Germany-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has announced plans to commence sailing by the end of this month with the implementation of hygiene and preventive measures.

The cruises will first begin from Hamburg on the EUROPA 2 luxury ship and the HANSEATIC inspiration expedition ship.

The passenger numbers on the ships will be around 150 to 300, a decrease of 40% in capacity.

The cruise operation restart is based on the guidelines from the relevant authorities. The prevention and safety measures on the ship will be based on the guidelines.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has outlined the measures in a ten-point plan which will adhere to the highest standards of hygiene and also provide ‘safe and comfortable cruise’.

Complying with the German authorities, only passengers who are residents of Germany, Austria and Switzerland will be permitted on the ship.

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Hapag-Lloyd Cruises CEO Karl J. Pojer said: “We have taken extraordinary measures in preparation for this relaunch and are faced with a new travel reality with significantly stricter prevention and hygiene standards.

“We have taken our time because the safety of our guests and crew and the trust of those in charge of the German ports is very important to us.

“For the relaunch, in accordance with the German authorities, we have agreed to exclusively welcome guests who are resident in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on board at first.

“In the next phase, we will evaluate whether we are able to allow guests who are resident in other countries to travel with us, depending on the development of the infection rate in those countries.”

Earlier this week, TUI Group finalised the sale of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to the TUI and Royal Caribbean Cruises joint venture (JV) TUI Cruises in a €1.2bn ($1.3bn) deal.