We ask around: how are shipping companies reacting to switzerland’s testing regime??



Since the 4. December 2021 stricter entry regulations apply in Switzerland. The quarantine list has been dropped, but a negative PCR test, which must not be older than 72h, must be presented on return from all countries. Between the 4. and 7. Day must be made in addition another PCR or antigen test and transmitted to the cantonal authority. Elaborate, costly, and depending on the trip, disproportionate. But how do the shipping companies react to the new testing regime of Switzerland? We have asked.

Costa and TUI Cruises help guests get a PCR test for the return trip.

At Costa Cruises we received the following response to our inquiry: "Yes, on board of Costa ships guests can book a coronatest with a nasopharyngeal swab (antigen rapid test or molecular PCR test). The tests are subject to a fee (PCR test: 40 € per passenger) and are carried out before disembarking on board so that the test result is available in time. So Costa makes it easier for guests who need a negative test result to return home.

For those guests for whom flexibility is especially important during these times, Costa offers the opportunity to rebook cruises once up to 15 days before the departure date for free with many sales promotions.

Our priority is to provide our guests with a safe, relaxed and memorable vacation experience. We therefore recommend that our guests take out a Covid-19 insurance package from our partner insurer Europe Assistance, which includes Corona trip cancellation insurance, Corona trip interruption insurance and Corona trip health insurance. This can be completed via Costa. Guests may also purchase such insurance from another provider of their choice."

TUI Cruises also offers assistance with PCR tests and comments on the situation as follows: "Last Friday, Switzerland surprisingly and without prior announcement tightened the conditions for re-entry: since Saturday, 04 April, vacation returnees from abroad require a PCR test.12.2021 a negative PCR test result prior to entry into Switzerland. The test is at your own expense. Of course, we support guests with a return trip to Switzerland as best as possible in organizing the test capacities required at short notice. Our guests will receive all important information in good time on board the Mein Schiff fleet.

We organize the tests for our guests on the spot. We have no influence on the costs – these are calculated by the respective test center/laboratory and must be borne by the guests themselves.

The normal terms and conditions continue to apply.

AIDA Cruises refers to the currently valid hygiene and protection concept.

AIDA Cruises, on the other hand, does not comment at all on the situation in Switzerland, but explains its hygiene and protection concept: "Every guest must be tested for COVID-19 before the start of the trip. Depending on the itinerary, several tests may be necessary. This also applies to fully vaccinated guests who have recovered from COVID-19. If a PCR test is required for the voyage, it is free of charge at our partners Centogene and Helios Kliniken. For a PCR test at the doctor's office or at a test center we thank you with a board credit. The PCR test at check-in (a requirement for some itineraries) is also free of charge. In case of a positive COVID-19 test before departure, our guests have the possibility to rebook to another AIDA voyage.

For all ascending guests (6 years and older), we conduct a COVID-19 test at check-in. For children from 3 to 5 years a lollipop test will be done at check-in.

In the event of a necessary quarantine in the destination area after a positive test, AIDA will provide free accommodation and subsequent free return journey home.

In our medical centers on board, u.a. equipped with the latest COVID-19 test equipment, we guarantee comprehensive care for guests and crew around the clock. In case of suspected cases, sufficient possibilities for immediate individual isolation are available. Fellow travelers of the guest who tested positive and close contacts are located, also isolated and tested. Together with the ship's management, the medical staff reports the health status as well as suspected and positive cases to the port authorities and respective health offices and consults with them on further action to be taken. In case of necessary quarantine in the destination area, we organize free of charge the accommodation and subsequent return home."

In an earlier report, we pointed out that AIDA Cruises offers on-board testing. However, we do not specify at what price and which method is used.

shipping companies react, but do not offer free cancellation.

The shipping companies, at least the most important providers for the Swiss market, agree and support the customer for a problem-free return journey to Switzerland with testing facilities on board. A free cancellation of the travel contract is not possible with TUI Cruises. Costa Cruises offers all guests a free rebooking up to 15 days prior to departure. With the new AIDA Winter Promise, AIDA Cruises is also responding by offering a discount on all new bookings made from 9. December 2021 with the start of the journey up to and including 31. March 2022, a one-time, free of charge rebooking up to 40 days before departure at. With MSC Cruises, you can rebook once free of charge up to 21 days before departure.

As travel between Switzerland and other countries is guaranteed by additional measures, such as the new test regime, all shipping companies adhere to their AVRB in case of cancellation by the guest. As long as the journeys take place and an in- or. If the departure in the respective homeland as well as destination countries is guaranteed, one sees no reason to offer free cancellations. Goodwill checks can be made.

Whether now the high, additional test costs are proportionate and justifiable? This can be discussed. What is certain is that the shipping companies provide assistance and comply with the new measures.

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