(6:25 p.m. BST) -- Marella Cruises has detailed its plans for the safe resumption of its cruise itineraries, outlining new health and safety measures along with details of its new "Marella Promise"
The company -- a subsidiary of TUI Group -- revealed the changes in a press release, noting that it hopes to begin operations on October 2 with the departure of the 1,924-passenger Marella Explorer from Corfu.
As part of the new Marella Promise, the company will offer what it terms "Quarantine Free" cruises, offering sailings and port calls in countries that do not currently have isolation measures in place.
The new Marella Promise will also offer customers the flexibility to make changes to their selected cruise whether it is affected by COVID-19 regulations or not. The company also promises that if the line's standards cannot be upheld, or it there are significant itinerary changes, the cruise will simply not go ahead.
For bookings made prior to September 30, customers can move their voyage to a later date without penalty.
New Health and Safety Measures
The line also unveiled a new list of health and safety precautions it will take once cruising resumes. This includes a health questionnaire and temperature check upon embarkation; the use of face masks onboard and ashore when social distancing isn't practical; and a reduced passenger count onboard.
Luggage will also be disinfected before it is taken onboard the vessel, and directional signage will be installed onboard to aid passengers in navigation.
Marella says public rooms and cabins will be deep-cleaned on a regular basis, and increased sanitization stations will be added throughout the vessel.
Buffets will now be served in conjunction with wait staff, and the vessel's entertainment program will continue but with social distancing guidelines. The same goes for the pool and sun loungers on the pool deck, the latter of which will be spaced further apart.
Passengers will also be encouraged to use Marella Cruises' Navigate app in order to book excursions and dining reservations onboard.
"We're looking forward to welcoming guests back onboard our ships again soon and we're hopeful we'll be able to start operations at the beginning of October," said Chris Hackney, managing director with Marella Cruises. "Our teams have been working really hard to ensure we're ready to give customers the best and safest experience when we can."