SEATTLE — Windstar is the latest cruise line to make proof of vaccination a requirement for all guests.
Saying that the decision was made in the best health and wellness interests of its guests, crew and the places it visits, the cruise line will require proof of a current COVID-19 vaccination for all guests sailing aboard its yachts, until further notice. Crew members will also be required to be vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is made available to them.
Windstar also cited many destinations and some airlines have also announced or are considering vaccine mandates that provide further support for its new vaccination policy.
“Vaccination is another layer of safety for all of us and it’s the responsible course of action as our yachts resume cruising and our guests travel the world,” said Christopher Prelog, President of Windstar Cruises.
When arriving at the cruise terminal prior to embarkation, guests will be required to provide proof of a completed current vaccine course (one or two shots, depending on the brand) finished at least 14 days prior to the embarkation date. Negative COVID-19 test results will also be required prior to embarkation.
Complementing the vaccine mandate is Windstar’s new ‘Beyond Ordinary Care’ program, a multi-layered strategy featuring key hospital-grade elements, including: HEPA filters and UV-C germicidal irradiation to filter and disinfect the air, and backpack sprayers to sanitize all surfaces.
Windstar is scheduled to restart operations in June 2021 in a phased manner, with initial cruises at a reduced guest occupancy, some modified itineraries, all with enhanced health and safety protocols. To provide added flexibility, Windstar has also moved the final payment date from 120 days to 60 days prior to cruise departure.
Last month, Crystal also announced proof of vaccination for all guests, making it the first large cruise line to do so. Britain-based Saga Cruises was the first to announce the requirement in January, followed by American Queen Steamboat Company and sister line Victory Cruise Lines in early February.