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

Apr 29, 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 on board 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.

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.

Booster shots are not required unless specifically noted. However, keep in mind that the rules may vary by country, with some lines requiring boosters for international departures, due to local regulations.

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 no later than 21 days prior to beginning travel 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. However, 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 — must be inoculated to cruise with Azamara, and proof is required. All passengers eligible to receive boosters are also required to have them.

Carnival Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes

All Carnival passengers 12 and older must be immunized and provide proof, with few exceptions made for unvaccinated children 11 and younger, as well as older cruisers who are unable to be vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals must submit to additional pre-cruise testing to be able to embark. Additionally, booster shots are required for eligible passengers on ocean crossing voyages and sailings of 16 days or longer.

Celebrity Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Cruisers 5 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.

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 six months old. Booster shots are required for anyone 18 or older who had their final initial dose more than nine months prior to their sailing date.

(Photo by Ashley Kosciolek/The Points Guy)

Cunard Line

Vaccine required? Yes

All Cunard passengers, regardless of age, must be fully vaccinated and provide proof before boarding. Additionally, all passengers who received their final initial dose more than 270 days prior to boarding must also have received – and show proof of – a booster shot.

Disney Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes

Disney Cruise Line requires all passengers 5 and older to provide proof of full inoculation as a condition of sailing. Children younger than 5 must submit to additional testing prior to boarding.

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. 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 12 and older. Additionally, all eligible passengers 18 and older must also have their booster shots in order to sail.

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

Holland America

Vaccine required? Yes

Holland America now allows unvaccinated children to sail, but all passengers – including those as young as 5 years of age – who are vaccine eligible must be fully immunized. Exemptions will only be granted for children age 4 and younger, and the number of exemptions is limited.

Hurtigruten

Vaccine required? Yes

Per Norway’s regulations, Norwegian coastal voyages do not list vaccination as a requirement for boarding. However, passengers on all expedition sailings departing through 2022 must show proof of full inoculation. For those voyages, passengers 18 and older who received their final vaccine dose more than 270 days prior to sailing must also show proof of a booster.

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. Eligible cruisers who received their final dose more than five months prior to sailing must also have booster shots in order to travel with the line.

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. (Effective April 23, 2022, the line changed its policy to anyone 5 and older but walked it back to 12 and older just a couple weeks later.) Those who are unvaccinated are able to board with proof of two negative COVID-19 test results.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Vaccine required? Yes

All Norwegian Cruise Line passengers 12 and older must be fully vaccinated, with a small number of exceptions made for children 11 and younger.

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. All eligible passengers who received their initial doses more than 270 days prior to sailing must also have received their boosters.

P&O Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

Everyone 12 and older on all P&O Cruises sailings must show proof of full vaccination. Children 11 and younger can sail with either full vaccination or additional pre-cruise testing.

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. All cruisers 12 and older must also have had a booster dose if their initial course of shots was administered more than four months prior to embarkation.

Princess Cruises

Vaccine required? Yes

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. Eligible travelers who received their initial doses more than 270 before their sailing date must also prove that they have been boosted. Only original forms of vaccine verification (no photos) will be accepted as proof.

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 can show proof of inoculation and be allowed to sail as vaccinated guests. Boosters are required for eligible passengers embarking on voyages from the U.K.

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. For the line’s river cruises, passengers who are eligible must also show proof of a booster shot.

Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours

Vaccine required? Yes

Passengers embarking on river and ocean voyages with Scenic will need to be fully immunized prior to sailing. Boosters will be required if all countries on an itinerary require them. Otherwise, passengers will be allowed to embark with only their initial doses.

(Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Seabourn

Vaccine required? Yes

Vaccines are required for all passengers 12 and older on Seabourn sailings, and proof will be required before boarding is allowed. Children age 5-11 can – but do not have to – show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated children in that age group must go through the line’s exemption process in order to sail.

Silversea

Vaccine required? Yes

Per its protocols, Silversea requires shots for all passengers sailing with the line. Booster shots are not required, but are highly recommended to comply with the protocols in various ports on Seabourn itineraries.

Star Clippers

Vaccine required? Yes

Star Clippers’ policies require adult passengers to either be fully inoculated against COVID-19. In Europe only, cruisers may instead provide proof of recent recovery from the virus. Boosters may be required anywhere from four to nine months after the final initial dose, depending on country-specific rules in places the line’s ships visit.

(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. They must also be up to date on their shots, meaning that they’ve been boosted if their final initial dose was more than 270 days prior to the voyage. In lieu of a booster, a passenger may show a certificate of recovery no more than 180 days old.

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. Booster shots are also mandatory for all eligible passengers.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Vaccine required? Yes

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. The line notes that passengers could be required to be boosted in certain countries.

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Additional reporting by Gene Sloan. 

Featured photo by Marsa Images/Getty Images.

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