A European cruise line today is the first to announce that it will require passengers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to sail aboard its ships in 2021. That means those are don’t get vaccinated cannot sail. It is the first major announcement of its kind in the travel industry, which is expected to grow and be adopted by others. Saga Cruises, which specializes in 50-plus cruise holidays led the charge.
“With the start of the roll-out of the COVID‑19 vaccine, we have once more reviewed our health and safety procedures to ensure we are providing the safest possible cruise experience,” Saga said in a statement today. “We have taken the decision to introduce the requirement that all guests must be fully vaccinated. This means that guests must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before traveling with us. This new measure will be in addition to the detailed arrangements we have already made in preparation for our return to service, which has been recognized and led to us being the first operator to receive the highest possible standard of health and safety protocols from Lloyd’s Register.”
If you already booked your cruise and can’t get a vaccination, Saga is allowing guests to reschedule their trips.
“Our guidance is that all guests should be fully inoculated, which means you must have received both doses and waited for full immunity to take effect. Therefore, we will require all of our guests to have received both doses of the vaccine no later than 14 days prior to departure,” they said. “If you have not received both doses prior to this time, please contact your travel agent who will be happy to advise you and take you through your options.”
Saga faced a backlash on Twitter, forcing the company to temporarily make its profile private.