Another cruise line is mandating guests to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Thursday, Crystal Cruises announced its updated health and safety protocols, which require that all passengers are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before their voyage. Passengers will have to offer proof of vaccination in order to board.
The company also said that by the time its cruises are up and running again, it expects vaccines will be more widely available.
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“The company has voluntarily paused operations through May 2021 for its River fleet, into June for its Ocean ships, through August 1 for Crystal Espirit and through August for Crystal Endeavor, allowing most travelers sufficient time to get fully vaccinated before Crystal’s resumption of sailing,” the company said in its announcement.
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Crystal’s interim president and CEO, Jack Anderson, said in a statement that the company is “encouraged” by the vaccine’s progress.
“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 on board,” Anderson said. “This sentiment is underscored by conversations with our guests and travel partners and a recent Cruise Critic survey of cruisers that revealed that more than 80 percent of respondents would cruise if a vaccine were required.”
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Though vaccines will be required for all passengers, the cruise line did say that it may be more difficult to require all its staff — who are from all over the world — to be fully vaccinated because of the availability of the vaccines in their home countries.
However, staff will still be tested for the coronavirus and will have to follow a series of protocols including receiving a negative test, quarantining for seven days when they arrive at the ship and get another negative test at the end of their quarantine.
“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,” Anderson said in a statement.
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Crystal Cruises is just the latest cruise line to require coronavirus vaccines.
Earlier this month, American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines both said they would require all passengers and crew to be vaccinated before they could board their ships when they set sail again this summer.
Before that, U.K.-based company Saga Cruises also said it would require passengers to be vaccinated.