A number of cruise lines have announced plans to restart operations in the coming months, and some of those brands are requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccine for passengers. Other brands are expected to follow suit but have not made announcements.
Cruise brands requiring the COVID-19 vaccine:
“The health and safety of our customers has always been our number one priority at Saga, so we have taken the decision to require everyone travelling with us to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19”, the British cruise line said in a statement.
To travel with Saga, guests now must have received full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before the embarkation date.
American Queen and Victory
Two other cruise lines made the COVID-19 vaccines mandate for all guests in February. American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines announced that the vaccination requirement will go into effect for all sailings beginning on July 1, 2021.
Crew members and non-shipboard employees across all seven vessels in both company fleets will also need to be inoculated.
“The health and safety of our guests, crew members and partners continue to remain our top priority. Vaccination requirement for both our guests and crew is the most prudent next step to ensure that we are providing the safest cruising experience possible”, said John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Company.
Passengers will be asked to provide proof of vaccination before embarkation and must have received both doses of the vaccine.
“We know that peace of mind is the greatest luxury; and the vaccine requirement is simply the best way to ensure the safest possible Crystal Experience for all onboard,” said Crystal’s interim president and CEO, Jack Anderson.
Crystal’s crew is expected to be vaccinated as well, depending on the availability of the vaccines on their home countries.
“Safety and security is our number one priority, and always has been our number one priority. We’ve heard the president talk about the acceleration of vaccines out there, where by May, all adults could be vaccinated. So, we think that that’s an important criterium to create a safe environment on our ships,” Virgin Voyages’ CEO Tom McAlpin said in an interview aired on ABC News’ Good Morning America.
Virgin currently plans to start service on July 1, sailing from Miami.
Royal Caribbean (Israel and North America)
While not making it a company policy, Royal Caribbean announced that COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory for guests in two specific operations.
For the recently announced restart in North America, all crew will be vaccinated, and guests age 18 and over will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination as well.
In Israel, Royal Caribbean plans to offer the first fully vaccinated sailings, where both crew and guests above the age of 16 will be need to vaccinated against COVID-19, the cruise line said.
P&O and Princess
The Carnival Corporation brands said that given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination program and strongly expressed preference on the part of its guests for this series of UK coastal sailings, the cruises will be for UK resident COVID-19 vaccinated guests only.
Another cruise line requiring the COVID-19 vaccination on its return is Celebrity Cruises.
The cruise line will offer Caribbean cruises from St. Maarten starting on June 5, with the Celebrity Millennium.
The ship will sail with vaccinated crew and will be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of embarkation, according to a press release.