Cruise ships are getting ready to make a fresh start in the Mediterranean circuit. Those who love to Travel can heave a sigh of relief. Coronavirus has hit the travel and tourism industry hard and tour operators plan to reactivate their cruises. They have drawn up strategies to counter the pandemic and hope to provide safe voyages to the passengers and crew. The authorities do not want to get stranded in the waters. Ships that had been idling for months could soon set sail again on Mediterranean vacation packages.

Cruise companies have drawn up new safety protocols in consultation with scientists.

These include system upgrades, removal of buffet lines, reduction in capacity, and boarding of passengers at staggered intervals. Cruise operators have to cope with complications of quarantines associated with dropping anchor in multiple countries. They have to obtain necessary clearance from the government. The main point is simple - they want the passengers to “cruise with confidence.”

Washington Post makes mention of the economic distress caused by the coronavirus. It has had a direct effect on hotels and restaurants. These include of course in similar services on cruise ships. The USA already came up with special requirements for those in USA waters, the CDC noted. Italy depends on tourism for boosting its economy, and cities like Venice are missing the sights of towering cruise ships against their skyline.

Cruise companies seeking expert advice

Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival are leading names when it comes to cruise companies. They are aware of the implications of coronavirus and are depending on experts to define rigid norms that would guarantee safety for the passengers and crew. Washington Post quotes an expert who says, “It’s impressive to see how far some of those companies have advanced in a short period of time, because of course they fear for their business.” He is Stephan Harbarth, an infectious-disease specialist.

In his opinion, the challenges faced by cruise ships are similar to those faced by nursing homes and it boils down to having a large number of people in a confined space. He adds that it is possible to ensure safety through rigorous screening and testing.

The cruise industry has to cross many hurdles

Coronavirus left a trail of illness and deaths among passengers and crew on cruise ships. A single person on board with the virus can derail the safety system. Washington Post mentions that It has happened in the South Pacific and in Norway. Obviously, it would be difficult for the cruise industry to define a foolproof system. Arnold Donald is chief executive of Carnival. He feels one option to ensure safety would be to adhere to social distancing measures and operate with less than 50 percent capacity. It is a fact that the demand for tours on cruise ships remain. Incidentally, in August 2019, cruise ships faced a different type of crisis in Venice.

Return of cruise ships on the Mediterranean Sea

According to CNN, cruise ships will make a comeback on the Mediterranean Sea. The travel sector has suffered heavy losses after the incident of the Diamond Princess. It docked off the coast of Japan in February and was an example of the speed with which coronavirus can spread on a ship. That led to a closure of sea cruises. In order to restart, cruises now on offer will be restricted to those who reside in Europe's 26-nation Schengen Area.

The Italian government on August 10 stipulated this. There will be strict checks at various points based on a comprehensive operating protocol. These procedures will remain in place as long as this pandemic exists.

Depending on the success of the initial batch of cruises, it will extend to cover more destinations. The ships are idling. Right now, tour operators, hotels and supporting services are missing business opportunities and want to make a fresh start. In June 2017, one of the operators revealed designs for the world's largest cruise ship.

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