIDA Cruises will initially resume its cruise operations in Italy with AIDAblu, scheduled to depart from Civitavecchia near Rome on seven-day itineraries visiting Palermo and Catania in Sicily, Naples and La Spezia. The first cruise for the brand is set to begin Oct. 17, with voyages offered weekly until Nov. 28.
The restart plans for AIDA Cruises builds on the momentum of Costa Cruises’ return to cruise operations in Italy in early September, which began with two initial ships departing from Trieste and Genoa on seven-day itineraries with Italian guests visiting destinations in Italy. Costa Cruises further expanded last month with a third ship, flagship Costa Smeralda, sailing on one-week itineraries dedicated to the rediscovery of the best of Italy, including Savona, La Spezia, Cagliari, Naples, Messina and Civitavecchia. Since there return, there have been no reported outbreaks of the virus on board.
“For all our brands, there is no higher responsibility and no higher priority than compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, our crew and the communities we visit,” said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. “We are excited to have AIDA joining Costa Cruises in resuming sailing operations with a gradual expansion of service over time. As we offer travelers a phased return to cruise vacations, we will continue sharing important learnings and best practices among our world-leading cruise line brands and across the industry to help ensure the resumption of cruise operations is done with the best interests of public health at the forefront.”