This is according to Cruise Industry News, which cited crew aboard the line’s ships who in turn heard it during a town hall-style meeting with executives. So it could also be a case of ‘broken telephone‘.
Costa will reportedly be deploying its two largest cruise ships, Costa Diadema and Costa Smeralda in the Mediterranean from August onwards, but there are no details yet on homeports or itineraries.
Costa Diadema, built in 2014, homeported in Dubai last season and was at the time the largest ship in Costa’s fleet at 132,500-gross tons and carrying 3,724 passengers (at double occupancy).
Costa Smeralda, launched in 2019, is 185,010-gross tons and carries 5,224 passengers (at double occupancy). She is LNG-powered and her sister ship AIDAcosma, of fellow Carnival-owned line AIDA Cruises, will be homeporting in Dubai next year.
A letter was sent to Costa Cruises crew in the wake of the meeting, stating that the cruise line is working with various institutions to restart operations with a limited number of vessels, as soon as August.
These plans are dependent on a number of self-imposed conditions being met, including availability of ports, flight connectivity for various potential homeports in Europe and the cruise line’s own protocols for protecting crew and guests.
Costa has said that one of the primary challenges initially will be simply crewing the ships, as its fleet was placed in cold lay-up and crew sent home to various countries across the world.
Many countries are restricting the movement of crew, presenting challenges in getting crew to the ships.Costa has therefore asked crew near the end of their contracts to consider extending their contracts aboard.
Other crew members currently at sea as skeleton crew for Costa Diadema, Costa Smeralda and other ships in the fleet will be unaffected.
“We officially inform all crew members under valid contract that they will be requested to fulfill their contract commitment, continuing the regular schedule of operation,” the company letter read.