The GHK-owned, ultra-premium brand Crystal Cruises announced that it had updated its new health and safety protocols to require all passengers to be fully inoculated with a Coronavirus/COVID vaccine at least 14 days before their Crystal cruise.
Passengers will have to provide proof of vaccination prior to embarkation and must have received both doses of the Covid vaccine in case it is recommended by the manufacturer by that timeline. The vaccine requirement augments the comprehensive Crystal Clean+ 4.0 measures of the line, including negative COVID-19 tests for both passengers and crew, temperature checks at the terminal before boarding, social distancing guidelines, nimble mask policy, reduced capacity, enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures.
Crystal’s interim president and CEO, Jack Anderson, said:
“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.
“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."
Crystal Cruises said it understood that the widespread availability of vaccines varied according to the distribution plan of each traveller's home country or state. The company has voluntarily paused sailings through May 2021 for its river ship, into June for its ocean fleet, through August 1 for Crystal Esprit, through August for Crystal Endeavor, allowing most guests sufficient time to get fully vaccinated before the resumption of operations.
Fleet’s crew will be expected to be vaccinated as well when Crystal Cruises resumes sailing, but this may not be a viable option for all crew given their age or the availability of Covid vaccines in their home countries.
Anderson noted that as part of the company’s Crystal Clean+ 4.0 measures, all crew would be tested for COVID-19 before leaving their home location to join the cruise ship and had to receive a negative result. They also would take a COVID-19 test at embarkation; quarantine for 7 days upon arrival; be tested again at the end of the 7-day period and had to receive a negative result prior to beginning their duties.
“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.”