Covid-19 forces Costa Cruises to revise the winter programme

Costa Deliziosa
Carnival Corporation brand Costa Cruises has altered its schedule for winter 2020-2021 because of travel restrictions and the continuing Covid-19 crisis.

The Italian cruise line said Costa Smeralda will operate an Italian-only itinerary to replace a voyage to Italy, France and Spain that would have started from November 14.

Costa Deliziosa (pictured) will continue operating its current one-week itinerary in Italy and Greece until January 3, 2021, instead of visiting Montenegro and Croatia as originally planned.
Costa Diadema will postpone the start of long cruises in the Mediterranean to April 6, 2021, offering 14-day cruises to Turkey and 14-day cruises to Egypt and Greece.

Costa Firenze cruise ship

New ship Costa Firenze, which is currently in the final stages of completion at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, will be delivered as planned in mid-December 2020 but will begin offering its seven-day cruises in Italy, France and Spain only from February 28, 2021.

Finally, Costa Favolosa cruises in the Caribbean are cancelled and the ship will return to operate from April 2, 2021, with mini-cruises in the Mediterranean.

The 2021 world tour by Costa Deliziosa is also cancelled, with guests offered the chance to book the 2022 voyage.

Third Costa Ship Back Cruising: Smeralda Departs From Savona

Costa Cruises now has three ships back in cruise operation as the Smeralda departed from Savona on Oct. 10 with guests aboard.

The ship joins the Deliziosa and Diadema as the Costa ships back in operation.

All three ships are sailing under the Costa Safety Protocol which is a strict set of new health and safety requirements including COVID-19 testing for all guests and crew. 

The LNG-powered ship will now offer five week-long itineraries through early November, calling at Italian ports La Spezia, Cagliari, Naples, Messina and Civitavecchia/Rome.

“It is very exciting to see our flagship depart once more from Savona, Costa’s main port in the Mediterranean,” said Michael Thamm, Group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia.

“We are gradually returning to cruising with an increasing number of ships, in a safe and responsible way, thanks to new health protocols. The return of Costa Smeralda, which represents the most advanced vessel in our fleet in terms of reducing environmental impact, is also a renewal of our commitment to sustainable cruise development, which will be one of the key points in the recovery of our sector in the coming years,” Thamm noted.

Savona is playing a leading role in the company’s restart, with the Smeralda scheduled to homeport in the Italian city through the end of 2021. Plans call to offer different itineraries, per local regulations, that will include Italy, France and Spain.

Starting in November, the Costa Diadema will also dock at the Palacrociere cruise terminal in Savona and will offer 12-day cruises to the Canary Islands, 14-day cruises to Egypt and Greece, and 14-day cruises also to Turkey.

The Costa Fortuna, Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa will also arrive in Savona, offering mini-cruises in the Mediterranean and 10-day cruises to Portugal.

Costa Ready to Restart Cruise Operations This Weekend

Costa Deliziosa

Costa Cruises is scheduled to restart sailing in Italy this Sunday, Sept. 6.

Carnival’s Italian brand will be followed by Germany-based AIDA Cruises scheduled to resume on Nov. 1.

The brands will begin in a gradual, phased-in manner with six initial ships and limited itineraries, becoming the first two of Carnival’s nine brands to resume operations.

“Our highest responsibilities and top priorities are always compliance, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, the communities we visit and our crew,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We are engaged with a large number of medical experts and scientists around the world, and they are providing us with extremely valuable insight that we are using to develop new and enhanced protocols that are in the best interest of our guests, crew and overall public health. In areas of the world where community spread is largely mitigated and authorities are supportive of a gradual return to service over time, we look forward to again welcoming guests onboard.

The initial cruises will take place with adjusted passenger capacity and enhanced health protocols developed with government and health authorities to follow shoreside mitigation guidelines, the company said.

Costa Cruises is restarting sailing with two initial ships departing from Italian ports beginning Sept. 6.

The Costa Deliziosa will offer weekly cruises from Trieste on Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27, visiting five destinations in southern Italy, including Bari and Brindisi in Puglia, Corigliano-Rossano in Calabria, and Siracusa and Catania in Sicily.

The Costa Diadema will follow on Sept. 19 from Genoa, calling at Italian ports in the western Mediterranean, including Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Palermo, Cagliari and La Spezia.

The one-week itineraries are being reserved exclusively for Italian guests.

AIDA Cruises will resume its cruise operations with two of its ships, sailing from the Canary Islands in November 2020, followed by an additional two ships departing from the western Mediterranean and the United Arab Emirates beginning in December 2020.

The first of the brand’s cruises are set to begin Nov. 1, with seven-day voyages to and departures from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with AIDAmar, followed by sailings from Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife with AIDAperla on Nov. 7. In December, AIDA Cruises will resume sailing operations in the Western Mediterranean with AIDAstella departing on seven-day cruises from Palma, Mallorca, beginning Dec. 12. Additionally, AIDAprima will offer seven-day cruises from Dubai starting Dec. 11 and from Abu Dhabi beginning Dec. 15.

In working with global and national health authorities and medical experts, Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises have developed a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols to help facilitate a safe, healthy return to cruise vacations, according to a press release.