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Costa to add a few ships, carry more nationalities, in months ahead

Costa Firenze is the fourth of the line's 11 vessels to resume operations since the start of the pandemic
After starting this month with Costa Deliziosa and, from Sept. 19, Costa Diadema, Costa Cruises redesigned its itineraries from October to March with the gradual return of more ships and carrying more nationalities.

With the exception of Italians only during Costa Deliziosa's first three cruises, through Sept. 20, and the first sailing of Costa Diadema on Sept. 19 from Genoa, this winter season 2020/21 — starting Sept. 27  — will be open to residents of European countries included in the Italian government's Sept. 7 decree.

These (List A and List B countries) include Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Costa will adapt should the government make changes.

Details and opening of sales for the new winter itineraries will soon be available on the company's websites and from travel agencies. Costa said it continues working with national governments and local authorities to implement the Costa Safety Protocol in all destinations.

China ship Costa Firenze to debut in the Med

Costa Firenze, under construction at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard and designed for China, initially will be sailing in the Mediterranean. Starting Dec. 27, it will operate a weeklong cruise including Savona, La Spezia, Naples, Valencia, Barcelona and Marseille.

Costa did not mention China but, so far, the government there has not given the green light to ocean cruises.

Deliziosa to sail Trieste-Greece, then world cruise

Costa Deliziosa's weeklong all-Italy itinerary will become available for residents of European countries beyond Italy on Sept. 27 and Oct. 4. Starting Oct. 10, Costa Deliziosa will sail one-week cruises from Trieste to Greece. The ship's world cruise, departing Jan. 3, is also confirmed.

Add Smeralda from Savona, Diadema to Canaries, Egypt, Greece

Flagship Costa Smeralda, which is LNG-powered, is planned to resume sailing Oct. 10 from Savona to the Western Mediterranean.

Starting in November, Costa Diadema will offer a 12-day itinerary to the Canary Islands and a 14-day itinerary to Egypt and Greece.

Other sailings canceled to March, with Favolosa's Caribbean pending

Apart from these itineraries, all of Costa's other cruises scheduled from October to March are canceled with the exception of Costa Favolosa in the Caribbean. Costa promised information about Costa Favolosa 'as soon as possible.'

Antigen swab tests for all, controlled excursions

The Costa Safety Protocol will be implemented throughout these 2020/21 winter season cruises. This includes COVID-19 antigen swab tests for all before embarkation and protected shore excursions.