Cruise with confidence
Keeping you safe aboard our boutique ships
For cruise departures in February 2022
This information is regularly updated, so if you are travelling on a cruise later in the year please check back nearer to your departure date for the most up-to-date information.
Since we returned to service last summer, more than 22,000 guests have sailed with us, and we have an exemplary record of keeping everyone safe on board. This is credit to the tireless work of our crew, who have ensured that we are one of the safest places to be at sea. However, we remain ever vigilant in these unprecedented times.
Having reviewed the government’s latest advice, we are continuing to take all necessary steps to prevent cases of Covid-19 on board and provide our guests with the peace of mind they need to enjoy their cruise, knowing that their safety and wellbeing is at the forefront of our minds.
Luckily, our new ships are quite different from other modern cruise ships. They are smaller, with a higher amount of space afforded to each guest, so you will never be crowded on board. You can relax in their generously-sized public rooms, large open decks, and even on your own private balcony.
The usual facilities such as swimming pools, the gym, spa, salon, shops and launderette will be open, although some health and safety procedures will remain in place. For exploring ashore, you can still choose to disembark and see the sights on your own, along with your included sightseeing excursions, and our range of optional tours. However, you must follow any government advice from the country you are visiting, including face coverings and social distancing. The on-board team will be able to advise you about any local restrictions at the time of your visit.
The FAQs below include details of our safety procedures as well as essential information regarding overseas travel. This includes requirements for Covid-19 vaccination certificates, Passenger Locator Forms, and testing requirements when returning to the UK. Please read the information carefully as you may be required to take action prior to your departure date.
Last updated: 11 January 2022
What documents can I expect to receive and when?
We will send you the following documents prior to your departure date instead of the normal My Cruise booklet:
- Shore excursion details a minimum of 10 days before departure
- UK travel information, including your car pick up times or car parking information, along with luggage labels will arrive a minimum of 5 days before you travel
What documents will I need to bring to the port?
Our cruise operation is ticketless so we will not issue you with a physical cruise ticket. You will simply need to bring the following documents with you to the port to board the ship:
- A valid 10-year passport with at least 6 months validity remaining
- A digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate as proof that you have received your full dose (including booster) of a UK-approved COVID-19 vaccination. This can only be obtained via the NHS App or website, or the HSC equivalent for Northern Ireland. Please see below for further details.
- If you have arranged your own insurance, please ensure that it covers you for COVID-19 and remember to bring your policy documents with you
What is a digital NHS COVID-19 vaccination certificate?
A digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate (also called an NHS COVID Pass) is required to board the ship. It is issued by the NHS and provides evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination status. It includes a QR code (also known as a 2D barcode) for each dose you have received. We are unable to accept any alternative documents as evidence of your vaccination status.
Your own certificate may differ in appearance depending on where in the UK you live, but it should always contain the QR codes (also known as 2D barcodes) shown in the example below.
Example of a digital vaccination certificate.
How to obtain your digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate?
You will need to obtain your digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate before your cruise commences. The barcodes expire after 30 days, so please apply for it no sooner than 30 days before you are due to visit the final port on your cruise.
Simply visit one of the following websites to obtain your digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate. Please ask a trusted family member or friend for help if required.
You can access your digital vaccination certificate online at one of the following websites:
You will require your own individual NHS number and email address, and a mobile phone number to register. The website will talk you through the registration process step-by-step. Once completed, you can download a PDF copy of your certificate, which you can either print or save to your smartphone or tablet device. Please pack this in your hand luggage, so it is easily accessible when you check in.
Alternatively, you can download your digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate using one of the following apps, all of which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play:
England - NHS App (not the NHS COVID App)
Scotland - NHS Scotland COVID Status App
Northern Ireland - COVIDCertNI App
Please note: vaccination certificates ordered by post do not contain the required QR codes so will not be accepted.
The first and last names on your vaccination certificate and passport must match. If your name appears differently on your vaccination certificate, you will need to ask your GP to update your medical records.
If, for any reason, you are unable to download your certificate from the website or app, each guest will need to bring with them an individual email address and their NHS number, along with a mobile phone. Please ensure these items are available to hand at check in, and please note this may lead to a delay in boarding of one to two hours.
What if I have been vaccinated outside of the UK?
If you have been vaccinated outside of the UK, you must be able to prove that you’ve been fully vaccinated under an approved UK Government vaccination programme and hold UK Government approved proof of vaccination. You will also need to ensure that your vaccination certificate is accepted by the countries you are due to visit. More information can be found on the UK Government website.
How do I pay my remaining balance?
If you have not yet done so, you can pay your balance quickly and securely online. Please remember that your balance payment is due 90 days before you travel.
Do I need to self-isolate before my cruise?
We would ask that you act cautiously and minimise your contact with others as much as possible in the lead up to your cruise. Please note that you will be unable to travel if you have returned to the UK from an overseas trip in the 7 days prior to your cruise and we ask that public transport is not used in the same period, including travel by rail, bus or coach.
Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before my journey to the ship?
Although you will be tested on arrival at the port, for additional peace of mind, we would advise you to take an NHS rapid lateral flow test at home before you begin your journey to the ship. You can obtain these tests from most pharmacies and they come with clear instructions on how to perform them at home. The test takes 30 minutes to return a result.
What if I feel unwell or test positive for COVID-19 in the lead up to my cruise?
You must report to us if you have had a positive COVID-19 test result, have been in close contact with anybody diagnosed with COVID-19, have been contacted by a national Test and Trace authority, or if you experience any of the following symptoms within 14 days of your cruise:
- A high temperature
- A new continuous cough
- Shortness of breath
- A loss or change to taste or smell
Unfortunately, you will be unable to travel if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the 14 days leading up to your cruise.
If you have any medical concerns leading up to your cruise, please speak with your GP.
Can I use public transport to get to the port?
Travel by ferry or domestic flight is permitted from within the Common Travel Area. However, to further reduce the risk of anyone contracting COVID-19 on their way to the ship, we ask that any other form of public transport is not used in the 7 days leading up to your cruise. This includes, but is not limited to travelling by rail, bus or coach. Additionally, you will be unable to travel if you have returned from an overseas trip in the 7 days leading up to your cruise.
If you do not currently have car parking or a chauffeur car booked through Saga, we will contact you to discuss your options.
What safety measures are in place for the VIP chauffeur service?
Each household will be allocated a private car up to 250 miles each way and all cars will be thoroughly cleaned prior to your collection. Whilst the government guidelines have now changed, we will still require that both you and your chauffeur wear a face mask for the duration of your journey, so please ensure you bring one with you. This applies for all departures up to until the end of February 2022.
What will happen when I arrive at the cruise terminal and will I be tested for COVID-19?
Upon arrival, you will be asked if you have had any COVID-19 related symptoms recently and where you have travelled to in the last 14 days. Our qualified medical staff will take your temperature, measure your oxygen saturation level and a COVID-19 test will be conducted. The process should take no longer than 20 minutes and you will be able to remain in the comfort of your vehicle during this time. Following this medical screening process and having shown a negative test result, you will be directed through check-in and board the ship.
Will guests and crew be required to wear face coverings?
You are only required to wear a face mask when walking between enclosed spaces around the ship, with the exception of the Theatre, the Fairway and the Card Room where it remains compulsory to wear a face mask at all times. Please note that face visors are not permitted and we cannot allow any exemptions for the use of face masks onboard.
We will continue to review the requirements to wear face masks on a regular basis and when appropriate will inform you of any change.
Will there be any changes in my cabin?
We will provide hand sanitiser and face masks in your cabin for your personal use, if you need more please do not hesitate to ask. You and your cabin steward will be the only people allowed to enter your cabin during your cruise; we would kindly ask that you do not invite anyone else to join you.
Have you made changes to dining?
The dining experience on board will continue to be of the highest standard. To make things easier for your first night, we have allocated where you will dine and after this you can, of course, dine at your leisure, in the venue of your choice. Please remember that speciality restaurants must be booked in advance once you are onboard and this can be done either in person at the restaurant or by telephone once onboard.
Whilst social distancing measures have now been changed by the government, we will continue to require that no more than six people dine together and buffets will continue to be assisted service.
We have installed hand washing stations at the entrance to all dining venues and would ask that all guests use these. Our crew will also be on hand to help remind you of this when entering all dining venues.
What social distancing measures are in place in public areas?
Whilst social distancing has now been formally relaxed, we respectfully ask that, where possible, this continues to be adhered to and respected to ensure the safety of both our guests and crew. Hand sanitiser is available around the ship and we would encourage all guests to use this regularly whilst onboard.
Seating in public spaces has been rearranged to provide more space and, as with the dining areas, tables will seat a maximum of six. Please note that seating will not be available at the bar.
Can I still use the library and computer room?
The library space is available, however you won’t find the usual books and board games and, for now, our computers will remain temporarily out of use. Please ensure that you bring your own reading material and free Wi-fi is available throughout the ship so please do bring your own laptops, tablets and smartphones. If you need any help with using these, our crew will be more than happy to assist you.
What evening entertainment can I look forward to?
Multiple venues are available onboard, so you are free to choose where to spend your days and evenings. Every night there’s a show in The Playhouse Theatre or alternative entertainment can be found in the Britannia Lounge with live performances and music for dancing. Sadly, dance hosts are currently not available. You can also find entertainment in The Club or The Supper Club, and The Living Room or alternatively, you can enjoy the shows from the comfort of your cabin via the TV as a live stream.
What daytime activities will be available?
Daily arts and crafts classes will be available along with deck games.
Details of all classes and activities are available onboard and our cruise staff will provide all the information you need, including whether you need to pre-register at reception the day before.
Are you planning to go ahead with formal nights and cocktail parties?
Cocktail parties will not go ahead at this time, however we are pleased to confirm that formal nights will proceed as follows:
- One formal night for cruises from four to seven nights.
- Two formal nights for cruises of eight to 11 nights.
- Three formal nights for cruises of 12 to 21 nights.
What is the dress code onboard?
A big part of the cruising experience is what to wear and we know how important it is for many of our guests. During the day, we would advise casual wear, with the evening dress code starting from 6pm.
Ladies generally choose to wear a smart dress or an elegant blouse or top with trousers or skirt. Gentlemen can wear a smart open neck shirt and trousers. A jacket is optional, and we would ask that polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts and denim are kept for casual wear during the day.
Formal nights are always looked forward to as it gives the ladies the chance to wear an evening gown, cocktail dress, a dress suit or elegant separates. Gentlemen are invited to wear a smart suit or dinner jacket. If you do not wish to take part in formal nights, you may dine in The Grill or take advantage of our complementary room service.
Will I be able to go ashore?
Yes, as usual you will be able to choose from a selection of included and optional shore excursions. We will send you all the information you need regarding which excursions are available for your cruise and how to book them. To ensure you get to go on the ones you want, we would strongly suggest booking your excursions in advance.
Additionally, from 1st November you will once again be able to go ashore independently at overseas ports. This is subject to each destination’s specific COVID-19 protocols and our own assessment of conditions onboard and ashore at the time. We will of course inform you onboard of any ports where restrictions do need to remain in place for the safety of our guests and crew.
What documentation will I need to go ashore?
We will inform you onboard of any requirements prior to each port of call. These will vary by country and may include:
- A COVID-19 vaccination certificate or 2D barcode (also known as a QR code).
- Proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test - testing will be arranged for you onboard where necessary at no further cost.
- A completed Passenger Locator Form where required by local authorities. We will assist you in completing these forms once onboard the ship.
What are the testing requirements for my return to the UK?
You will need to take a COVID-19 test within 2 days of arriving in the UK. The day you return to the UK is day 0 therefore, we will arrange for you to take this test onboard the ship on the morning of your return at no extra cost. You do not need to self-isolate while awaiting the result and we will only notify you if your test result is positive or inconclusive. In this case, your test result will be sent from our test provider by email, normally within 48 hours of your arrival back in the UK, therefore, it is now necessary for you have an email address that you can access before joining us onboard. You will be asked to confirm your email address when you take your COVID-19 test onboard. If you do not currently have an email address, you must arrange access to an email account that can be used to receive your test result and bring this with you.
If you receive a positive test result you will need to self-isolate, take a PCR test and follow the guidance issued by the NHS.
Will I need to complete a Passenger Locator Form?
A UK Government Passenger Locator Form must be submitted online in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. To save you time onboard, we strongly recommend that you create an account, and complete and save as many details as possible at home before your cruise. You will then simply need to add your Day 2 test details, which will be given to you onboard, and submit your completed form within 48 hours prior to arriving back in the UK. You can create an account and begin completing your Passenger Locator Form.
If you have a wi-fi enabled smartphone or tablet device, please bring it with you as you will need this to complete and submit the form onboard. The ship’s crew will, of course, be on hand to help those who do not have their own device.
How will disembarkation work?
Instructions will be delivered to your cabin and you will need to leave your luggage outside your cabin door on the night before you disembark.
On the day of disembarkation, you will be asked to wait in one of the lounges until you are called to the gangway.
Will I need to quarantine in a hotel upon return to the UK?
At present, quarantine within the UK’s managed quarantine service is only required when entering the UK having visited a ‘red’ list country in the previous 10 days. Should any country on the itinerary move to the red list or be considered at risk of moving to it, we will make necessary changes to the itinerary. Any UK government guidelines at the time will need to be adhered to.
If returning from a country that is not on the UK government's red list, you will still need to isloate at home after your cruise until you have received your Day 2 PCR test result. if tour test is negative, you will no longer need to isolate. If the result is positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days and follow the guidance issued by the NHS.
Can friends and family visit me onboard?
For now, visitors will not be permitted onboard.
What measures have been taken to keep the crew safe?
All of the crew have been vaccinated and have been allocated to cohorts to minimise contact with others.
We know that some of our guests who have cruised with us in the past will be pleased to see familiar faces onboard, however, we would respectfully ask that social distancing is adhered to at all times.
