TUI Cruises kicks off its 2020 season from Greece this week, with the group’s Mein Schiff 5 commencing a five-day voyage beginning from the large island of Crete and ending there.

Some 1,000 passengers arrived at Irakleio’s (Heraklion) airport on Thursday to board the cruise ship, which will disembark on Friday.

The island of Rhodes and the greater Athens-area’s port of Piraeus are also on the itinerary.

“We’ve waited for this moment a long time. The Mein Schiff 5 departs tomorrow for its first voyage of this year’s season. It’s a very emotional moment, for both the guests and the crew,” TUI Cruises CEO Wybcke Meier said.

TUI Cruises had employed its Mein Schiff 6 vessel last September for cruises in Greek waters, which included stops at mainland ports and daily excursions for the passengers.

Passengers will have to provide a very recent negative Covid-19 test result before boarding, while all social distancing protocols and public health measures to contain the virus will be strictly enforced on-board.

Additionally, only 60 percent of the vessel’s capacity will be used.

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