Today, 8 July, Genoa's Stazioni Marittime Cruise Terminal welcomes the Mein Schiff 4 on her inaugural voyage from the Ligurian capital. TUI Cruises, a joint venture between the top US cruise liner Royal Caribbean and Germany's leading tour operator TUI Group, has nominated the Ligurian city as its Italian homeport thanks to the high service quality provided by the terminal facilities and the strict safety and security standards in force for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A key driver behind the cruise liner's decision to sail from Genoa is the International Christopher Columbus Airport's prime location 6 km from the passenger terminal, equipped to cater for the six weekly charter flights, offered by the tour operator to its cruise passengers, from Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg and Dusseldorf.
The MeinSchiff 4 vessel is over 293 metres in length and has a capacity of up to 2500 passengers (the ship is to sail with reduced numbers to guarantee social distancing). The TUI Cruises vessel is scheduled to depart from the Port of Genoa every Thursday, from July of this year through to the autumn, for a total of 14 port of calls, offering a selection of 2-week cruises across the Mediterranean.
The passengers, approximately a thousand per cruise, are principally German and must comply with the anti-Covid safety protocol requirements in force which includes a compulsory swab test prior to embarkation.
The cruise liner features only protected shore excursions, as has already been successfully adopted by MSC and Costa Cruises which call regularly at the Western Ligurian Sea Ports of Genoa and Savona. TUI Cruises is the third major cruise liner to resume sailings from Italy and, specifically, from the Ligurian capital.