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Costa Cruises has been sailing in Europe since mid-September with the Costa Deliziosa. Initial voyages have been successful cruises for Italian citizens visiting Italian port cities. After four weeks of sailing they have not had one incident. With safety in mind and plans to expand the scope of their operations to Greece, Vice President of Sales & Marketing Scott Knutson outlines how they plan to do it on this webinar.
During the webinar, Knutson articulates the various safety and cleaning protocols that have been implemented onboard, including how they are handling food service including buffets and new dining room hours and seating arrangements.
“We fully expect that by the beginning of the year, we’ll start to see Americans sailing with us,” said Knutson. As the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) evaluates back-to-cruising protocols in North America, they are looking to Costa’s plan for guidance on how to implement a policy that keeps passengers and crews safe.
Among the protocols the line has put in place to ensure a “Totally Safe Cruise,” Costa is implementing:
- Check-out opens 72 hours prior
- Staggered boarding times over an extended day
- Temperature screening at check-in
- COVID swab at check-in
- Eliminating much of the paper and materials onboard
- Smartphone app to check dining and shore excursions
- Additional informational screens onboard
- Elimination of purser’s desk
- Number of passengers onboard has been reduced – currently at 50%
- Common areas and rooms are remodeled for lower occupancy
- Signs in high-traffic areas
- Protective masks to be worn when not in dining room or cabin
- Crew will be masked at all times, except on stage
- Limit cross seating with non-group members
- Extended dining hours
- Smartphones substituted for menus, pull up your menu with a QR code
- Shows will be doubled or tripled to allow for more spacing
- Reduced capacity and extended hours for Squok kids club
- More inexpensive shore tours
- If guests leave on shore excursions, they must be on a Costa bus
- Tripling medical staff onboard
- 50% capacity on tours
- Increased disinfectant in cabins and public areas
- Onboard air quality circulated from an outside source
Knutson points out that even though these are unintended coincidences, this is a way to the future.
“It’s going to make cruising an even safer way to see Europe,” said Knutson. “We see this as a blessing. Because of these stringent requirements, we’re going to be the safest way to travel.”
Knutson also spoke about the inaugural sailings for the Costa Smeralda, the first ship fueled by liquefied natural gas and the cleanest ship in the world to sail. It will be sailing the Western Mediterranean next year in its inaugural. Knutson also spotlighted 2021 itineraries for the entire fleet while painting a picture of the onboard experience.