What We Know: Which Cruise Lines Will Require A COVID-19 Vaccine for Passengers and Crew?

Which cruise lines will require a COVID-19 vaccine for passengers or crew? - Photo by Canva

(Latest Update: April 28, 2022) The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is currently operating a voluntary COVID-19 program for cruise operators. This program centers around placing ships in categories based on the percentage of vaccinated guests and crew. Based on a ships percentage of vaccinated guests, the CDC recommends certain guidelines for mask-wearing and social distancing.  These are the current vaccine policies by cruise line. You can find more information from the CDC including ship vaccine category status here.

AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways will only be welcoming guests fully vaccinated against COVID-19 onboard its ships. Guests are considered vaccinated 14 days after receiving the second dose of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccine, or 28 days following the J&J vaccine. Mixed doses are acceptable. For more information, please refer to AmaWaterways protocol information.

American Cruise Lines 

American Cruise Line will require a COVID-19 vaccine for all passengers sailing on any cruise after April 10, 2021. 

American Queen Steamboat Company & Victory Cruise Line

American Queen Steamboat Company and sister brand Victory Cruise Line announced that beginning July 1, 2021, all crew and passengers traveling with the lines, will be required to provide proof of the COVID-19 vaccination before sailing. This announcement made these two lines the first in North America to stipulate this requirement. 

Avalon Waterways 

Avalon will require all passengers to present digital or printed proof of vaccination prior to sailing with the line. 

Azamara 

All guests and crew ages 18 and over traveling with Azamara will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Starting March 1, 2022, all vaccinated guests are required to have their booster dose in order to sail with Azamara. 

Carnival Cruise Line 

Vaccinated cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the sailing day (not counting embarkation day) and have proof of vaccination. There is an exemption process to accommodate a small number of guests (5%) who are unable or ineligible to be vaccinated. As of March 1, 2022, children under five years old will not be included in any vaccinated guest calculation and thus will not be required to receive an exemption to sail. 

Carnival has made the following statement regarding COVID boosters, "The CDC has strongly recommended that all persons over 16 years obtain a COVID-19 booster vaccination when eligible. We strongly encourage all guests who are eligible to get their booster vaccine at least seven days before boarding." 

Celebrity Cruises 

Celebrity Cruises will require all guests 5 years of age and older be fully vaccinated to sail. At that time, unvaccinated children between the ages of two and four years old will be required to bring a negative Antigen or PCR test conducted within three days of boarding.

Celebrity accepts vaccines that are fully approved or authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization. The CDC will now also recognize as fully vaccinated, all guests with a mixed series of any two of the following vaccines taken within a minimum of 28 days between doses: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinovac or Sinopharm. 

All guests two years of age and older, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result at the time of embarkation. This test may be taken as either a PCR test or an Antigen test, conducted within 2 days of embarkation.  

Cunard 

All guests (of all ages) will need to be fully vaccinated in order to travel on any Cunard voyage departing up to and including April 17, 2022, for voyages on Queen Mary 2 and May 17, 2022, for voyages on Queen Elizabeth

Disney Cruise Line 

Disney Cruise Line requires all vaccine-eligible guests (based on US eligibility requirements) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the CDC at the time of sailing. This is a requirement for all guests ages 5 and older. Guests who are not vaccine-eligible because of age must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result which was taken between 3 days and 24 hours before their sail date. Guests ages 4 and under must complete the testing requirements. Tests should be a NAAT test, rapid PCR test or lab-based PCR test. 

Emerald Waterways 

Emerald Waterway will require all passengers to present proof of receiving the vaccine at least 14 days prior to cruising. 

Holland America Line

Holland America will require all passengers twelve and older to have received the COVID-19 vaccine prior to cruising and to present proof prior to embarkation. All guests ages 2 and older are required to take a pre-travel Covid-19 test. 

MSC Cruises 

For all cruises departing from the U.S.:  All guests 5 and above must be fully vaccinated. Additionally, all guests must submit a negative test before boarding. All children (ages two to five) must submit a negative COVID test as well.

Norwegian Cruise Line 

Norwegian requires all guests age five and over as well as all crew must be fully vaccinated, at least 2 weeks prior to departure, in order to board. As of February 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line will accept children under 5 who are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Passengers sailing on any Norwegian Cruise Line ship need to be vaccinated with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), and/or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized single brand vaccinations.

Guest vaccination requirements are currently for all sailings

The line says it will "commit to continue following all CDC requirements and limiting the number of unvaccinated guests, four years of age and under, to well under 5% of the total guest occupancy on each cruise."

