Can cruise lovers expect to travel by sea in the waters of Europe in August?
The cruise companies themselves are very much hoping for this, and the news of the opening of the six main ports of Greece on August 1 sounded like a signal for departure after several months of forced downtime due to COVID-19.
However, the decision of the world's leading shipping company - Carnival Cruise Line- to postpone its first cruises scheduled this week, due to the lack of a green light for their reception in Italian ports, shows that not all obstacles have been eliminated.
The Norwegian company Hurtigruten also temporarily suspended the shipment of its expedition liners after 44 cases of coronavirus infection were detected on one of its vessels, mostly among crew members.
Nevertheless, the two main shipowners in Europe - Costa Croisières and MSC Croisières - do not intend to give in to panic, waiting for the decision of the Italian authorities to open ports in the near future.
"This tourism sector is an obvious risk. And this is more about the audience of older people. Without vaccines, it is difficult to imagine a real recovery, " Didier Arino, General Director of the expert bureau for tourism Protourisme, commented on the situation to Agence France-Presse.
The situation with the Diamond Princess liner is still fresh in memory, 4,000 passengers of which were quarantined off the coast of Japan due to the outbreak of COVID-19 infection on board the ship.