Cruises return to normal operations: after Corona restrictions

Return to normal operation: where land-based crown rules are no longer applicable, cruise lines are also following suit.
Return to normal operation: where land-based crown rules are no longer applicable, cruise lines are also following suit. (Quelle: jgroup / getty-images-bilder)

Corona tests are still required in several forms prior to a deep sea cruise, depending on the national regulations in the respective countries of departure. However, these tests are only very rarely performed directly during boarding in the port. Rather, passengers must bring proof of the negative antigen test with them to board.

And no surprise: just like on land, there are cases of Corona on board. Not entirely free from difficulties, as shown, for example, by the rejection of the “Mein Schiff Herz” in Tangier, Morocco, on 7 June last. According to local media, the ship with 1,785 passengers and 640 crew members was not allowed to enter due to 26 corona cases on board.

The cruise ship fleets have largely returned to service

More and more shipping companies have reported in recent weeks: “All ships are back in service”. The entire fleet is active again with Azamara, Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, MSC, NCL, Oceania, Phoenix Reisen, Ponant, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn, Silversea, Star Clippers and TUI Cruises.

The AIDA is almost there, where with the AIDAvita only one of the thirteen ships does not sail. Costa will relaunch Costa Serena on 14 July 2022 in Japan and Costa Favolosa on 9 October 2022 in the Mediterranean. Celebrity Cruises’ latest ship, the Celebrity Infinity, returned to service on June 25, 2022.

At Holland America Line, Westerdam resumed on 12 June 2022. Volendam is scheduled for September and currently serves as a refuge for Ukrainian refugees in Rotterdam. Princess Cruises has three ships left out of service, the last of which – the Sapphire Princess – is expected to sail on September 24, 2022.

Shortage of staff and uncertain supply chains

Shipping companies now focus primarily on bringing service and quality back to pre-pandemic standards. Because the cruise business, from a logistical point of view, is not yet proceeding smoothly. Shortages of staff and difficulties in the supply chain are putting a brake on the work in the sector.

While there are only a few crew vacancies on most cruise ships, it remains a challenge for shipping companies to continue to find well-trained crews. As in the onshore hospitality industry, many former employees have been looking for new jobs during the pandemic and are not returning.

And so on some sea voyages, not everything is as it was before the pandemic – for example, individual restaurants have closed, bars are shortening their opening hours and the like.

Lack of guides and bus drivers

Shore excursion providers also suffer from staff shortages. There are not always enough guides, bus drivers and other staff available in sufficient numbers. But even here the situation is becoming more and more normal.

Leave a Comment