First Mediterranean cruise ship sets sail after five month pandemic pause

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fairly difficult
The first major cruise ship to resume tours of the Mediterranean since the coronavirus pandemic hit Europe set sail from the Italian city of Genoa on Sunday, as the industry tries to regain ground after a bruising hiatus.
The departure of the MSC Grandiosa from the northwestern port city represents a high-stakes test for the global cruise sector.

The crisis forced operators to ground their ships and also led to accusations that they botched the handling of the epidemic in its early stages.

Cruise lines are hoping that tighter protocols will allow them to control the still-lingering threat of coronavirus aboard its ships while still offering travellers a cruise experience that does not disappoint.

With horns blaring and spectators cheering, this was the scene in Genoa tonight as MSC Grandiosa became the first big cruise ship to return to the Med (video by MSC Magnifica retail team, with permission) @MSC_Cruises_UK @MSCCruisesUSA @MSCCruises_PR @MSCTravelAgents pic.twitter.com/x9PtFwRZYJ — Dave Monk (@shipmonk) August 16, 2020

Earlier in the day, arriving passengers preparing to check in before taking a required coronavirus blood test inside the terminal told AFP they were not concerned about the virus. Some said they believed cruises were now safer than other vacation options.

"I couldn't miss the first cruise after COVID," cruise blogger Rosalba Scarrone, 64, told AFP.

"I've taken 87 cruises, can you imagine how much I've suffered not setting off from February until now?"

The Grandiosa is part of the fleet of privately owned MSC Cruises, founded in Naples but now based in Geneva. The ship will…
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