With several different coronavirus vaccines being distributed around the world, many have been left wondering how they will change our world. The shifts these vaccines can bring apply just as much to the cruise industry as to anywhere else. A future where the coronavirus is no longer an issue obviously opens up tons of doors for travel to resume, but questions remain about what the world will look like before herd immunity (and therefore true normalcy) is reached. Some have started to bounce around the idea that proof of vaccination will be required to do various risky activities. Will this apply to cruises? Let’s take a look at the info that we have so far.
Saga Cruises, a small cruise line based out of England, is the first to announce that it will require all guests to be vaccinated going forward. They have pushed back their first cruise of the year until May 4th in order to allow for a wider distribution of the vaccine. Guests will specifically need to have received two doses of the vaccine (assuming it is the Moderna or Pfizer shot) two weeks before the cruise departs.
Will other cruises do the same?
At this point, we can only speculate on whether other cruise lines will follow in the footsteps of Saga or not. There are some signs that point towards that being a possibility, however. Most major cruise lines have already started to delay their restart dates until later this year. This is likely because they are hoping to resume operations once more people have received the vaccine. We have also recently heard of two cruise lines (Norwegian and Regent) that will be requiring their crew members to be vaccinated. It makes sense that this would also apply to travelers.
Does it make sense to do this?
It’s hard to say whether it is a good move for cruise lines to require vaccinations or not. Vaccines are ultimately a touchy subject, and requiring them will certainly alienate a small percentage of guests. Polling over the last few months has shown, however, that more and more people around the world are warming up to the idea of coronavirus vaccines. Additionally, we have seen the kind of damage that coronavirus outbreaks on ships has done to the public image of cruise lines. Making cruises as safe as possible might be the smartest move right now. The public need to have faith that they won’t get sick on their vacation, and requiring vaccinations could be a good way to do that.
Many things across the cruise industry are uncertain right now. We’ll just have to wait and see if major cruise lines end up requiring vaccinations or not. Perhaps Saga will start a trend!