The TUI Cruises ship Mein Schiff 2 set sail for a weekend roundtrip (cruise to nowhere) in the North Sea late Friday night, July 24.
The liner is using strict precautions in order to keep crew and passengers as safe as possible. Mein Schiff 2 occupancy was limited to 60% so guests could keep their distance from one another, though that level was not reached. Mein Schiff 2 sailed off with just 1,200 passengers onboard compared to the vessel's max passenger capacity of 2894.
The vessel departed from homeport Hamburg for Norway, and travellers spent the weekend at sea with no land stops prior to returning to Germany on Monday.
Crew and passengers were required to stay 1.5 m (5 ft) away from one another or wear face masks. They were not able to serve themselves at the buffet. All guests had to fill out a health questionnaire before boarding and also had their temperatures taken.
After being shut down for months, German cruise companies are hoping that strictly controlled, shorter trips will help restart the business devastated by the pandemic.
Starting on August 5, AIDA Cruises will sail from Hamburg with its first voyage since the lockdown, with a 2nd to leave August 12 from Warnemunde-Rostock and a 3rd departing August 16 from Kiel.