As the pandemic situation continues to evolve, cruise lines are constantly adapting their health and safety protocols. Following recommendations from government and health authorities, several brands are also updating their vaccine policy requirements.
Cruise Industry News has studied some of those policies of a selection of cruise lines.
Carnival Cruise Line
Sailing from several U.S. homeports, Carnival Cruise Line is currently requiring most of its guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Carnival Cruise Line’s policy is that everyone must be vaccinated, with a very small number of exceptions for children under 12 and those unable to be vaccinated,” the company said on its website.
According to Carnival, the approach “exceeds the requirements for vaccinated cruises under the CDC’s guidance, and meets requirements set by the destinations” visited during the cruises.
Guests are considered to be fully vaccinated when they have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to sailing and have proof of vaccination.
Royal Caribbean International
According to the company’s website, Royal Caribbean International’s vaccination requirements vary by port of departure and age group.
For cruises departing from all U.S. homeports, all guests aged 12 and older must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing.
For cruises departing European ports, such as Barcelona (Spain) and Southampton (England), guests aged 18 and older are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 at least 14 days before sailing.
Vaccination requirements may vary by itinerary, too. According to Royal Caribbean, information regarding the latest requirements for each departure port will be sent to all booked guests within 30 days before setting sail.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing 100-percent vaccinated cruises through the end of the year.
Therefore, all guests (including children) and crew embarking through Dec. 31 will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to sail in the period.
MSC Cruises’ vaccination policy varies by region and country of origin.
Through Oct. 31, U.S. passengers cruising from a U.S. homeport are required to be fully vaccinated 14 days before the cruise. “If you are unable or unwilling to show proof of vaccine, you will be denied boarding,” MSC stated on its website.
Similarly, U.S. passengers aged 12 and older are required to be fully vaccinated to sail on MSC’s Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruises.
European guests, however, may be subjected to different vaccination policies. Italian residents who cruise in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, for instance, can embark with a negative molecular COVID-19 test taken 48 hours before the cruise.
Currently sailing from the United States and the United Kingdom, Princess Cruises is operating vaccinated cruises. According to the company, the requirements are in accordance with health authority directives and follow the CDC definitions, with guests and crew vaccination rates close to 100 percent.
All cruises through Dec. 31 are currently only available to guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.
According to Princess, passengers will be asked to confirm they’re fully vaccinated by providing proof of vaccination before boarding.
According to the Celebrity Cruises website, all crew and guests who are eligible to be vaccinated must be fully vaccinated with all doses administered at least 14 days prior to sailing.
The company will also “continue to abide by CDC guidance and require all guests 12 years and older to be fully vaccinated with all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at least 14 days prior to sailing.”
Holland America Line
While Holland America Line’s health protocol varies by region, it requires guests to be fully vaccinated for every destination the brand is sailing in 2021.
According to Holland America’s website, cruises sailing through Dec. 31 are only available to passengers who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.
Saga Cruises is asking all guests to have had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to boarding.
After resuming service with domestic sailings in the UK in June, the two-ship British cruise line has resumed international operations, offering cruises to the Baltic and the Mediterranean.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line reviewed its COVID-19 vaccination policy in August, following an order implemented by the Bahamas Customs & Excise Department.
According to a statement, the company is now requiring all guests 12 years and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The new rules are in place until Oct. 31, 2021.
TUI Cruises’ guests are currently required to show at least one negative COVID-19 test before cruise departure. Vaccination requirements, in the meantime, vary by country and region.
When sailing to the Caribbean, for instance, passengers must also show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the company, guests will receive all the important information and requirements for their trip via email before the start of their journey.