German cruise line re-starts sailings next month

Carnival Corporation’s German brand AIDA Cruises is to resume sailing next month.

Three ships are to re-enter service following an industry-wide cancellation of cruises since the onset of Covid-19 in March.

AIDAperla will be the first to set sail on August 5 from Hamburg, followed by AIDAmar from Rostock-Warnemunde on August 12 and AIDAblu from Kiel on August 16.

The first sailings will take place with an unspecified adjusted passenger capacity without calling at another port.

The company said it was “working intensively” on the next steps.

“Depending on the opening of further European ports for cruise ships, the first foreign destinations could be integrated into the itinerary,” AIDA said. 

“In a third phase, the gradual return to the original itinerary will be possible, naturally taking into account current developments in the destinations and in compliance with the respective international and national regulations of health and hygiene authorities and AIDA’s own high standards.”

AIDA Cruises has worked with several global and national health authorities to develop a “comprehensive” set of health and hygiene protocols to help facilitate a safe, healthy and phased-in return of operations.

The line has introduced a variety of preventive measures to complement existing health and hygiene standards.

These include a digital health questionnaire prior to the cruise, temperature measurements before check-in for passengers and crew, physical distancing guidelines and routing systems on arrival and departure and on board.

The line pledged to closely manage capacities at venues such as restaurants, bars, theatres, sports and wellness areas. 

The company added: “The enhanced protocols are supplemented by additional hygiene and safety measures, such as increased cleaning and disinfection measures, which take place in all cabins and public areas according to a defined protocol, as well as additional disinfection dispensers at check-in and on board.

“The ships are equipped with PCR-test-kits and diagnostic devices for the immediate evaluation of suspected Covid-19 cases, and the medical team on board is trained in the relevant test procedures and treatment methods.

“Together with the responsible authorities, extensive processes have been developed to facilitate medical care, safe disembarkation, and a safe return home as quickly as possible for patients diagnosed with a confirmed Covid-19 case.”

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