The first cruise ship to dock in the Port of Malaga since the start of the coronavirus pandemic has arrived on the Costa del Sol this Tuesday morning, 15 June.
The Mein Schiff 2, from the shipping company TUI Cruises, arrived at around 6am in the morning with a thousand German passengers on board on a cruise that has a Spanish itinerary.
To guarantee the maximum safety of cruise passengers and residents, contact with those on land will be minimal as holidaymakers will travel in a 'bubble’ from the start of the trip. All the passengers had travelled from Germany to the Canary Islands by plane to board the ship, that will stay in Malaga until 7pm, before heading on to Palma de Mallorca.
Cruise ship crew and all passengers had to produce a negative PCR test prior to boarding, and the crew had to additionally perform a period of preventive isolation. Once onboard the ship, which is travelling at between 50 and 60 per cent capacity, passengers were given a talk on coronavirus prevention measures and protocols. Cabins with a balcony will be reserved for preventive isolations if deemed necessary. Likewise, cruise passengers will have a medical insurance policy that guarantees stopover hospitalisation or accommodation in the event of preventive isolation.
While the ship is in the city, as well as getting to know Malaga, visits to the Caminito del Rey, Marbella, Puerto Banús, Mijas and Ronda have also been organised.
The cruise company has made it clear that "the cruise passengers will leave the ship together and return in the same way." And they will only be allowed to do the company’s excursions in coaches whose drivers have had a negative Covid-19 test.
The president of the Port Authority, Carlos Rubio, considers the arrival of this cruise ship is "very important news" and said "we have been working for months to arrive at this moment with the application of all security measures."
Rubio is optimistic about the future and points out that “from now on we hope to gradually recover the number of cruise passengers that we had in the past, who are an important source of income and employment.”
Later this Tuesday a second ship, the Mein Schiff 4, will arrive at the port, but without passengers and only for a technical stopover.