Will I need a COVID-19 vaccine to cruise? A line-by-line guide

Jan 1, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

Since the first cruises allowing Americans restarted in spring 2021, all major lines are sailing with at least 90% of passengers vaccinated. That means they require just about everyone onboard to have their shots, with few exceptions allowed for young children and people who can’t be vaccinated due to medical conditions or religious beliefs.

But that doesn’t mean all cruise lines are requiring inoculation. In fact, a few lines are not requiring passengers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or will only do so when required by local laws.

So, will you need a vaccine to cruise? Click on your favorite cruise line below to find out.

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Note: In order to be considered fully vaccinated, passengers must have received their final shot (not including boosters) at least 14 days prior to embarkation. Most lines only accept vaccines (or a combination of vaccines) recognized and approved by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Generally, proof of inoculation must include your name, the type of vaccine you received and the dates on which you received all required doses.

Check out our recap of youth immunization policies for details on cruise vaccination requirements for kids. For information on testing, please refer to our article on cruise testing requirements.

In This Post

(Photo by Raychel Brightman/Newsday RM/Getty Images)

AmaWaterways

Vaccine required? Yes

AmaWaterways is requiring proof of vaccination for all passengers, including children, until further notice. Passengers will be asked to upload proof of vaccination at least seven days prior to sailing and have proof available at embarkation.

American Cruise Lines

Vaccine required? No

American Cruise Lines does not have an across-the-board vaccine requirement for all passengers on all sailings, but cruisers on some itineraries in specific regions or over specific time periods may be required to be vaccinated. Regardless of vaccination status, all travelers are required to test prior to boarding all cruises.

American Queen Voyages

Vaccine required? Yes

Vaccines are required for all passengers until further notice, and proof must be provided prior to boarding.

Related: What happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19 on your cruise

Atlas Ocean Voyages

Vaccine required? Yes

COVID-19 shots are compulsory for all passengers cruising with Atlas, with proof of inoculation required before embarkation. The line doesn’t allow kids younger than 8 years old to sail, so young-child exemptions aren’t a factor.

Avalon Waterways

Vaccine required? Yes

All passengers must show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to sail. Children too young to be vaccinated must provide a negative test result or proof that they have recovered from COVID-19 within the previous three months.

(Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

Azamara

Vaccine required? Yes

All passengers — including children as young as 5, starting March 1, 2022 — must be inoculated to cruise with Azamara, and proof is required. Also starting March 1, 2022, the line will require boosters for all passengers.

Carnival Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes

All Carnival passengers 12 and older must be immunized and provide proof, with few exceptions made. Young children must submit to pre-cruise testing in order to be permitted to embark.

Celebrity Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Cruisers 12 and older must have a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to sail with Celebrity. Proof is required both pre-cruise and at the terminal. Unvaccinated 3- to 11-year-olds must submit to pre-cruise testing to be allowed onboard.

Related: Cruise ship contact tracing: How the world’s major lines are tracking COVID-19 exposure

Celestyal Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Celestyal now requires all passengers 12 and older to show that they have received a full course of inoculation via one of the WHO-approved shots. In lieu of proof of vaccination, cruisers may show a certificate of recovery not more than 6 months old.

Crystal Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Through 2022, all Crystal passengers must be fully immunized against COVID-19. Some exceptions will be made for children on the line’s ocean-going vessels. Through March 31, 2022, anyone 11 and younger will be able to board after undergoing pre-cruise testing. Beginning April 1, 2022, all cruisers 5 and older will be required to have their shots.

(Photo by Ashley Kosciolek/The Points Guy)

Cunard Line

Vaccine required? Yes

Through May 17, 2022, all Cunard passengers, regardless of age, must be fully vaccinated and provide proof before boarding. Cunard also recently announced that passengers on an unusually long, 28-night sailing of Queen Mary 2 scheduled to begin Jan. 14 would need to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot in addition to proof of being fully vaccinated.

Disney Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes

Disney Cruise Line requires all passengers 12 and older to provide proof of full inoculation as a condition of sailing. From January 13, 2022, the line will expand the rule to include cruisers 5 and older.

Emerald Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

COVID-19 shots are a requirement for all travelers, regardless of age, who are cruising with Emerald.

Grand Circle Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes

Grand Circle has mandated that all passengers must be fully vaccinated as a condition of carriage, and effective April 1, 2021, boosters are also required. Proof must be provided, preferably in the form of an original vaccine card.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Until further notice, Hapag-Lloyd voyages are only available to fully vaccinated passengers 18 and older. Exceptions will be made for cruisers 17 and younger through Feb. 1, 2022, at which time any passenger 12 or older will have to be fully vaccinated in order to sail. From that date on, exceptions will only be made for those 11 and younger.

(Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Holland America

Vaccine required? Yes

Holland America is only open to fully inoculated travelers at this time, with no exceptions — even for children or adults who are unable to get the shots. With that in mind, children as young as 5 are allowed to sail but only if they’re vaccinated.

Hurtigruten

Vaccine required? Yes

For all sailings departing through 2022, cruisers must show proof of full vaccination.

Lindblad Expeditions

Vaccine required? Yes

All passengers 12 and older must show proof that they have had all of their COVID-19 shots before cruising. Although it is not required, the line also strongly recommends booster shots for any passenger 18 or older before sailing.

