Aida and Hapag Lloyd follow TUI and start their Canary Island cruises next weekend
The Canary Islands are already consolidated as a safe destination for cruise ships, as a month after TUI restarted operations in the port of Las Palmas without incident, Aida and Hapag Lloyd are now following in their footsteps with cruises next weekend.
Currently, the Canary Islands is the only place in the world, except for limited operations in China, where cruise tourism has been reactivated. The strict protocols that are applied guarantees security and is giving good results as has been verified in the last month, the time that TUI has been operating.
Aida Cruises will start again on December 5th with the 'Aida Perla', a ship that is currently sailing towards the archipelago, and on the 20th it will be joined by the 'Aida Mar', which is one of the ships that has been anchored in the bay of Las Palmas since the state of alarm.
The Perla has a capacity for 3,300 passengers but will operate with a maximum of 2,400 due to Covid regulations, while the 'Aida Mar', will operate with 1,644 passengers on board, according to the commercial director of the Port Authority of Las Palmas, Juan Francisco Martín.
As for Hapag Lloyd, the super luxury brand of TUI Cruises, it will be based in Tenerife and will make its first trip on Friday 4th December. This ship has a capacity exclusively for 300 people but will move only 50%, that is, 150 people for all islands.
In addition, from December 17th, TUI will incorporate a second ship, the 'Mein Schiff VI' to the islands after the good demand registered by the 'Mein Shiff II', which began operating on November 5th with 900 passengers. The last two weeks they have risen to 1,200 approaching the allocated capacity cap of 1,600.
With these additions, from the second half of December there will be five cruise ships operating in the islands and on different days to avoid crowds. As Martín explains, the British Marella Explorer is also pending to restart operations, which plans to do so on Mondays. "The ports are free on Tuesdays and Wednesdays if any other company wants to operate their cruises."
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The protocol, which applies to both passengers and crew, is very demanding. Passengers arrive in the Canary Islands on chartered flights and with a negative PCR test result. When they arrive at the islands and before boarding, they pass a temperature control so that, if any symptoms are detected, they are subjected to a new test. In case of positive, the shipping companies have contracted accommodation and medical centres for those passengers who cannot board.
In the month that TUI has been operating, no positive has been detected among the travellers, although they have been detected among the crew, who have remained ashore in quarantine.
Similarly, cruise passengers on their excursions to the islands, do not come into contact with residents. They do them in bubble groups and in buses hired just for them. The cruise ship is a safe place and has a green light.