Cruise ships return to the Med as travel revives

Cruise ships are setting sail again in the Mediterranean.

The Costa Smeralda is the world's fifth largest.

It's now on its way round Sicily and Sardinia.

In normal times it would carry over 5,000 passengers.

Right now though, it's limited to less than half that.

Passengers have to show a negative test before boarding, and do another mid-cruise.

Mask wearing is mandatory.

Mario Zanetti is the president of the ship's operator, Costa Cruises.

"In order to follow the protocols of social distancing, we have a limited capacity and have had to reduce the number of guests, in order to strictly and efficiently follow the regulations. The priority is the health of our guests and our staff on board and the communities that we will visit."

The cruise industry was devastated by the global health crisis.

But now operators are making a tentative return.

This week Norwegian Cruise Line said it would start sailing again in the U.S. from August.

Rivals Carnival and Royal Caribbean will resume cruises there from July.

Passengers on the Costa Smeralda were certainly happy to be back aboard.

I feel I got my liberty back, says this woman.

But the ship is quieter than usual.

The casino and bars are empty, and there's no sign of the usual queue for the water slide.

Cruising may be back, but right now it's still a shadow of the business it once was.

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