Related: Why I feel safer now on a cruise ship than in my hometown

MSC Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Full vaccination with proof is necessary for all MSC Cruises passengers 12 and older. Those 11 and younger are allowed to board with proof of two negative pre-cruise tests.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes

Through at least Jan. 16, 2022, as part of the line’s commitment to sailing with 100% of its passengers vaccinated, all Norwegian Cruise Line cruisers must have their COVID-19 immunizations. There are no allowances for unvaccinated children or adults who are unable to receive the shots.

Woman Checking Covid-19 Vaccine Passport On Cellphone
(Photo by Morsa Images/Getty Images)

Oceania Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

All passengers on Oceania voyages will have to provide proof of vaccination to be permitted to embark. Children as young as 5 are allowed to sail if they’re vaccinated, but exceptions will not be made for kids too young to be immunized.

Overseas Adventure Travel

Vaccine required? Yes

In order to sail with O.A.T., cruisers must show proof of full vaccination, regardless of age. Boosters are also required, effective April 1, 2022.

P&O Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Everyone 18 and older on all P&O Cruises sailings must show proof of full vaccination. Children 17 and younger must be fully vaccinated to sail to the Caribbean. For sailings to all other regions, children 5 to 17 can either be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative PCR test prior to embarkation. Children 4 and younger traveling to all destinations except the Caribbean are able to sail without testing or vaccination, provided they are accompanied by adults who abide by the necessary protocols.

P&O Cruises also recently announced that passengers on an unusually long, 35-night Caribbean sailing on the 3,196-passenger Ventura that begins Monday would need to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot in addition to proof of being fully vaccinated.

Ponant

Vaccine required? Yes

All Ponant passengers who are 12 or older need to have their full course of immunization against COVID-19 at least seven days prior to sailing. In accordance with French law, effective Dec. 15, 2021, all cruisers 65 and older who had their final dose at least six months ago must also have their booster doses in order to embark. The booster rule will go into effect for travelers 18 and older on Jan. 1, 2022. Through Dec. 31, 2021, cruisers younger than 12 are not required to be inoculated.

Princess Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Through at least March 31, 2022, all passengers — including children as young as 5 — will have to show proof of vaccination to travel with Princess. A small number of exceptions will be made for young children who are not yet able to be immunized.

(Photo by Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images)

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

All passengers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be able to embark cruises with Regent Seven Seas. Only original forms of vaccine verification (no photos) will be accepted as proof.

Riviera River Cruises

Vaccine requirement? Yes

All travelers cruising with Riviera will need to show proof of full immunization against COVID-19 before sailing.

Royal Caribbean

Vaccine required? Yes

Royal Caribbean requires all passengers 12 and older to have their shots and show proof before cruising. A small number of allowances is made for passengers unable to be vaccinated, as well as for children younger than 12. Although kids from 5 to 11 don’t have to be immunized to sail, they will be able to take advantage of additional onboard experiences exclusive to vaccinated cruisers if they show proof that they’re inoculated.

Saga Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Saga requires vaccinations for all passengers unless an official medical exemption is provided and approved prior to sailing. Children are never allowed to travel with the line, which caters only to cruisers 50 and older (and travel companions who are at least 40 years old), making age-related exceptions irrelevant.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours

Vaccine required? Yes

Passengers embarking on river and ocean voyages with Scenic will need to be fully immunized prior to sailing.

(Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Seabourn

Vaccine required? Yes

Vaccines are required for all passengers on Seabourn sailings, and proof will be required before boarding is allowed.

Sea Cloud Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Full vaccination is mandatory for all passengers cruising with Sea Cloud. Proof of vaccination is required prior to embarkation.

Silversea

Vaccine required? Yes

Per its protocols, Silversea requires shots for all passengers sailing with the line.

Star Clippers

Vaccine required? Yes

Star Clippers’ policies require adult passengers to either be fully inoculated against COVID-19 or to provide proof of recent recovery from the virus. Cruisers younger than 18 are not currently required to show proof of vaccination or recovery, but the line highly encourages passengers to receive the shots.

Swan Hellenic

Vaccine required? Yes

A complete course of immunization is compulsory for all passengers sailing with Swan Hellenic.

(Photo by GNDphotography)

Tauck

Vaccine required? Yes

Until further notice, all Tauck travelers 12 and older will have to show proof of full vaccination in order to set sail on a voyage with the brand.

UnCruise Adventures

Vaccine required? Yes

All UnCruise passengers are required to have all applicable doses of an approved vaccine before they can sail. Medical and religious exemptions are not allowed.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Vaccine required? Yes

Through at least Dec. 31, 2022, all passengers eligible to be vaccinated must be inoculated in order to cruise with Uniworld. Children too young to receive the shots will be allowed to sail with a negative result from a PCR test.

Viking

Vaccine required? Yes

All Viking passengers, whether on a river sailing or an ocean voyage, must be vaccinated and provide proof to the line no later than 14 days prior to cruising. Proof must also be shown on embarkation day.

Virgin Voyages

Vaccine required? Yes

All Virgin Voyages cruisers must be immunized against COVID-19 in order to sail. Virgin is a child-free line, so exceptions are not allowed due to age.

Windstar Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Windstar is mandating shots for all passengers until further notice, with proof required before setting sail.

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Featured photo by Marsa Images/Getty Images.

Additional reporting by Gene Sloan. 

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