While cruises in the United States may have some time until they return, trips in Europe — where the outbreak appears to be largely under control — look to return much sooner.
In fact, it now looks that Carnival Corporation’s AIDA cruise line will begin sailing in early August. The Germany-based cruise line is said to begin sailing with a handful of ships, with the first trip on August 5.
A search of AIDA’s website shows the following statement (translated to English):
“Our first trips after the long break are something special for all of us. First of all, we will start short trips to the North and Baltic Seas in Hamburg, Kiel and Warnemünde at the beginning of August. Since we are only at sea, you have plenty of time to enjoy the relaxed life on board and the fascination of the sea.”
Another update on the website says:
“It is important to us to give all guests planning security for their vacation. We must therefore extend the cruise season break until August 31, 2020 . Exceptions to this are individual departures in August (trips from 15.08.2020 from AIDAperla, AIDAprima and AIDAdiva, trips from AIDAbella from 30.08.2020, trips from AIDAsol from 25.08.2020). We are currently confident that these trips can take place.”
Our search of bookings show the first available cruise sailing August 5, 2020 aboard the AIDAperla. The three-day trip departs Hamburg, Germany, on a “trip to nowhere” with no port stops. The cruise will sail around the North Sea, instead.
Major Changes in Health Protocols for Sailing
As for health protocols, there will definitely be some changes. For one, the cruise line asks passengers to stay 1.5 meters (approximately five feet) from others. In indoor areas where this isn’t possible, masks are required. (Masks will not be required on the outside areas of the ship).
In addition, there will be other new features including increased cleaning and disinfection, fresh air supply to the cabins and ship, and temperature checks. Life onboard will be slightly different as well. AIDA says there will be no nightclubs or pool parties at first.
There will also be stricter boarding standards. Guests who live in or visited a German district with more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people in the last week will have to present a negative COVID test result that’s no older than 48 hours.
It’s exciting news that cruises somewhere in the world look to return soon, and the world will be watching to see the procedures implemented to keep passengers safe and how well they work.