Which Cruise Lines Will Require a COVID Vaccine?

While requiring vaccination has many implications, many cruise lines have already announced that a vaccine will be a requirement to cruise.


With vaccination in full swing here in the United States and in many other parts of the world, many cruise lines have begun to announce that a vaccine will be a required to cruise (at least temporarily). In this post, we outline which cruise lines will require a COVID vaccine. We will continue to update this post as more information becomes available.


Which Cruise Lines Will Require a COVID Vaccine?

The first mainstream cruise line to announce a vaccine requirement was Virgin Voyages. Shortly after, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises also announced ship specific requirements for initial sailings this summer. Now, more and more cruise lines continue to add a COVID vaccine as a requirement to cruise. The boldest requirement was recently detailed by Norwegian Cruise Line, which requires ALL passengers to be vaccinated.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line recently released its Sail SAFE program, along with plans for three ships from the fleet to set sail this summer from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Greece. Within this program, the cruise line outlines all of the health and safety measures that will be implemented to ensure guests and crew remain safe. Among these protocols is mandatory vaccines.

Norwegian Cruise Line to Sail Three Ships Outside U.S. This Summer

For initial voyages, all guests and crew will need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This requirement is currently in place for all sailings through October 31, 2021. Whether this will be a requirement for cruises beyond this date is to be determined.

The BIG difference between NCL and other brands like Royal Caribbean is that guests who are not old enough to receive a vaccine or are otherwise not eligible will not be able to sail. That’s right- children WILL NOT be allowed on these initial sailings if they are not old enough for a vaccine!

Royal Caribbean’s Summer Cruises

Royal Caribbean will begin to offer summer cruises from destinations outside the United States as early as June. These include Adventure of the Seas from the Bahamas, Vision of the Seas from Bermuda, and Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus.

Royal Caribbean Cruises from the Bahamas

These itineraries will sail with vaccinated crew and will only be available to adults who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Though, those under the age of 18 will still be allowed onboard the ship with negative test results.

In addition, vacationers must meet all travel requirements of the international embarkation port. This may include receiving a negative PCR test result before their arrival, testing upon arrival into the country, and filling out appropriate entry forms like health visas and mandatory COVID insurance. These requirements are subject to change, so guests booked on these summer cruises will be notified of the latest requirements 30 days before their sail date.

Latest Cruise Savings for Royal Caribbean!

“We are excited to get back to delivering memorable vacations in the Caribbean, gradually and safely. The vaccines are clearly a game changer for all of us, and with the number of vaccinations and their impact growing rapidly, we believe starting with cruises for vaccinated adult guests and crew is the right choice. As we move forward, we expect this requirement and other measures will inevitably evolve over time,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

Celebrity Cruises’ Summer Cruises

Celebrity Cruises was the first of the major brands to announce its cruise comeback this summer. The cruise line will begin cruising on June 5th from St. Maarten on the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium. The brand new Celebrity Apex will also begin sailing this summer from Greece, beginning June 19th.

Like Royal Caribbean, these summer sailings on Celebrity Cruises will require fully vaccinated crew. Further, these bookings will only be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative test result within 72 hours of embarkation.

Celebrity Cruises to Sail From St. Maarten This Summer

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In addition to the cruise line specific requirements, guests must meet St. Maarten and/or Greece travel requirements.

These summer sailings will give guests the first chance to take advantage of Celebrity Cruises new Always Included pricing, with WiFi, drink, and gratuities now included in the cruise fare.

Virgin Voyages

In an interview with Good Morning America, Tom McAlpin, president and CEO of Virgin Voyages, expressed the excitement for the brand to finally launch once it gets the green light from the CDC. During the interview, he also announced that Virgin Voyages will require vaccinations for all crew and guests.

reasons to book a cruise early

McAlpin went on to state that it was encouraging that all adults in the United States could have access to the vaccine by May. Further, Virgin Voyages feels that this requirement is the “right thing to do to create a safe environment”.

Virgin Voyages is an 18+ cruise line; therefore, the brand does not have to worry about children being ineligible for the vaccine at this time.

The vaccine will be a new addition to the previously announced Voyage Well program. This program details all the cruise line’s health and safety protocols for before, during, and after the cruise.

Currently, Scarlet Lady sailings from the United States have been cancelled through September 17th, 2021.

