The sister-companies AQSC-American Queen Steamboat Co and VCL-Victory Cruise Lines became the first USA-based cruise shipping companies to require proof of COVID vaccinations from all crew and passengers given at least 14 days prior departure.
The measure, going into effect July 1, 2021, expands upon enhanced health and safety measures announced last year, which include pre-cruise COVID testing of all crew and passengers as well as mask-wearing in all public areas where social distancing is not possible.
The first cruise company to require vaccinations was Saga Cruises UK - proof of the 2-dose vaccine at least 14 days prior departure, effective May 4.
NCLH-owned liners (NCL-Norwegian, Oceania, RSSC-Regent) require COVID vaccinations for all the crew.
While some states are struggling with the rollout of the vaccine, Phase 1c includes transportation workers and that “vaccinations should be readily available and able to be administered to crew members before the July 1 target date,” American Queen revealed in a press release.
The company said it expected that most of its passengers would have access to vaccines before July 1.
All travellers will be required to present verified documentation of vaccination upon boarding.
The cruise company noted it plans to resume cruising in April 2021.