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Cruise Line Requirements & Protocols

Across the cruise industry, frameworks and guidance have been issued outlining the protocols required for a safe return to cruise. This guidance is required to be met and followed for the resumption of cruise ship operators either from the UK or U.S.

Please read our content carefully or click the below links to navigate to the information.


Resumption of cruise ship operations

Created by the UK Chamber of Shipping, in collaboration with CLIA, the guidance for UK cruise operators identifies the key plans and measures operators must have in place to ensure they are able to restart safely. This involves recommendations, external verifications and upholding existing UK Government shoreside guidance too. Guidance for passengers on-board these cruise lines includes:

At time of booking
Check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice; confirm your travel insurance cover; check your cruise lines exclusion policy to see where you fall
Before boarding
Travel safely to the terminal, avoiding busy times and routes where possible, and remain socially distanced when travelling. Arrive at the terminal only with those you are travelling with, maintaining social distance and adhere to the current guidance regarding face coverings
At the cruise terminal
All passengers are required to take a COVID-19 test for voyages on all ships carrying 250+ persons. A negative test is required in order to embark, if a screening concludes you have COVID-19 or have been exposed, you will be denied boarding
On-board your cruise
Follow the cruise line protocols in place to ensure a safe journey
In port
Follow the cruise line protocols in place to ensure safe port visits. Be aware of the local or national COVID-19 requirements. You may also have your temperature checked when disembarking or re-embarking the ship or be required to take a COVID-19 test
Return to UK
Show proof of completed Passenger Locator Form. You may be required to take a COVID-19 test, and you may need to self-isolate in the UK, depending on your previous destinations. Leave the port terminal as soon as possible
Remain safe
Maintain social distancing from people outside your household or support bubble and wash your hands regularly. Follow the cruise line protocols

You can find out more about the framework and read the guidance in full at https://ukchamberofshipping.com.

There is also a framework for cruise lines operating in the US. The Conditional Sailing Order was released on 31st October, detailing the requirements cruise lines must meet before allowing passengers aboard. You can read this in full at https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/management/technical-instructions-for-cruise-ships.html.

Cruise Line Protocols

Each cruise line has been developing their own health and safety measures, ready for resuming sailing. These measures will apply to all guests and crew on-board and be mandatory to follow in order to reduce the risk of infection and maintain safety for all.

These protocols are subject to change in line with the evolving response measures as conditions warrant. They will be continually evaluated and adjusted against the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please be aware that these were correct at the time of publishing and we recommend reviewing the cruise lines own policies for up-to-date information, the links of which are provided below.

Carnival Cruise Line
Celebrity Cruises
Celestyal Cruises
  • Still in development and evaluating plans to safely resume operations.
Disney Cruise Line
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line
MSC Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line
P&O Cruises
Virgin Voyages
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