MIAMI — Crystal is the latest cruise line to announce proof of vaccination for all guests once operations resume.
The cruise line is now requiring all guests to be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to their Crystal cruise. Guests will need to provide proof of vaccination before embarkation and must have received both doses of the vaccine if recommended by the manufacturer by that timeline.
In addition, guests must also complete an online form acknowledging this requirement before their cruise tickets will be issued. An FAQ document on the advisory alert section of Crystal’s website has been published for more details.
“We are encouraged by the progress being made with the COVID-19 vaccines and what this means for our Crystal family and the travel industry as a whole as we eagerly look forward to exploring the world again,” said Crystal’s interim president and CEO, Jack Anderson. “We know that peace of mind is the greatest luxury and the vaccine requirement is simply the best way to ensure the safest possible Crystal Experience for all onboard.”
Crystal has voluntarily paused operations through May 2021 for its river fleet, into June for its ocean ships, through Aug. 1 for Crystal Esprit and through August for Crystal Endeavor, giving most travellers ample time to get fully vaccinated prior to departure.
In addition to guests, Crystal’s crew will also be expected to be vaccinated when cruises resume, however, the company acknowledges that this may not be a viable option for all crew members given their age and/or the availability of vaccines in their home countries.
“As part of the company’s Crystal Clean+ 4.0 measures, crew members will be tested for COVID-19 prior to leaving their home location to join the ship and must receive a negative result. They also will take a COVID-19 test at embarkation, quarantine for seven days upon arrival, be tested again at the end of that seven-day period and must receive a negative result before beginning their duties, said Anderson. “When vaccines are widely available, they will be a requirement of employment for crew, which must be completed at least 14 days prior to service.”
Crystal is the fourth cruise line to mandate proof of vaccination for guests. Britain-based Saga Cruises was the first to announce the requirement in January, followed by sister brands American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) and Victory Cruise Lines earlier this month.
Among the larger cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Line told Travelweek earlier this month that it is “currently exploring all options” regarding vaccinations for guests and crew, while Carnival Corporation said that it is “closely monitoring the situation” and will make a decision with regard to vaccines as the situation evolves.
CLIA also told Travelweek that it is monitoring vaccine developments and that a “multi-layer” approach, one that includes 100% testing, mask-wearing, physical distancing and other measures, is best to help mitigate risk.