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Aug. 3 updates: Costa health protocols, Crystal cancels all 2020 sailings, Regent extends promotion

CRUISE Crystal Symphony.jpg
Crystal canceled all ocean, yacht and river voyages through 2020, including sailings on Crystal Symphony, pictured here
Here's a quick read of some of today’s coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Costa shares new health safety protocols

Costa Cruises detailed its new health protocols supported by a panel of independent scientists and experts coordinated by Value in Health Technology and Academy for Leadership and Innovation, a spin-off of the Università Cattolica of Rome.

The line also undertook classification society RINA’s Biosafety Trust Certification, a scheme that audits the proper management of health aspects in all areas on board.

Crew will be pre-screened in their home country, including two swab tests to evaluate suspected COVID-19 cases. Upon arrival in Italy they are tested a third time; those confirmed negative are allowed on board for a 14-day quarantine with daily temperature checks and swab tests to continue monthly.

Passengers will have upgraded digital procedures, such as online check-in and the ability to book services through the MyCosta app. There will be health screenings with temperature checks carried out at every access and exit to the ship in all ports and, on board, via self-service electronic devices.

Physical distancing will be respected at each cruise terminal, while tours have been redesigned for small groups with staggered departures, buses sanitized before and after each use.

Masks required indoors

Passenger capacity will be reduced.  The use of masks will be mandatory when indoors. Outdoors masks will be required in all situations where distancing is not possible and according shoreside regulations.

Ships will undergo more frequent cleaning and sanitization using special products, and the ventilation systems have been equipped with new filters that filter fresh air from the outside, with air circulation minimized.

More shows during the day

Entertainment will provide more shows during the day for smaller groups of people. All meals will be served by the staff, with no self-service dining.

The ships will be equipped with PCR test kits and diagnostic devices authorized by European Union for the immediate evaluation of suspected COVID-19 cases, and the medical team has been trained in the relevant procedures and treatments. Processes have been developed to facilitate medical care, safe disembarkation and a safe return home as quickly as possible for travelers with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Medical services related to flu symptoms or related to breathing difficulties are free for all passengers and specific insurance coverage is provided.

Crystal cancels all voyages through 2020

Crystal Cruises canceled ocean voyages aboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, yacht voyages aboard Crystal Esprit and river sailings on Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel through 2020.

For ocean and yacht voyages, Crystal is providing a 125% future cruise credit of the fare paid for fully paid reservations and refunding port charges, taxes and fees paid along with any air and hotel packages booked through Crystal. For those who have not paid in full, the credit will be based on the deposited amount. Credits are valid on any Crystal experience — ocean, river, yacht or expedition — embarking through 2023.

For river sailings, travelers may move their current 2020 reservation, including all payments made, to an equivalent sailing during the same time period in 2021, with price protection for the cruise fare and port charges.

Or, they may transfer their reservation to any Crystal experience embarking through 2023 at prevailing rates.

If a river option isn't chosen by Aug. 14, 2020, Crystal will automatically issue a future credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid, valid on any Crystal experience through 2023 and refund port charges, taxes and fees paid, and any air and hotel packages booked through Crystal.

'Return with Regent' extended

Regent Seven Seas Cruises extended its 'Return with Regent' promotion for bookings made by Aug. 31 for 2021 voyages to Alaska, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

The offer also includes a $1,000 shipboard credit and 50% reduced deposits, as well as the security of 'Regent Reassurance,' which allows travelers to cancel their cruise up to 15 days before departure date and receive a 100% future cruise credit. Travel partners in the US and Canada will receive a $100 gift card.