The onboard team will also not be able to host guests at dinner or at other events.
Will I be tested onboard during my cruise?
In addition to testing everybody before they embark the ship, we will also test guests onboard as required by the port authorities for the countries we visit.
What will happen if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 onboard during my cruise?
Our stringent safety measures have been put in place to reduce the risk to guests and crew and this is further strengthened by our mandatory requirement for all guests to have received both of their vaccines.
Should we find ourselves in this situation our comprehensive outbreak procedures will commence. These include enhanced medical facilities and a dedicated isolation area.
What if I develop COVID-19 symptoms during my cruise? Is my insurance valid?
In the unlikely event of you testing positive for COVID-19 whilst onboard the ship, you will be safely disembarked at the next suitable port, which may be upon your return to the UK. If you have our included insurance policy, you are covered for medical and repatriation costs. If you have your own insurance with another provider, you will need to check the cover that you hold. We recommend that all guests hold insurance which covers COVID related claims.
What should I do if I feel unwell during my cruise?
If you feel unwell in any way whilst onboard, please remain in your cabin and contact the Medical Centre immediately.
What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19 after my cruise?
We will be operating the NHS Test and Trace system. In the unlikely event that you test positive within 10 days of returning from your cruise, please call 0800 504 505.
What if I am contacted by the NHS Track & Trace service and identified as a close contact of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19?
If you are contacted by the NHS Test & Trace service or identified as a close contact of somebody who has tested positive whilst onboard, please return to your cabin to isolate and contact the medical centre immediately.
If you are contacted by the NHS Test & Trace service within 10 days of returning from your cruise, please report this to us immediately by calling 0800 504 505.
We pride ourselves on providing a cruising experience of the highest standard and your feedback is extremely important to us. Following our return to service and with the safety of both our guests and crew in mind, we have made some changes to the questionnaire process that we previously had in place. You will now be sent your questionnaire on the final day of your cruise, to the email address we hold on file and we would ask that this is completed before you leave the ship.
If we do not currently hold your email address on our files, you can add this to your booking information at travel.saga.co.uk/mytravel. In order to complete the questionnaire, you will require a smartphone or tablet device and should you need any assistance in using these or completing the questionnaire, our crew will be on hand to help. If you do not have a smartphone or tablet device there are several iPads onboard which the crew will be happy to assist you with using.
What is the vaccination policy for ocean cruise guests?
We have taken the decision to introduce the requirement that all guests must be fully vaccinated, including a booster dose. This means that guests must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us.
How will you check that I have received the vaccine?
You will be required to bring a digital NHS COVID-19 vaccination certificate (also known as an NHS COVID Pass) with you as proof at the time of boarding. This can be obtained via the NHS App or website.
What if I am exempt from receiving the vaccine?
Sadly we would not be able to allow you to cruise and would ask that you contact our Cruise Guest Services on 0800 015 0765 and they will be able to discuss your options with you and arrange a full refund.
Will I still be able to travel if I choose not to have the vaccine?
We have made the decision not to allow a guest to travel with us if they choose not to receive the vaccine and a booster dose. The majority of our guests fall into the at-risk age bracket and our priority is their safety and wellbeing. Therefore, to protect all of our guests, sadly we would not be able to allow you to cruise and would ask that you contact our Cruise Guest Services on 0800 015 0765 and they will be able to discuss your options with you and arrange a full refund.
Will crew and other staff aboard the ships also have the vaccine?
All of the crew have been vaccinated and have been allocated to cohorts to minimize contact with others.
Cruise with confidence thanks to...
- Comprehensive Covid-19 protocols that are being regularly reviewed to ensure we provide a safe environment for our guests and crew on all cruises sailing throughout the year.
- Flexible cancellation rights.
- Included travel insurance with up to £5m coronavirus coronavirus emergency medical and repatriation cover.
- All guests to be fully vaccinated (including a booster dose) for Covid-19 before boarding.
- Fully vaccinated crew.
- For sailings up to until the end of February 2022, our included chauffeur service will be extended to a private service up to 250 miles each way. This means every guest or ‘bubble’ will be picked up at home and driven to the port, safely and without the need to use any form of shared transport.
- Pre-departure Covid-19 testing at the port for guests and crew, along with temperature checks and a full medical screening.
- Additional enhancements to our state-of-the-art air conditioning, which already circulates 100% fresh air in all public areas and cabins.
- Enhancing our already high standards of cleaning throughout the ships, including all public areas and cabins.
- We have doubled the number of medical staff on board, and expanded our medical facilities, including a new isolation area.
- Our ships have been awarded independent Shield+ accreditation to certify that they are operating safely, using only the strictest health and hygiene measures.