Saga Cruises and vaccines
Your questions answered
Please note: applies to bookings made prior to January 20, 2021.
Why have you issued this guidance?
With the start of the roll-out of the COVID‑19 vaccine, we have once more reviewed our health and safety procedures to ensure we are providing the safest possible cruise experience.
We have taken the decision to introduce the requirement that all guests must be fully vaccinated. This means that guests must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us.
This new measure will be in addition to the detailed arrangements we have already made in preparation for our return to service, which have been recognised and led to us being the first operator to receive the highest possible standard of health and safety protocols from Lloyd’s Register.
What does this mean if I have already booked a cruise but haven’t yet had the vaccine?
The latest government guidance suggests that the roll out will be well progressed for our planned return to service, but if for any reason you need to change your cruise plans, we will offer you a different date or a full refund.
Will I need to have both doses of the vaccine before I can travel, or can I travel having received the first one?
Our guidance is that all guests should be fully inoculated, which means you must have received both doses and waited for full immunity to take effect. Therefore, we will require all of our guests to have received both doses of the vaccine no later than 14 days prior to departure.
If you have not received both doses prior to this time, please contact our cruise team on 0800 015 0765 who will be happy to advise you and take you through your options.
What does this mean if I have had both doses of vaccine, but my cruise is due to depart less than a week after my second dose, so I may not have immunity?
All guests must have received their full COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. If this is not the case and you need to change your cruise plans, we will offer you a different date or a full refund.
What if one guest will have received the vaccine by their departure date, but another member of their party won’t have – what does this mean for them?
Our guidance is that all guests should be fully inoculated, which means all members of a party must have received both doses and waited for full immunity to take effect. If for any reason you need to change your cruise plans, we will offer you a different date or a full refund.
How will you check that I have received the vaccine?
You will be required to bring the vaccination document and/or evidence with you as proof at the time of boarding.
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 who 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. 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 sales team on 0800 015 0765 and they will be able to discuss your options with you and arrange a full refund.
What should I do if I start to develop flu like symptoms a few days prior to my departure date, but have had the vaccine and tested negative for COVID‑19?
Regrettably, we would ask you to not travel at this time. If this scenario were to arise, we would ask you to contact our cruise sales team who will be happy to help you.
What will happen if a new strain of the virus is found and the vaccine I have had does not protect me from it? Will I still be able to travel and if not, will I get a full refund?
There is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine will be ineffective on new strains. We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation and take government guidance.
Will I also need to have the flu jab to travel in future?
This is not a requirement for travel, but we do recommend that our guests take all precautions for their health and protection and we would encourage you to have the flu jab if you have not done so already.
Will crew and other staff aboard the ships also have the vaccine?
Our focus in the first instance is on our guests and ensuring all of them have been vaccinated, we have comprehensive COVID‑19 protocols in place to protect our crew, including quarantine and regular testing and as soon as crew can be vaccinated they will be.
Will my Saga driver have been vaccinated?
Your driver will only be vaccinated if they have been offered it as part of the government rollout. We have comprehensive COVID‑19 protocols in place which includes precautions to protect you and your driver.
If they haven’t been vaccinated but then test positive the day after dropping me off, will I be notified and what will this mean?
In the unlikely event this happens we will advise you onboard, and we may have to request self-isolation if instructed by track and trace, we will PCR test you and monitor for a set period of time to ensure you are well.
What would happen if I became unwell with COVID‑19 type symptoms on the way to the port?
We would ask you to speak with your driver and contact Saga, terminate your journey and return home and we will arrange for you to travel again when you are well enough to do so.
Will I need evidence of a negative test pre-departure and proof that I have had the vaccine?
We will test you prior to embarking the vessel at the port.
What additional measures have been put in place onboard?
For May and June sailings the following measures have been put into place, however these will continue to be reviewed:
- Pre-departure testing at the terminal for guests, including full medical screening
- A reduced capacity of guests onboard to a maximum of 800
- Increased crew to guest ratio, to enhance cleaning regimes onboard
- Private chauffeur car per household up to 250 miles
- Social distancing, which feels subtle onboard our spacious ships
- Additional enhancements to our state-of-the-art air conditioning, which already provides 100% fresh air in all public areas and cabins
- Improved and expanded medical facilities with a new dedicated isolation area
- Doubled medical team
If there is an outbreak whilst away, what would happen?
We think the risk of this is minimal, particularly given our vaccination decision, on top of our stringent safety measures. In the unlikely event of any infections onboard, we would follow our comprehensive outbreak control procedures. These include the use of a dedicated isolation area.
What will happen if a destination goes into lockdown whilst we are there?
We have the ability to change itineraries and we will be closely watching the situation in all ports of call and follow any local guidance.
Will you keep the measures you’ve already put in place?
Absolutely. The measures we have put in place go above and beyond the guidance from the UK Chamber of Shipping, which has been agreed by public health experts and the government. This was confirmed by the award to us of the very first Lloyd’s Register Shield+ accreditation.
What will happen if I develop COVID‑19 symptoms whilst on holiday? Is my insurance valid?
If you have our included insurance policy, you are covered for medical and repatriation cost. If you have your own insurance with another provider, you will need to check with them for what cover is in place.
Will I need to have a further test at the port before departing the ship?
This will be determined by the government and whatever protocols are in place at the time of disembarkation. We will, of course, be monitoring this closely and will inform all guests if there is any change between departure and the end of the cruise.