Related Post: Latest Resumption of Cruising Plans

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises will offer cruises from the Bahamas this summer. These Bahamas Escapes will sail 7-day roundtrip itineraries from either Nassau or Bimini on the brand’s flagship vessel, Crystal Serenity.

Cruises From the Bahamas

All guests sailing on Crystal Cruises must have full immunization from a COVID vaccine at least 14 days prior to boarding any ship.

This new requirement is in addition to the comprehensive Crystal Clean+ 4.0 measures already in place. These measures include negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew, reduced capacity, social distancing, “nimble” mask policy, and health screening questionnaires.


Silversea Cruises

Silversea Cruises recently announced restart plans with Silver Moon scheduled to sail from a new homeport of Athens, Greece. These 10-night cruises that include visits to Israel and Cyprus will begin on June 18th with a vaccine requirement.

Silversea will require all embarking crew and guests to have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to embarking on any of its cruises starting from the 18th of June. This requirement is for all Silversea cruises, with the exception of sailings departing from Australia.


Seabourn also recently announced restart plans for sailings in Greece this summer. The line’s Seabourn Ovation will offer a series of round-trip sailings out of Athens beginning July 3, 2021. These cruises are open to any guests that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Seabourn passengers will also be required to comply with all health protocols that may be in place at the time of their departure. 

Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises has also announced a lineup of summer cruises from ports outside the United States. The recently lengthened Star Breeze will set sail from St. Maarten on June 19th, along with Wind Star from Greece. The company also plans for Wind Spirit to resume cruises from Tahiti on July 15th and Wind Surf from the Mediterranean on August 8th.

COVID vaccine requirements

On all of these sailings, Windstar Cruises will require proof of a current COVID-19 vaccination for all guests. This will be in addition to a number of other health and safety protocols included in the brand’s Beyond Ordinary Care program.

Viking Cruises

Viking recently announced a continuation to its cruise restart with ocean voyages available in Bermuda and Iceland this summer, in addition to select voyages for UK guests on the brand new Viking Venus.

Beginning on May 22, 2021 with the official restart of limited operations in the United Kingdom—and remaining in effect at least through July 31, 2021—all Viking sailings will be available exclusively for vaccinated guests. This requirement is in addition to all the other previously established health and safety protocols.

American Queen Steamboat Company

In February, two small U.S. based cruise lines were among the first to indicate that they would require a vaccine for all guests and crew. American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines both updated their health and safety protocols to reflect the requirement for a COVID vaccine.

This will apply to all guests and crew for sailings beginning on July 1, 2021. This requirement is in addition to the already announced pre-boarding safety measures which include a health questionnaire and COVID-19 tests.

UnCruise Adventures

UnCruise Adventures operates small U.S. flagged ships that are not bound by the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order. Thus, UnCruise will likely be one of a few small ship companies operating in Alaska this year. The cruise line will offer a full schedule in Alaska starting on May 10th.

UnCruise has also made the decision to require all adult guests and crew to be fully vaccinated prior to boarding their vessels (Galapagos excluded). Those under 18 years of age will be allowed; though, the number of minors is capped at a low percentage.

Cruise Lines Require COVID vaccine

Lindblad Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions also plans to resume operations in Alaska as well as the Galapagos this summer. These voyages will require proof of COVID vaccination for all guests 16 years and older. This is in addition to two negative COVID tests and onboard health and safety protocols.

UK Getaways This Summer

P&O Cruises recently announced that it will offer a series of summer UK getaways on Britannia and its new ship, Iona. These sailings will be for UK residents only. Further, all guests will need to be vaccinated for COVID-19. While there is no age restriction on this series of UK coastal cruises, all guests must meet the vaccination policy. All other P&O Cruises sailings currently on sale do not require guests to be vaccinated at this time.

Princess Cruises also revealed details of UK sailings this summer. Princess Cruises UK Summer Seacations will include sailings on Regal Princess and Sky Princess. These sailings will be for UK residents who are COVID-19 vaccinated only. 

Princess Cruises UK Summer Seacations For Vaccinated Guests Only

Likewise, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Silhouette will sail from the UK this summer. All guests ages 18 and above need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 need negative PCR test results.

Further, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will sail from Southampton with vaccinated guests only.

In somewhat surprising news though, MSC Cruises also announced summer UK sailings on its brand new ship, MSC Virtuosa, that will NOT require vaccination. Likewise, Disney Cruise Line announced Magic at Sea “Staycations” in the UK this summer with no mention of a vaccine requirement.

Saga Cruises

The U.K. cruise line, Saga Cruises, was the first to announce that it would require a vaccine. All guests must have received both doses of the vaccine at least 14 days before sailing. Unfortunately, travelers will not be allowed to cruise with the brand if they are exempt from receiving the vaccine or choose not to get the vaccine.

COVID vaccine required to cruise

This requirement is in addition to the already established return to service plan. Among these additional health and safety protocols are COVID-19 testing before boarding the vessel. The cruise line will also sail at reduced capacity while requiring facial coverings in internal venues.

Related Post: Why You Should Book a 2022 Cruise Now!

Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas

In another ship specific requirement, Royal Caribbean first announced that Odyssey of the Seas would be the first fully vaccinated cruise.

The brand new Odyssey of the Seas will not sail her planned European itineraries this summer. Instead, the ship will sail from the new homeport of Haifa, Israel. This ship will offer Israeli passengers a variety of 3 to 7-night cruises to Greece and Cyprus.

CDC Updates Guidelines for Vaccinated Individuals

In conjunction with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, both crew and guests above the age of 16 will need a COVID vaccine. 


Do you think major cruise lines will require a COVID vaccine once cruising resumes from the United States? Do you feel safer knowing these initial voyages will have a vaccine requirement? Drop us an anchor below to share your thoughts on vaccine requirements to cruise.

Heidi is a physical therapist by profession, cruise enthusiast at heart, and Princess all the time! She is a self-confessed thrill seeker, obsessive planner, and over-packer. She is always looking for the latest and greatest adventures onboard and ashore, enjoys researching top things to do in ports of call, and loves dressing up for formal nights.
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  1. A vaccination should not be required, but a negative COVID test should. There are people who need an exemption or are against the vaccine and they should have the choice of being vaccinated or not.

      I agree. People should not be forced to take a vaccine that they don’t want. I can see having to produce a negative covid test.

        Uhhhh no. You absolutely don’t have to get a vaccine, but it is a company’s prerogative to require one, especially with what the cruise lines and world has gone through. They need to limit their exposure. They have already tried just doing COVID testing with disastrous results. You have no legal right to go on a cruise. If you wish not to honor their rules, you need not go.

          because everyone knows that the vaxxed are not transmitting nor contracting covid – lolol

      Well unless there’s a medical reason they shouldn’t be allowed to board. I’m sick of people being foolish and not caring about others.?

      Vaccinations should be required!!!!!!!!!! period!!!!!!! Have people forgotten all the covid outbreaks on cruise ships.

    Nobody has the right to force these vaccines. They contain high levels of MRC-5 (though Pfizer and Moderna are lying to people about it). These are aborted fetal cells and other DNA. Also, there is a possibility of a Latrogenic Reaction. I have learned of more deaths and health problems in people who were very healthy after taking the vaccine. The remedy is worse than the decease!! These vaccines do not guarantee any protection for not getting Covid. It’s all a political movement to scare and control the population, just like in China. Cruises will loose a lot of money if they agree with CDC. This organization is a political organization who does not care about anyone except their own pockets and lies they feed people. Please everyone, do your CORRECT research!! Do not believe CNN or those who lie and give you “half truth”. Dr. Fauci is one of the worse!! I for one, will never cruise again if this is placed into practice. This situation is very sad.

      Totally agree with you! People need to do their research.

      Meanwhile I’ll be chilling at sea with my aborted fetal cells and my robust grasp on reality. <3 <3 <3

        AMEN!!! I don’t think anyone will miss those of you who DO NOT PRACTICE SAFETY FIRST!! Those of you who object probably objected to vaccinating your children against Diptheria, Polio, Measles and etc. to protect them and others.

      Don’t cruise than. Do You think they’ll miss you?I think not and it’s probably better that way!

      Where did you obtain your research ? What expertise do you have ….M.D., PHD in Public Health research ? Or maybe you don’t BELIEVE IN SCIENCE!!! Cures for communicable diseases were done thru scientific research (ex. Cure for AIDS, Hepatitis C, Treatment for certain types of cancer, heart diseases, Diabetes Mellitus, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy and childhood diseases such as measles and smallpox just to name a few. And to those who refuse to be vaccinated, why do you “turn to medical science” and go to a physician when you are ill ?

        Scientific research that included robust testing, not something that was rushed to production. You don’t need to have an M.D., or PhD in public health research to see the differences between actual vaccines and the Covid shots. By definition, they aren’t vaccines at all, as they don’t do anything to prevent you from getting Covid, only reducing it’s severity. My body, my choice only applies to abortions, it would seem.

    It will be interesting to find out what evidence cruise lines will require to prove full vaccination. The British Government has yet to decide on the introduction or otherwise of vaccination passports but has already stated that the cards issued by vaccination centres have no legal status …

    My husband is 75 and I am 69, we are NOT getting this vaccine either!!! We usually spend 8 – 10 thousand $$ a year cruising and enjoying our senior years together and we are not submitting to this vaccine. Open the cruise lines! they are safer and cleaner than any establishment even some hospitals!

    I’m elated to hear that the Cruise Lines are all alligned with mandating vaccinations. I love crusing and feel
    this is the only way to presently make passengers feel safe as it restarts. I think the future of vaccinations will be dictated by the facts/science; when and whatever that may be I am willing to follow the rules inorder to restart cruising again.

    Americans refuse to wear masks on airplanes, I doubt that they will be any more cooperative on a cruise ship. Cruise lines and passengers lost a lot of money when cruise ships became infected, and passengers died. Ships were not allowed to dock at any ports of call or their embarkation port. With fewer than 50% of Americans vaccinated there will be outbreaks similar to those that occurred last year. International cruise ships have had to return to port, recently, due to infection, and those were cooperative, vaccinated passengers. Fully vaccinated cruises will have fewer problems at ports of call, be less costly as far as medical needs for the cruise ship, and less likely to have to return to the embarkation port. Passengers will be happier to not have lost their yearly vacation to a shortened trip to nowhere. Refunds will not help cruise lines recover.

    Vaccines or stay home!!!! How quickly people forget about the terrible covid out break on cruise ships that started this entire mess!

    I have had my blood tested and have natural antibodies to Covid. (I evidently had Covid in the past and developed immunity). Yet the cruise line is going to require me to get a vaccine that has not been proven safe over the long term and did not go through clinical trials. I would be happy to show proof that I am immune but I guess that is not good enough for the cruise line or Big Brother. Prior to Covid, I had been on 28 cruises but it looks like all I will have is fond memories!

      Ken, I am in the same boat. I have natural immunity, and research came out this week saying that your body will make the antibodies again when needed if you have recovered from Covid. This is not the first scientific journal to produce information like this. Herd immunity=those vaccinated + those with natural immunity having had the virus and recovered. For some strange reason, the CDC wants to negate part of the equation. Until someone shows me something scientific demonstrating that I NEED the vaccine, I’m not getting it. I am open to the research and even asked my doctor if he could provide me with anything scientific to show that I need the vaccine if I have already recovered from Covid. I am horrified by some of the comments on this thread. I do wish we could all be kind to one another on here and try to understand the other person’s side of things. There are several reasons why someone shouldn’t get the vaccine such as a previous allergic reaction that resulted in anaphylactic shock, religious reasons, and most likely, those that have recovered from the virus. We don’t need to be hating each other here. Should those that can’t or shouldn’t get the vaccine be banned from cruising? That’s not fair. The bottom line is that anyone who is worried about getting Covid on a ship will get the vaccine. Anyone who isn’t worried is willing to take the chance of getting sick. I also believe that the protocols are much better and scientifically sound should Covid be found on a cruise ship. Due to the people that have been vaccinated and those with natural immunity, the likelihood of another situation like we had in Feb. 2020 shouldn’t happen. Let’s let everyone live their lives and take risks if he/she wants. If you are vaccinated, what does it matter to you if someone isn’t? If the vaccine works, let it work, and let’s not worry about everyone else. It doesn’t look like I will be sailing anytime soon; however, RCCL is going through the test cruises, so hopefully, they won’t mandate vaccines, especially since Florida won’t allow the mandate because it can be seen as discriminatory.

        Excellent post, Ken. We too have natural immunity and per Drs I am hearing “natural immunity is more effective than the vaccine.” So let’s stop discriminating against those of us with natural immunity. We want to travel too.

    I don’t believe a vaccine should be mandatory. Our cruise was canceled due to covid. We didn’t get a refund because we thought we would go on a cruise once things got going. Now we find we have to be vaccinated and it’s too late for a refund that we paid! Not happy!

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