- Cruises are setting sail again, and many are requiring passengers to be fully vaccinated.
- Cruise lines and ports of departure have different safety requirements and vaccine requirements.
- Here’s what you need to know before you plan a trip.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Across the world, cruise ships are setting sail for the first time since the pandemic started.
The CDC is urging every traveler — including those planning to board cruise ships — to be fully vaccinated.
Here’s what you need to know before booking a fully vaccinated cruise.
Safety protocols could vary by your cruise’s port of departure
Cruise lines and departure port locations influence whether travelers are required to be fully vaccinated or not.
Officials in Texas and Florida have passed measures that ban businesses from requiring proof of vaccination in the state, which goes against some cruise lines’ requirements, CBS reported.
In a recent court ruling, a federal judge ruled that the CDC can’t enforce its conditional sailing orders against Florida cruise ships, which required cruises to run “trial” voyages before operating passenger voyages and recommends that 95% of passengers are vaccinated, Insider previously reported.
Now, the CDC cannot enforce its order on ships within, departing from, or arriving at a Florida port, and starting July 18, the order will become a “non-binding” guideline for ship operators, according to CNN.
Check your cruise line for its vaccination requirement
Many large cruise lines plan to continue to require a vaccine before boarding a ship.
Carnival Cruise Lines’ first cruises this summer sail from Galveston, Texas, July 3, and Miami, Florida, in July. Its first two cruises will both require everyone to be fully vaccinated, the cruise line announced in a statement.
On Celebrity Cruises, guests 16 and older will also be expected to bring their vaccination card. Starting August 2, passengers 12 and older will need to be vaccinated, according to Celebrity Cruises’ website.
Norwegian Cruise Line requires vaccinations for every guest through at least October 31, its website states.
At the time of writing, American Queen Steamboat Company, Azamara, Crystal Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Lines in the UK, Grand Circle Cruise Line, Holland America, Lindblad Expeditions, Oceania Cruises, Ponant, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Saga, Seabourn, Silversea, UnCruise Adventures, Victory Cruise Lines, Viking, Virgin Voyages, and Windstar Cruises require passengers to be vaccinated.
Royal Caribbean International’s vaccine requirements vary based on ships’ ports of departure. The cruise line requires passengers 16 years and older on ships leaving from all US ports except Florida to be fully vaccinated but says passengers departing from Florida ports are “strongly recommended” to be vaccinated. Those who aren’t fully vaccinated will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, according to Royal Caribbean’s website.
As the vaccine continues to be accessible to younger people, more cruise companies may adapt their policies to require passengers 12 years and older to be vaccinated.
Many cruise lines are requiring workers to be vaccinated
While the passengers on the ship might not have to be fully vaccinated, many crew members do.
Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Silversea are just a few cruises that require their workers to be fully vaccinated.
What to expect onboard a cruise
Depending on the cruise, there may be a list of accepted vaccines, guidance on whether children need to quarantine beforehand, and other information on how the ship is preparing to welcome guests.
The CDC’s current guidelines state that if 95% of crew and 95% of passengers are vaccinated, it’s up to the cruise’s discretion whether masks and social distancing are in place.
The CDC also advises all passengers, even if they’re fully vaccinated, to get tested for COVID-19 one to three days before their trip and three to five days after the trip.