Crystal Cruises will now be requiring all of its guests to be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to their Crystal cruise.
Passengers 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.
The vaccine requirement augments the company’s comprehensive Crystal Clean+ 4.0 measures, including negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew, temperature checks at the terminal prior to boarding, a nimble mask policy, social distancing guidelines, enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures, reduced capacity and more.
Crystal’s interim president and CEO, Jack Anderson said that: “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.”
Anderson continued: “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. 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% of respondents would cruise if a vaccine were required.”
The cruise company noted that it understands that the widespread availability of vaccines varies according to the distribution plan of each travellers’ home country and/or state.
As of today, the company has voluntarily paused operations through May 2021 for its River fleet, into June for its Ocean ships, through August 1 for Crystal Esprit and through August for Crystal Endeavor, allowing most travelers sufficient time to get fully vaccinated before Crystal’s resumption of sailing.
The cruise line’s crew — who hail from dozens of countries around the world — will be expected to be vaccinated as well when the company resumes sailing, however, this may not be a viable option for all crew members given their age and/or the availability of vaccines in their home countries.
Anderson explained that: “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.”
He continued: “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.”
In addition to providing verified documentation of their COVID-19 vaccine at the time of boarding, guests will complete an online form acknowledging this requirement before their cruise tickets will be issued. Crystal has published a frequently asked questions document on the advisory alert section of its website for further reference.
The cruise company said it will continue to evaluate and update its Crystal Clean+ 4.0 health and safety protocols for its luxury brand experiences – Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Cruises and the upcoming Crystal Expedition Cruises – according to the latest scientific data and expert guidance.