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Costa Cruises resumed sailing in Italy but also took the step of canceling its 2020-21 season in South America. All South America cruises from November 2020 to April 2021 were canceled by the Costa Fascinosa, Costa Luminosa, and Costa Pacifica.
Costa did, however, open sales on Sept. 8 for the 2021-22 season in South America. The company will operate two ships – Costa Favolosa and Costa Pacifica – in South America between December 2021 and April 2022.
Meanwhile, the Costa Deliziosa departed on its first voyage since the pandemic on Sept. 6 from Trieste, Italy, to several Italian ports.
“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 Michael Thamm, Group CEO for Costa Group and Carnival Asia.
“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.”
Guests arrived at staggered times by virtue of online check-in. Upon entrance to the terminal, each guest had their temperature scanned, submitted a health questionnaire and took an antigen rapid swab test.
Passengers can only sightsee on Costa-approved shore excursions, since numbers are reduced, and they take sanitized transportation.
The shipboard amenities and entertainment have been redesigned. For example, shows operate repeat performances for smaller audiences; the buffet restaurants switched to seated dining; and seating capacity in theaters, show lounges, bars and restaurants has been revised to allow for distancing.
After Costa Deliziosa, which will operate from Trieste until the end of the year, Costa’s next ship back in service is Costa Diadema, scheduled to leave from Genoa on Sept. 19. Like Deliziosa, it will only call at Italian ports and carrying Italian residents. If all goes well, the flagship Costa Smeralda will re-enter service in October, followed in December by Costa Firenze, the company’s new ship under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard.