Covid-19 Cruise Information Covid-19 Travel Updates and FAQs
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COVID-19 Travel Information

After over a year of disruption due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the UK government has announced that from the 17th of May 2021 domestic cruising along with wider travel can resume.

They have outlined a framework for domestic cruise operations that ensures cruise ships are safe to sail this summer whilst the cruise lines themselves are also introducing new innovative measures, health and safety procedures and vaccination and testing policies to improve safety requirements throughout your cruise. 

With MSC Cruises successfully sailing since August 2021 with over 50,000 safe passengers, it’s clear that these measures are successful in allowing a safe resumption of services. Several cruise lines have since launched UK Coastal Cruise programmes sailing around UK waters over summer 2021 whilst a few will also be operating fly cruises sailing in the Mediterranean. Cruise lines have also introduced flexible booking policies which can give you the confidence and peace of mind to book. To see more information on each cruise line’s health & safety or flexible booking policies please refer to their cruise line page on our site, also linked below.

Vaccinations & Testing

Every cruise line has their own policy regarding vaccinations and testing.

Some form of screening or Covid testing will be required before boarding. This may be provided by the cruise line in the terminal prior to embarkation, or you may be required to fill in a pre-embarkation questionnaire or arrange for your own test and provide proof of a negative test prior to boarding, or a combination of these measures. Requirements vary from cruise line to cruise line and may be different for cruises sailing in UK waters. Not all cruise lines have specified their testing requirements yet, but all passengers will be advised prior to travel.

For a fly-cruise departing from another country your pre-flight testing requirements will be as per the government guidance for international travel. You also need to check the cruise line pre-embarkation policy as they may have additional requirements. The crew will also undergo continuous tests and temperature checks.

Please refer to the table below and make yourself familiar with each cruise line’s policy. More information can be found on the cruise line pages and please check the cruise line’s website for the latest information.

  Vaccination required over 18 Vaccination required under 18 Vaccination required for crew Insurance required Testing required For more information See Cruises
P&O Cruises YES YES YES YES YES More information P&O Cruise deals
Royal Caribbean Cruises YES X YES YES YES More information Royal Caribbean Cruises
Marella Cruises YES X YES YES YES More information Marella Cruises
MSC Cruises YES** X YES YES YES More information MSC Cruise Deals
Princess Cruises YES YES YES YES YES More information Princess Cruise Deals
Cunard YES YES YES YES YES More information Cunard Cruise Deals
Celebrity Cruises YES X YES YES YES More information Celebrity Cruises Deals
Saga Cruises YES N/A YES YES YES More information Saga Cruises Deals
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line YES X YES YES YES More information Fred. Olsen Cruise Deals
Disney Cruise Line YES X YES YES YES More information Disney Cruise Line Deals
Virgin Voyages YES N/A YES YES YES More information Virgin Voyages Deals
Norwegian Cruise Line YES YES YES YES YES More information Norwegian Cruise Line Deals
Hurtigruten X X YES YES YES More information Hurtigruten Cruise Deals

*Please see the specific itinerary page for further vaccination details on P&O and Princess.

**From 3rd July 2021, adult guests (apart from those who are exempt) must be fully-vaccinated at least 2 weeks prior to sailing.

Traffic light travel system

The government has introduced a “Traffic light system” for travel which assigns countries into Red, Amber or Green categories. These categories indicate the level of COVID19 testing and quarantine required when visiting each country, which are summarised as follows: 

Travel Traffic Light System

You will need to visit the government website to check which category the countries in an itinerary are assigned to before you travel.


Reduced capacity onboard for more safe space

Cruise lines are reducing the capacity of their ships to facilitate social distancing in onboard venues and minimise congestion during embarkation and disembarkation. For UK Domestic Cruises, the government has stipulated that this be no greater than 1000 passengers or 50% of the ships original capacity, whichever is lowest. 

In restaurants, tables will be spaced further apart so groups can still dine safely and buffets will be replaced by table service where possible. Seats in the theatre will be left empty to allow for space and numbers in other areas may be limited or facilities partly closed to ensure safety. 


Cleaning and sanitation

The frequency of cleaning is increasing with staff being trained on COVID-19 cleaning methods whilst hand sanitising stations will be available throughout the ship.  Air filtration systems are also being upgraded and fogging utilised where possible.


Useful  information

Government guidance on domestic cruise ship travel

Latest government travel advice

Latest government travel advice on COVID19

ABTA Consumer Advice

Coronavirus Cruise and Travel FAQs

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