Cities On Water.
As the travel industry gears up for the summer and COVID-19 vaccines continue to be distributed globally, government officials aren’t the only ones changing travel requirements for vaccinated visitors. After canceling itineraries for several months—and in some cases, even more than a year—cruise lines are starting to implement their own regulations to get back out on the high seas. These are the major cruise lines requiring all passengers and crew members to get fully vaccinated before sailing aboard their ships.
In February, American Queen Steamboat Company and sister company Victory Cruise Lines announced that they would begin implementing a vaccination requirement for all sailings beginning July 1, 2021. Crew members and non-shipboard employees across all seven vessels in both company fleets will also need to be fully vaccinated by that date.
Travelers hoping to embark on a Crystal Cruises sailing will need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before their cruise. To ensure this regulation is properly adhered to, passengers will be required to provide proof of vaccination before boarding the ship. Even before booking their cruise, passengers will also have to fill out a form acknowledging this vaccination requirement. As for the crew, they hail from places worldwide and will be expected to get vaccinated, depending on the availability of vaccines in their home countries.
Just four months ahead of its first sailing scheduled for July 1, Virgin Voyages announced it would require all passengers and crew members to be fully vaccinated before embarking the ship.
“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, whereby 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.
Although the vaccination requirement is not yet a company-wide policy, Royal Caribbean did announce that inoculation will be mandatory for guests in two specific areas.
In North America, all crew will be vaccinated, and any passenger above the age of 18 will also be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine. In Israel, Royal Caribbean made headlines.
With its plans to offer “fully vaccinated sailings,” where both are, and guests above the age of 16 will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Celebrity Cruises will begin sailing the Caribbean from St. Maarten starting on June 5, 2021. All crew members will be vaccinated, and adult passengers above 18 must also be fully vaccinated. For children under the age of 18, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of embarkation will be required.
Jessica is a freelance journalist on a quest to see and experience everything our gorgeous planet has to offer and to share her experiences with her fellow travelers. Jessica has written for several world-class Travel Magazines.