A small cruise line has announced it will only allow passengers who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 onto its ships.Windstar Cruises shared this n
A small cruise line has announced it will only allow passengers who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 onto its ships.
Windstar Cruises shared this new travel requirement in a tweet it posted Tuesday, March 30.
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“Until further notice, we will require proof of a current COVID-19 vaccination for all guests sailing aboard a Windstar yacht,” the cruise line wrote.
Windstar’s coronavirus vaccination policy is a part of the cruise line’s “Beyond Ordinary Care” program, according to the company’s Health and Safety webpage.
The multi-layered health and safety program was first introduced in January, and includes mandatory mask wear, social distancing, COVID-19 testing 72 hours before boarding and health screenings at each cruise terminal prior to embarkation.
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However, with this new vaccine mandate, Windstar passengers will need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before they board the ship. Proof of vaccination will need to be presented at the terminal.
There are no exceptions to the vaccine requirement at this time. Customers who do not get a vaccine have the option to cancel for a potential refund or future cruise credit through Windstar’s Travel Assurance Booking Policy.
Windstar partners will be available at each cruise terminal to assist any customer who has been denied boarding. The partners can help with finding a local hotel or securing transportation to a medical center at the customer’s expense.
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For those who make it onto Windstar’s ships, masks can only be removed when eating, drinking or swimming. Desired shore excursions will need to be “vetted” by the cruise line. Guests who do not book an approved shore excursion will not be allowed to leave the ship, according to requirements set by the Cruise Lines International Association.
On the ship, Windstar is going to operate at reduced capacity and have enhanced cleaning method with electrostatic sprayers, sanitizing solution, HEPA filters and UV-C light. Designated isolation cabins will be available in case any guest gets infected with COVID-19.
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At the end of a voyage, Windstar will make coronavirus tests available for purchase for anyone who needs a test done before their flight home.
Windstar isn’t the first cruise line to make coronavirus vaccines a mandatory condition for passengers. The small ship cruise line joins the growing list of companies requiring COVID-19 vaccines, including Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Crystal Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Saga Cruises, P&O Cruises and the Hornblower Group.
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against non-essential travel at this time, however, Windstar Cruises is aiming to first set sail in July from Athens, Greece. Most cruise lines are testing safety protocols with the national health agency.