Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and AIDA Cruises are restarting service in late July and August, respectively, with short sailings from German ports and heightened sanitation protocols.

Europa 2 and Hanseatic Inspiration

For Hapag-Lloyd, eight voyages on Europa 2 and Hanseatic Inspiration will sail round-trip from Hamburg. These are initially available to residents of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Passenger numbers will be reduced by 40%, with a passenger count of 150 to 300 guests on board. The company has summarized heightened health protocols in a 10-point plan.

‘Reset’ day with no passengers

Among those: There will be a ‘reset’ day between sailings without passengers to allow general cleaning and disinfection of the entire ship. As well, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will employ thermal-imagine cameras at embarkation, staggered and controlled embarkation and social distancing on board. Crew will complete a quarantine before joining the ships and will be tested for COVID-19.

The ships are equipped with thermal imaging cameras and a mobile laboratory to provide rapid detection of viral diseases such as COVID-19. Cold fogging devices will be used for area-wide deep cleaning of accommodations and public areas. In addition, the number of disinfectant dispensers on board has been significantly increased. A 100% fresh air supply is promised.

Seating will be reduced in restaurants and opening times extended, and buffet service is suspended. 

AIDA from Hamburg, Warnemünde, Kiel

AIDAperla is set to resume sailing Aug. 5 from Hamburg, AIDAmar Aug. 12 from Rostock-Warnemünde and AIDAblu Aug. 16 from Kiel.

Bookings opened today.

‘With certainty the most beautiful vacation’

Earlier, AIDA recently extended its pause in service for most of the fleet but signaled it home to start sailing next month. The three ships will re-enter service with reduced capacity and heightened COVID-19 protocols under the theme ‘With certainty the most beautiful vacation.’

AIDA Cruises has worked with several global and national health authorities to develop a comprehensive set of health and hygiene protocols.

The measures range from a digital health questionnaire prior to the cruise to temperature checks before embarkation for passengers and crew, to physical distancing guidelines and routing, and closely managing capacities at venues such as restaurants, bars, theaters and sports and wellness areas.

Additional hygiene measures include increased cleaning and disinfection measures in all cabins and public areas according to a defined protocol, and hand-sanitizing dispensers at check-in and on board. 

Procedures for handling COVID-19 cases

The ships are equipped with PCR test kits and diagnostic devices for the immediate evaluation of suspected COVID-19 cases, and the on-board medical team is trained in test procedures and treatment methods. AIDA said it has developed extensive processes with the responsible authorities to facilitate medical care, safe disembarkation and a safe return home as quickly as possible for patients with a confirmed COVID-19 case.