Oceania 

Oceania will require all guests and crew to have received the COVID-19 vaccine prior to sailing. According to an official statement from parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, "requiring full and complete vaccinations of guests and crew, the Company believes it shares in the spirit and exceeds the intent of the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order (“CSO”) to advance mutual public health goals and protect guests, crew and the communities it visits." 

P&O Cruises

P&O will require passengers 17 and under to have received the vaccination prior to boarding. Passengers must have received both doses of the vaccine (if applicable) at least two weeks prior to sailing. 

Princess Cruises 

All passengers sailing with Princess will be required to present proof of vaccine prior to cruising. Guests cruising with Princess will be considered fully vaccinated who have received their final dose of an authorized/approved COVID-19 vaccine, or any combination of two doses of an authorized/approved vaccine at least 14 days before the beginning of the cruise. Acceptable vaccines are those that have been approved/authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or have an emergency-use listing by the World Health Organization (WHO). Guests must present proof of a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 2 days of embarkation. 

Regent Seven Seas

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, the parent company of Regent Seven Seas, will require all guests and crew to have received the COVID-19 vaccine prior to sailing. According to an official statement from Norwegian by, "requiring full and complete vaccinations of guests and crew, the Company believes it shares in the spirit and exceeds the intent of the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order (“CSO”) to advance mutual public health goals and protect guests, crew and the communities it visits." 

Royal Caribbean International

All guests age 12 and up must be fully vaccinated when sailing with Royal Caribbean. Booster doses are strongly recommended, but not required. 

All guests 2 and up must take a COVID-19 test prior to sailing. All unvaccinated Royal Caribbean guests age 2 to 11 must present a negative PCR test result for a test taken no more than 3 days prior to sailing. Kids ages five to eleven who have been vaccinated may present proof of full vaccination and follow the protocols of vaccinated guests. 

Seabourn

Seabourn is operating under the 'Highly Vaccinated' status with 95% of all passenger and crew vaccinated.

SeaDream

All SeaDream guests 18 years of age and older (12 and older for voyages in the Caribbean) are required to be fully vaccinated with all COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at least 14 days before sailing. Guests under 18 (12 for the Caribbean) are not required to be vaccinated.

Silverseas Cruises 

Silverseas has announced they will require all passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated prior to sailing. The vaccine requirement is for all sailings except for those departing from Australia. From March 1, 2022, and onward, all eligible guests, for which the required time has elapsed since the completion of their first COVID-19 vaccination series, will be required to have received a COVID-19 booster and must present proof prior to embarkation. 

Viking Ocean and River Cruises

Viking Ocean and River Cruises will require all passengers to present proof of COVID vaccination. Effective Feb. 1, 2022, and until further notice, guests will need to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, and if eligible for a booster dose, must have received their booster at least 14 days prior to travel.

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages has announced that all passengers and crew must be vaccinated prior to boarding any Virgin Voyages ship. This official requirement will go into effect for all Virgin Voyages departures once the line begins sailing operations. Virgin has not specified details regarding what passengers will need to present to sail to prove they have received the vaccine. 

Uniworld Cruises 

All guests traveling with Uniworld must present proof they are fully vaccinated. For cruises departing before August 13, unvaccinated guests will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test upon embarkation, and vaccinated guests will only need to show proof of vaccination.

Windstar Cruises 

Windstar has announced all guests sailing with the line will be required to present proof of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to embarkation. 

5 Comments

Posted by GGmatexan

I'm surprised that Royal Caribbean says nothing about the crew being fully vaccinated.

Posted by GGmaRose

I'm shocked by MilissaJ's comment! I sat in the ICU with my husband of 48 years gasping to breath as this terrible virus killed a healthy 67 year old man! Luckily I didn't catch it, but I darn sure was vaccinated as soon as I could! The chances of some side effects are the same chances you take when you fill any RX ( just read the warnings if you don't believe me!). This virus kills in a way that is terrifying plus leaves the few survivors with lifelong issues in their hearts, lungs, etc. So yes, I agree that cruises should require both the crews and passengers to prove they care enough about each other's life to try and protect each other! It's obvious she hasn't lost anyone to this nasty virus.

Posted by KennethOtt

What considerations are made for unvaccinated but have natural immunity?

Posted by T2L

I have not done more than cursory research, but so far I have not found any entity (cruiseline, government agency, etc.) that take covid recovery into account. Only reference I have found is CDC says don't take covid test for 90 days after testing positive.

Posted by Dropintheocean

Wow what is odd about this vaccination is you can still catch it and still spread it, so what's the point? And natural immunity is proven to be better than the vaccine. My 2 cents.

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