I know that a lot of travel fans are more into flying to go places, but there are some cruise fans in our circles, as well. They probably have heard about the multiple cruise lines (Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, etc.) that are going to require their crew to have a COVID-19 vaccination as a stipulation for working. And we recently got word of the first cruise line that will mandate its passengers to show proof of having the vaccine in order to sail with them. That cruise line is based in Europe.
However, two cruise lines that are based out of the U.S. have now made similar announcements.
American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines have recently issued “SafeCruise” guidance stating that vaccination is required for all sailings beginning July 1, 2021.
Both cruise lines are part of the Hornblower Group.
American Queen is known for its river cruises on the Columbia, Cumberland, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee & Snake Rivers. Victory Cruise lines focus more on the Great Lakes, Canada, New England, the Southeast, Alaska, Pacific NW and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Besides the American Queen and Victory Cruise Lines, Hornblower normally provides cruises to Alcatraz Island, the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls during non-COVID times.
“The health and safety of our guests, crew members and partners continues to remain our top priority. Vaccination requirement for both our guests and crew is the most prudent next step to ensure that we are providing the safest cruising experience possible,” John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Company, said in a statement. “Our new vaccination requirement, coupled with comprehensive health and safety protocols and risk-free booking policy, will give our loyal guests another added level of assurance to join us as we return to sailing.”
Even with the vaccine mandate, the cruises will still require the precautions recommended by the CDC, such as resting, temperature screenings, reduced ship capacity, mask requirement in public spaces, etc.
Both cruise lines are particularly popular with those over age 65. The company believes that people in that age group should be able to get their vaccines before the July 1 mandate goes into effect. If a guest is getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, which requires 2 shots, and isn’t able to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before their scheduled trip, the cruise line will rebook them for a future sailing at no charge.
Passengers will be required to show verified documentation that they’ve been fully vaccinated before they can board the ship on the ship. Crew members, who will also be mandated to be vaccinated, will be required to show proof of the same, either when they’re hired or before embarking on a trip.
Feature Photo: U.S. Secretary of Defense / flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary