Which cruise lines require a Covid vaccine? Complete guide to major cruises

Author: Harriet Mallinson

Published on:

Updated on:

Cruise holidays may have returned but many rules still remain in place with most cruise lines requiring a Covid vaccine - which are they?

P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises - along with all cruise lines currently operating right now - have vaccine policies in place that passengers must be aware of.

This is what you need to know about what the major cruise lines require regarding Covid vaccination.

Carnival Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes (including crew)

"Guests will not be able to sail unless they are fully vaccinated and received their final dose of the vaccine no later than 14 days prior to embarkation," says Carnival.

"Please take a few moments to review your vaccination record prior to your cruise and confirm you meet this important requirement. Guests who did not receive their final dose within the required time will not be allowed to sail and no refund will be provided."

It adds: "Vaccine exemptions for cruises to the Caribbean will be limited to a very small number of children under 12, and teens and adults with a medical condition who can provide written confirmation from their medical provider that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons."

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Celebrity Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Celebrity says: "All crew and guests who are eligible to be vaccinated must be vaccinated in order to sail with us.

"All guests two and over must present a negative Covid-19 test prior to sailing."

- READ MORE: What's onboard Celebrity Cruises newest ship Apex? -


Vaccine required? Yes

The latest advice from Cunard explains: "All guests (of all ages) will need to be fully vaccinated in order to travel on any voyage departing from October 13, 2021 up to and including April 17, 2022 for voyages on Queen Mary 2 and 17 May 2022 for voyages on Queen Elizabeth."

It adds: "The vaccine policy currently does not apply to sailings beyond these dates, or on Queen Victoria, scheduled to return to service on 22 April 2022.

- READ MORE: Everything you need to know about luxury line Cunard -

Disney Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes

All guests are required to be vaccinated to sail with Disney. In fact, Disney has become the first cruise line to mandate that children need to be fully-jabbed as well.

"This will be a requirement for all Guests (US and international) ages five and up for sailings beginning on or after January 13, 2022," states Disney's website.

The change could pose a problem for Britons with children under 12 in the UK not yet eligible for the vaccine.

Disney added: "Guests who are not vaccine-eligible because of age must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by the Guest) taken between three days and 24 hours before their sail date. Guests ages five through 11 may complete this testing requirement in lieu of being fully vaccinated for sailings that depart before January 13, 2022."

Cunard requires all passengers to have their Covid vaccine, no matter their age.

Fred. Olsen

Vaccine required? Yes

Fred. Olsen details: "It will be a requirement for all guests to be fully vaccinated to join us on board this summer. We have made this decision following new research on the vaccine, which has found that those who are fully vaccinated are not only less likely to become seriously unwell, but also less likely to pass on the virus too.

"The safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew is always our utmost priority, and as a result, we will be requiring all guests to be fully vaccinated (with at least 14 days since the date of your second vaccination) to be able to sail with us.

"You will be required to prove that you have had both of your vaccines at check-in."

- READ MORE: How Holland America Line caters for families -

Holland America Line

Vaccine required? Yes

"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 beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination," states Holland America Line.

"It’s important for guests to come prepared, as those who arrive at the embarkation terminal without the proper proof of vaccination will not be able to cruise, and no refund will be issued.

"We will also require ALL fully vaccinated guests to produce a negative, medically-observed viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within three days of their embarkation on all Holland America Line sailings."

Cruise holidays: Most cruise lines require a Covid vaccine. Credit: Shutterstock

MSC Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

MSC states: “Guests 12 years and older who are fully vaccinated are able to cruise and must present proof of COVID-19 vaccine with the final dose being administered at least 14 days before the cruise.”

- READ MORE: Guide to major cruise lines' face mask policies -

Norwegian Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes

NCL says: "All guests and crew must be fully vaccinated, at least two weeks prior to departure, in order to board.

"NCL will stay up to date with the science when considering changing its vaccination policy. As science, technology and government regulations evolve, we will update our health and safety protocols as needed and appropriate.”

Riviera Travel

Vaccine required? Yes

"For international cruising, we now require all passengers to be double vaccinated – a negative test will no longer be enough," said a Riviera Travel spokesman.

- READ MORE: How to pick a river cruise cabin -

P&O Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

P&O states: "For all holidays departing [until] March 27, 2022, all guests aged 18 years and over must have completed their vaccination course at least 14 days prior to travel. This can either be two doses of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines or the approved single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (approved by the MHRA). A single dose of any other vaccine will not be accepted.

"All guests aged between five and 17 years old will need to have completed their vaccination course a minimum of 14 days prior to sailing or will require a negative PCR test within 120 hours prior to travel. Guests four years old and younger will be permitted to travel providing their travelling parents/guardians meet the above requirements."

Caribbean cruises from now until March 27, 2022, have a stricter stance, however. P&O says: "Given the long-haul destinations and the number of different countries visited, combined with the current health protocols and entry requirements in the Caribbean, all guests (irrespective of age) must have completed their vaccination course at least 14 days prior to travel."

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Princess Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Princess explains: "Cruises are available for guests who have ALL of the following: Received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise, and proof of vaccination."

- READ MORE: Vaccine, testing and entry requirements for holiday destinations -

Royal Caribbean

Vaccine required? Yes on select cruises

Royal Caribbean explains: “Vaccination and travel documentation requirements vary by homeport and country of departure. Customers should consult the Royal Caribbean site for the country the ship departs from, or talk to their travel advisor.”

Cruisers aged 12 and older must provide proof of vaccination with the final dose being administered at least 14 days prior to sailing for cruises from Bridgetown, Barbados and the United States and its territories.

Viking Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Viking details: "All of Viking’s sailings are available exclusively for vaccinated guests, until further notice."

- READ MORE: Viking reveals brand new 2023 expedition cruises to Americas -

Virgin Voyages

Vaccine required? Yes

Virgin states: "We will be requiring that all Sailors and Crew be vaccinated to sail with us." Passengers need: proof of vaccination (including brand and dates of doses) and they must be more than two weeks out from their final dose to come aboard.


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