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Virgin Voyages, Royal Caribbean Will Require Vaccines For Cruises
US-based cruise lines are starting to roll out their COVID-19 requirements to resume cruise traveling. Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages, an adult-only cruise line, announced this week they will be the first cruise line to require both staff and passengers to be fully vaccinated before boarding.
“We know the future is about vaccinations,” Tom McAlpin, Virgin Voyages’ president, and CEO said in a statement to USA Today.
Virgin Voyages had plants to resume last April, however, due to the global pandemic the first ship, Scarlet Lady, will now set sail in July from Miami. A second ship, Valiant Lady, is to set sail in late November from Barcelona, and a third ship will sail from Greece sometime in early Summer 2022.
Virgin Voyages believes vaccinations might be the only way for the cruise industry to resume as normal. The cruise line hasn’t yet decided how they would need staff or passengers to provide proof. But, they are open to allowing any variation of the vaccine.
“There’s a huge pent-up demand for travel, and Virgin Voyages will be ready to welcome you aboard soon” McAlpin said.
Virgin Voyages won’t be the only brand welcoming fully vaccinated staff and passengers, Crystal Cruises has also announced a plan for passengers to be completely vaccinated before boarding.
Royal Caribbean will have one ship that will be embarking that requires vaccinations departing from Israel in early May. The company has also mentioned it will require all staff members to be vaccinated, too. There is no word if all Royal Caribbean cruises will require the same.
We expect many cruise lines to follow the lead of Virgin Voyages as vaccines continue to be administered.