Europe cruise lines approach Covid lockdowns differently

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The AidaLuna. Aida Cruises has canceled all of its sailings for November.
The AidaLuna. Aida Cruises has canceled all of its sailings for November.

Some of Europe's leading cruise lines are taking different approaches to the partial lockdowns being implemented in parts of Europe this week, with some choosing to cancel or curtail operations and others staying the course.

Germany, France and Italy are among nations that have enacted limitations on leisure and nonessential activities to try and abate a Covid-19 surge in Europe.

TUI Cruises, jointly owned by Royal Caribbean Group, provided a statement to a German publication that said that the measures announced "will not bring our ships to a standstill again."

During a third-quarter business update with investors today, Royal Caribbean Group CEO Richard Fain said that neither of Royal's German-based cruise brands, Tui Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd, would curtail operations and said it didn't appear that the new regulations affected the brands, "and that's because of the success of the protocols."

Carnival Corp.-owned Aida Cruises, which focuses on the German market, canceled all of its November cruises and said it supported the measures and "appreciates guests understanding the importance of making health and safety the most important priority."

In a statement, Aida said that "Chancellor Angela Merkel had called on all citizens to refrain from private travel unless it is absolutely necessary. This also applies to tourist travel. Accommodation offers in the inland are made available only for necessary and expressly not touristic purposes."

Germany is banning hotels from accepting tourists, only allowing them to accommodate people for "necessary and expressly non-touristic purposes."

To this point, Tui said, "Since staying on board our ships is not considered domestic tourism, arrival and departure at the respective departure port is still permitted as transit. With us on board you can continue to feel as safe as at home."

Aida's sister brand Costa Cruises this week also pulled back on its upcoming cruise schedule in response. 

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