Article from: Adam Coulter UK Managing Editor (www.cruisecritic.com)
While the global COVID-19 pandemic has shut down most cruise lines since mid-March, there are areas of the world where some ships are sailing.
In most cases, these are single-nationality cruises calling in at a limited number of ports, usually in the country of origin. Nearly all are in Europe or Asia, as U.S. cruise lines are on a voluntary operational pause until the end of the year. Technically, U.S.-based cruise lines could restart operations following the lifting of the No-Sail Order by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), however all the major lines are working through the new framework laid out by the CDC before they restart.
Although options are limited, and in most cases are nationality and government-advice dependent, here is a round-up of which lines have restarted cruising on what ships, as well as where they are going and who can sail.
Note too, a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across Europe led to a number of local lockdowns in Germany, France, Greece and the U.K. in late 2020, which paused a number of ocean and river cruise operations, but some countries — including Italy — are beginning to reopen.
All these lines are operating strict new health and safety protocols, which include temperature checking and social distancing. We have also indicated which lines have mandated COVID-19 testing before boarding, as well as ship-sponsored, shore excursion “bubbles.”
Ships: AIDAperla, AIDAmar
Itineraries: Canary Islands
Who can go: German citizens
Health requirement: COVID-19 testing prior to departure.
Ships: Aranui 5
Itineraries: French Polynesia
Who can go: All visitors.
Health requirement: COVID test prior to flight; COVID-19 test the day before departure at the Aranui offices. A curfew from 9pm to 4am daily is in effect on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea through December 14, 2020.
Ships: Costa Smerelda
Itineraries: Costa Smerelda operates from Trieste, offering week-long cruises around Italy.
Who can go: Italians only, opening up to more European nationalities toward the end of the month.
Health requirement: COVID-19 testing as standard; only ship-organized shore excursions.
*Editor’s note: All cruises originally scheduled on Costa Deliziosa, Costa Firenze and Costa Luminosa between February 1 and March 12, 2021, are cancelled. The new programs for these three ships will be announced shortly.
Ship: Coral Discoverer
Itineraries: 10-and-16-night Tasmanian voyages from Sydney or Hobart began January 1, 2021.
Who can go: Australians
Ship: Explorer Dream, World Dream
Itineraries: Explorer Dream: From Taipei, offering four-day cruises to Taiwanese islands
World Dream: From Singapore, for Singaporeans only, offering three- and four-night cruises to nowhere.
Who can go: Taiwanese and Singaporeans.
Ship: Europa 2
Itineraries: Canary Islands.
Who can go: Germans, Austrians, Swiss
Ships: La Pinta
Itineraries: Galapagos Islands expeditions
Who can go:Anyone eligible to travel to Ecuador
Health Requirement: COVID negative test required to enter Galapagos Islands; masks must be worn.
Ships: MSC Grandiosa restarted cruises on January 24, 2021.
Itineraries: MSC Grandiosa operates from Genoa, offering week-long cruises round Italy.
MSC Magnifica will homeport in Genoa and call at Livorno for Florence and Pisa, Messina in Sicily, Valletta in Malta, Piraeus for Athens and Katakolon for Olympia in Greece, and Civitavecchia for Rome from Feb 14.
Who can go: Italians.
Health requirement: COVID testing as standard; only ship-organised shore excursions
Ships: Quantum of the Seas
Itineraries: Three- and four-day cruises to nowhere for Singaporeans from Singapore.
Who can go: Singaporeans.
Health requirement: Passengers have to be COVID-19 free for 180 days before boarding.
Ships: Mein Schiff 1, Mein Schiff 2
Itineraries: Mein Schiff 1 operates 14-day itineraries around the Canary Islands; Mein Schiff 2 operates week-long cruises in the Canary Islands.
Who can go: Germans
Health requirement: A negative Covid-19 test result when returning to Germany after the cruise. TUI Cruises is performing antigen rapid tests for that purpose on board.
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