It’s been more than a year since most cruise ships have been able to sail from or to U.S. ports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some cruise lines, with new cleaning equipment and safety measures in place, have already restarted operations in Europe and Asia, but U.S. cruise ship docks remain quiet.
Some cruise lines are announcing that they
will soon cruise from ports just outside the U.S., in
the Bahamas or the Caribbean. But with the increasingly steady
rollout of vaccines across the U.S., cruise fans
are getting excited about the thought of being able to
cruise from U.S. ports again.
The question remains: will you need to be
vaccinated against COVID-19 before you can board a cruise ship?
The answer isn’t fully clear yet,
but several popular cruise lines have already announced that
they will require passengers to be fully vaccinated before they come
on board. “Fully vaccinated” generally means that a passenger has received
a one-shot vaccine, or both doses of a two-shot vaccine.
Some cruise lines are specifying that vaccination must be
completed at least 14 days before boarding the ship.
Cruise lines that have announced they will require
COVID-19 vaccinations for some or all of their cruises include American
Cruise Lines, Avalon Waterways, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal
Cruises, Cunard Line, MSC Cruises, Princess
Cruises, Royal Caribbean, UnCruise Adventures, Virgin
Voyages and Windstar. Some cruise lines –
like Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas –
have announced that they will require all crew members to be fully
vaccinated before sailing, though they have not yet
announced any vaccination requirements for passengers.
Already, the details of vaccinations and
testing requirements vary among cruise lines. For example, American
Cruise Lines requires COVID vaccination and a negative
COVID-19 PCR test taken within four days of sailing. Avalon
Waterways require proof that passengers have been fully vaccinated;
or, proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 72
hours of sailing; or, proof of having recovered from a confirmed COVID-19
diagnosis within the previous 90 days.
As for children, some cruise lines,
including Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, have announced they
will require guests under age 18 to present proof of a negative
COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of sailing.
As you plan your next cruise, stay in touch with
Anita, your professional travel advisor, who will be able to update you on the
COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for your chosen cruise line.
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