South Asia Fun Tour
March 17,2022

American Queen Steamboat Company, Victory Cruise Lines To Require COVID-19 Vaccines for Passengers and Crew

by Bin Xu

Sister companies American Queen Steamboat Co. (AQSC) and Victory Cruise Lines (VCL) became the first U.S. cruise lines to announce they will require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations from all passengers and crew members given at least 14 days before boarding the ships.

The measure, which goes into effect July 1, 2021, expands upon the enhanced health and safety measures announced in 2020, which include pre-cruise COVID-19 testing of all guests and crew and mask-wearing in public areas where social distancing is not possible.

The first to announce a passenger vaccine requirement was a U.K. line, Saga , which requires proof of the two-dose vaccine at least 14 days before boarding the ship, effective May 4.

Also, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is considering a vaccine mandate for guests but would require it for crew members.

“We are exploring all options regarding vaccinations for guests and crew, and it is our intention that all crew members be vaccinated before boarding our vessels to begin their duties, subject to availability of the vaccine,” according to a NCLH company spokesperson. “We will share additional updates as they are available.”

John Waggoner, CEO and founder of American Queen Steamboat Company, said, “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.”

AQSC/VCL also continues to work with health advisors, including a partnership with VIKAND Medical Solutions, and under the discretion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on evolving guidelines.

While some states are struggling with the vaccine rollout, 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,” AQSC/VCL said in a press release.

The company also said it expects that most of its guests would have access to vaccines before July 1. “The majority of our guests represent the 65-plus population, who are eligible now or will soon be eligible to receive the vaccination. If a guest is not able to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine prior to their scheduled trip, we will rebook them for a future sailing at no charge,” the press release stated.

Guests who can’t get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before their trip – or who have no intention of receiving the vaccine – should contact the reservations department.

All guests will be required to present verified documentation of vaccination upon boarding.

The company noted that it plans to resume cruising in April. “To date, we have received strong interest for our April-through-June itineraries from guests who are confident in our current measures,” the company said. “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 recommended Phase 1c vaccination rollout, which includes maritime transportation workers, further ensures our confidence to cruise safely.”

  • Bin Xu
  • March 17,2022

Leave a Reply

Please sing in to post your comment or singup if you dont have account.