Cruise lines are once again daring to offer holidays in European waters. Holland America Line has been authorized by Greek authorities to offer cruises starting August 15 from the port of Piraeus. The subsidiary of the world's largest cruise company, Carnival Cruise Lines, is the latest shipping company that tourists can turn to for pleasure cruises across the Mediterranean this year.
Last week, a ship from the Italian Carnival subsidiary Costa Crociere departed with passengers for the first time since the corona crisis. The Costa Smeralda left Savona on Saturday for a weeklong cruise trip. This summer season, Costa is counting on four ships to visit holiday destinations in the Mediterranean. Another European provider of cruises under the American concern, AIDA, expects to be able to offer travel again from Greece from 23 May.
Cruise lines are among the companies first affected by the corona pandemic. In February 2020, all passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship were forced to stay on board for weeks after an outbreak of the then new lung virus. More than 700 people on board were found to be infected and a few passengers died. Country after country refused to allow cruise ships after the first corona outbreaks.
Due to all the travel restrictions, Carnival and other major cruise companies lost billions. According to Carnival, last year's outbreaks aboard ships didn't deter passengers from cruises for good. The company reported in January that the demand for travel for the first half of 2022 will be higher than the level of 2019. But it will take until 2023 for the market to fully recover, CEO Arnold Donald predicted in an interview with business newspaper