Crystal has updated its health and safety protocols to now require all guests to be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to their Crystal cruise. Guests will need to provide proof of vaccination before embarkation and must have received both doses of the vaccine if recommended by the manufacturer by that timeline. The vaccine requirement augments the company’s comprehensive “Crystal Clean+ 4.0” measures, including negative COVID-19 tests for both guests and crew, temperature checks at the terminal prior to boarding, a “nimble” mask policy, social distancing guidelines, enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures, reduced capacity and more.
“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,” said Crystal’s interim president and CEO, Jack Anderson in a press statement. Anderson said the cruise line came to the conclusion after conversations with guests and travel partners and a recent survey of cruisers that found that more than 80 percent would cruise if a vaccine were required.
Crystal, in its announcement, says it understands that the widespread availability of vaccines varies according to the distribution plan of each travelers’ home country and/or state. As of February 18, the company has voluntarily paused operations through May 2021 for its river fleet, into June for its ocean ships, through August 1 for Crystal Esprit and through August for Crystal Endeavor, allowing most travelers sufficient time to get fully vaccinated before Crystal’s resumption of sailing.
Crystal’s crew will be expected to be vaccinated as well when the company resumes sailing; however, this may not be a viable option for all crew members given their age and/or the availability of vaccines in their home countries.
As part of the “Crystal Clean+ 4.0” measures, crew members will be tested for COVID-19 prior to leaving their home location to join the ship and must receive a negative result. They also will take another COVID-19 test at embarkation; quarantine for seven days upon arrival; be tested again at the end of that seven-day period and must receive a negative result before beginning their duties. Then, when vaccines are widely available, they will be required for crew employment.
In addition to providing verified documentation of their COVID-19 vaccine at the time of boarding, guests will complete an online form acknowledging this requirement before their cruise tickets will be issued.