Hamburg Germany-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises announced plans to commence sailings by the end of July with the implementation of preventive and hygiene measures. The voyages will first begin out of Hamburg on Europa 2 and Hanseatic Inspiration.
The onboard passenger capacity per vessel will be reduced to 150-300 (40% decrease). The operations' restart is based on guidelines from the relevant authorities, with shipboard safety measures based on these guidelines.
Hapag-Lloyd outlined the measures in a 10-point plan which will adhere to the highest standards of hygiene and provide a "safe and comfortable cruise".
Complying with the German authorities, only passengers who are residents of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland will be permitted onboard the cruise ship.
According to the company's CEO Karl J. Pojer, they had taken extraordinary measures in preparation for the relaunch and were faced with a new travel reality with stricter prevention and hygiene standards. He added they had taken their time because the safety of their guests and crew and the trust of those in charge of the German ports was very important to thems.
"For the relaunch, in accordance with the German authorities, we have agreed to exclusively welcome guests who are resident in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on board at first. In the next phase, we will evaluate whether we are able to allow guests who are resident in other countries to travel with us, depending on the development of the infection rate in those countries.”
Earlier this week, TUI Group finalized the sale of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to TUI and Royal Caribbean Cruises joint venture TUI Cruises in a EUR 1,2 billion (USD 1,3 B) deal.