AIDA Cruises to begin Canary Islands trips on Dec. 5

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the travel industry, one cruise line just announced new trips starting in less than two weeks.

AIDA Cruises, a German brand owned by Carnival Corp., is set to return two ships to service in the Canary Islands next month. The AIDAperla will begin sailing on Dec. 5 and the AIDAmar will join it starting Dec. 20.

The seven-day voyages will leave from Gran Canaria on Saturdays and Sundays, according to the cruise line.

AIDA’s announcement came as German leaders have reached an agreement to extend the country’s coronavirus lockdown in December with an amnesty period around Christmas, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

The Canary Islands are located off the coast of northwest Africa and controlled by Spain. The Spanish government set travel regulations for the Canaries this month, which AIDA said are in line with the coronavirus safety protocols it had already set in place.

Those precautions include temperature checks, free COVID-19 tests, increased disinfection measures on board and guided shore excursions. One passenger was even barred from returning to an AIDA ship in October after he left his excursion group in Catania, Italy.

AIDA just resumed limited cruising in October but had to cancel all its November voyages after the German government instituted a new lockdown in response to rising COVID-19 cases.

The cruise line is now also canceling cruises on the AIDAstella and AIDAprima between Dec. 1 and Jan. 26, it announced on Wednesday.

In the U.S., cruises remain canceled while cruise lines work to meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health safety requirements. Just this week, Royal Caribbean suspended weeklong cruises through next November, Disney canceled cruises until February and P&O extended its operations pause through April.