With the numerous boxes travelers must check just in order to be able to travel, it’s safe to say that the ability to travel will not be taken for granted once the pandemic is over. From negative vaccine certificates to needing a reason to travel, it can be hard for travelers to stay on top of the requirements needed to be able to visit another country – and in the cruise industry, it’s no different.
P&O Cruises, the British-based cruise line, has announced travelers must be vaccinated in order to be able to go on one of their cruises. Here’s more on this announcement, and a look at other issues the cruise industry is facing.
Cruises Only For Vaccinated – Information For Travelers
P&O Cruises is part of the Carnival group, the largest cruise line in the world. The pandemic has been hard on the company, with its fleet grounded for more than a year as a result of the pandemic. Whilst news that they were to restart their domestic holidays this summer should be greeted with excitement and applause, it does arrive with one major caveat – the need for passengers to be vaccinated.
The company announced the requirement this week, stating that all passengers intending to go on one of the trips must have received their second dose of the vaccine as least a week before the boat sets sail. At present, more than 24 million people in Britain have received the first vaccine dose, whilst just 1.6 million have had the second jab.
The two cruises being offered by P&O aren’t their regular offerings, but trips adapted for the current situation. Rather than docking in any ports, the cruises will instead sail around the British coastline, allowing those on board to take in the sights in a socially-distanced way whilst still being able to enjoy the usual onboard dining and entertainment programme.
Speaking about the move, P&O’s president Paul Ludlow said:
“We have every hope that our guests will be able to enjoy a holiday this summer. After the stresses and challenges of the past year everyone certainly deserves a treat.”
The first voyage is scheduled to depart on June 27th. On board, passengers can expect enhanced sanitation measures, whilst the crew will quarantine before departure and receive regular tests. As of yet, there is no confirmation of what the company will accept in terms of proof of vaccination.
Other Cruise Lines With Mandatory Vaccination For Travel
P&O are far from the only cruise line asking for passengers to be vaccinated. Virgin Voyages, a cruise line based in Florida, also announced the requirement on Tuesday, whilst also stating that they wouldn’t discriminate against one vaccine or another. Their first ship, Scarlet Lady, is scheduled to make its debut in July.
Royal Caribbean also got in on the act, announcing that passengers on its cruises departing from Israel in May must be vaccinated, whilst Crystal Cruises also made a similar announcement for its cruises around the Bahamas in July.
There is however positive news for those wanting a cruise but aren’t yet vaccinated. This week, two cruise companies – the American Cruise Line and the American Queen Steamboat Company – resumed their operations with a raft of safety measures in tow, such as negative Covid-19 testing, separate HVAC systems in rooms and suspending self-service buffets.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories