Preparations are underway to restart cruise operations in the West Med, with the return of Costa Smeralda in the homeport of Savona. The first departure is scheduled for the forthcoming 10 October, the day in which cruises are set to resume service in full safety for passengers and crew. Meanwhile, Costa Diadema arrives in the Port of Genoa and returns with sailings from the Ligurian capital as of 19 September.
The Costa Safety Protocol will be implemented on both ships, with the application of stringent health and safety measures which include universal Covid-19 tests for all guests and crew prior to boarding, body temperature control, a reorganisation of onboard services, protected shore excursions and the provision of enhanced medical care and treatment onboard.
Paolo Emilio Signorini, President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority comments: “The gradual revival of cruise activities in full safety heralds a new important phase for our ports, a phase in which new guidance in the organisation of key shipping activities, set to guarantee continuity for operations whilst safeguarding health at all times, will be tested. Savona is homeport to Costa Crociere and the return of Costa Smeralda marks a first step towards rebooting a crucial sector of the local maritime industry. The Port Authority stands alongside Costa Crociere in its firm commitment to relaunch the cruise industry in accordance with the highest standards of safety for passengers and crew, both on onboard and ashore.”
From 10 Ocotber 2020, and throughout the full 2020-2021 winter season, Costa Smeralda is scheduled to sail from Savona every Saturday, offering itineraries across the West Med, naturally in compliance with recent legislation and travel restrictions in force. Details of the new winter itineraries will be announced in the forthcoming weeks.
Simultaneously, Virgin Voyages cruise line undersigned a voluntary protocol agreement with the Genoa Harbour Master to reduce the environmental impact of passenger ships in the Ports of Genoa and Savona.
Virgin Voyages joins forces with other passenger shipping lines, including Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Disney Cruise Line, Majestic Cruises, Fred Olsen and Algérie Ferries (ENTMV), in addition to the tug boat operators Rimorchiatori Riuniti, who had already signed the Genoa Blue Agreement in July 2019, thereby confirming their commitment to shifting to the use of marine gasoil, with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.10% by mass, in a radius up to 3 miles from the port.
This represents a further important step in the path towards environmental sustainability in the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority.