Two North American Cruise Brands Announce Vaccine Requirements
American Queen Steamboat Company, as well as sister brand Victory Cruise Line, have announced beginning July 1, 2021, all crew and passengers traveling with the lines, will be required to provide proof of the COVID-19 vaccination before sailing. This announcement makes these two lines the first in North America to stipulate this requirement.
“The health and safety of our guests, crew members and partners continues to remain our top priority. Vaccination requirement for both our guests and crew is the most prudent next step to ensure that we are providing the safest cruising experience possible. Our new vaccination requirement, coupled with comprehensive health and safety protocols and risk-free booking policy, will give our loyal guests another added level of assurance to join us as we return to sailing,” said the lines in a joint statement as to why they would be issuing a mandatory vaccine requirement for guests and crew.
If the vaccine that a guest or crew member is administered requires two doses, the brands will require that both doses be administered before embarkation. During embarkation , all guests will be required to present verified documentation of vaccination. Crew will be required to present vaccination documentation, either at the time of hiring or prior boarding a vessel.
The vaccination requirement will only apply to those staying overnight on the vessel. Any other individuals who may be boarding a vessel and not staying overnight will be subject to American Queen or Victory’s mandated health and safety protocols. All drivers for the lines shoreside excursions will also have a vaccine requirement.
Although the vaccine requirement won’t go into effect until July 1, 2021, American Queen and Victory plan on restarting sailings prior to this date.
When asked why sail prior to this date the lines provided the following statement, “The health and safety of our guests, crew members and partners is our top priority. While we are confident in the measures we have taken for itineraries operating from April through June, the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate will further ensure the wellbeing of the individuals who overnight on our vessels. To date, we have received strong interest for our April through June itineraries from guests who are confident in our current measures. Additionally, a good number of these guests will have had access to the vaccine prior. This, combined with our belief that crew will be vaccinated per the CDC recommendation Phase 1c vaccination rollout includes maritime transportation workers, further ensures our confidence to cruise safely.”
Until the July 1 date, both lines previously announced health and safety protocol will remain in place. These precautions include: 100% testing of crew and guests, pre-boarding health questionnaire, temperature screening, reduced vessel capacity, mask requirement in public spaces when social distancing is not possible, disinfection of public spaces, re-invented food and beverage concept to replace buffets, crew training, new shore protocols, and others.
To learn more about American Queen Steamboat Company’s health and safety protocols visit: https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/health-and-safety/. To learn more about Victory Cruise Lines’ health and safety protocol visit: https://www.victorycruiselines.com/health-and-safety/.
We will continue to update this story as additional information is released.