After a tumultuous year, the cruise industry has started showing some signs of getting back to business and an Italian cruise line has set the course for it.
Costa Cruises have announced that they will be setting sail for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit the industry. The cruise liner’s flagship cruise Costa Smeralda will begin its journey at 6 pm on Saturday.
The ship has been in the dock for more than 4 months as the Italian government had banned cruises back in December over the surge in covid cases during Christmas.
Going on board will be a 60-year-old singer named Roberta Cappelletti who has been in tears hearing the prospect of sailing again. She considers it to be a rebirth for her.
Another passenger onboard will be a 35-year-old bank employee Enrico Bergamini who has hailed it as a symbolism of the Italian tourism industry’s recovery from the pandemic. 1500 people like him will be onboard when the ship sails on Saturday. This will be nearly a quarter of its actual capacity.
Passengers and crew are being tested before the cruise and the mask have been declared mandatory although the trip. The crew of 1300 people have undergone a 14-day quarantine before joining the cruise.
The ship will take the passengers on a Mediterranean cruise across the Italian coast for 7 days covering places like La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina and Cagliari. Raffaele d’Ambrosio, the director of the French division of Costa Cruises has revealed that they had received 100s of bookings every day for the new cruise until 2022.
The desire to sail again has been quite strong in cruisers. The cruise industry has been the most affected in the pandemic like the tourism industry but 2021 is likely to be a good year for recovery. The company is expecting normalcy by early 2022, said Raffaele.
So far the industry has had a loss of 64 billion euros with 518000 job losses between March and September, revealed the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The new cruise, Costa Smeralda has been touted as a floating city with 11 restaurants, 19 bars, a spa, a theatre and several swimming pools.
The ship which has been predicted as large as 3 big football fields, has a big staircase covering the 3 decks which gives a panoramic view of the ocean and the ship. After much hesitancy passengers like Jean Pierre Faux had boarded the ship. They have waited a year and a half for this They got their health tests done before boarding.
The ship’s captain Pietro Sinisi has been enjoying the excitement of joining the ship family again like the rest of the crew. Costa Cruises President, Mario Zanetti has said that cruising will flourish again just like it did before the pandemic.