German cruise brands to start sailing again

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image: AIDA Cruises

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, TUI Cruises and AIDA Cruises have all announced plans to resume sailings from German ports within weeks, starting at the end of this month. In a parallel development, TUI Group announced today that it had completed the sale of the Hapag-Lloyd cruises brand to TUI cruises, its joint venture with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

According to CLIA Germany, led by the City of Hamburg, numerous authorities and German port administrations have jointly developed guidelines for the restart, taking comprehensive preventive and hygiene measures — including rapid COVID-19 testing — into account. Individual shipping companies have drawn up detailed measures with the help of health authorities and medical experts, adapting them to the specifics of individual ships.

Cruises from Germany will resume in three phases. In the first phase, a significantly smaller number of ships will make short cruises of three to seven days from Hamburg, Rostock, Kiel or Bremerhaven, without calling another port. These cruises will be limited to guests from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with passenger capacity being significantly limited.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is planning to resume cruises starting at the end of July 2020, operating cruises from Hamburg with the Europa 2, and expedition ship Hanseatic Inspiration. Passenger numbers will be reduced by 40%, with a passenger count of 150-300 guests on board.

TUI Cruises says it will resume operations July 24, with three to four day cruises from Hamburg on its Mein Schiff 2.

Carnival Corporation said today that its AIDA Cruises brand will resume sailing operations in August with three of its ships. AIDAperla will be the first to set sail on August 5 from Hamburg, followed by AIDAmar from Rostock-Warnemünde on August 12 and AIDAblu from Kiel on August 16. Bookings start today, July 9.

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