Saga, the over 50s specialist, has announced that all guests will need to have been vaccinated for Covid-19 14 days before departure in order to get on board its ships.
The company is the first cruise line to make such an announcement in a move that will hopefully help lift the FCO’s ban on cruise, which came into force in July.
The company currently plans on restarting operations in May on Spirit of Adventure, its second newbuild, which was originally due to launch last year. The Spirit of Discovery, which launched in summer 2019, will now sail in June.
Last week Saga reported a notable increase in traffic to its website, with its guests being among the first in the country to get the vaccine.
A Saga spokesperson said: “The health and safety of our customers has always been our number one priority at Saga, so we have taken the decision to require everyone travelling with us to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Our customers want the reassurance of the vaccine and to know others travelling with them will be vaccinated too. To allow our customers time to get vaccinated, we are moving the restart date for our Travel businesses to May. Our new vaccination policy will be in addition to the detailed arrangements we have already put in place for when cruises and other holidays restart.”
In Cruise, for sailings departing in May and June, these measures include:
- Pre-departure Covid-19 testing in the terminal for customers, including full medical screening
- A reduced capacity of customers onboard to a maximum of 800
- Increasing our crew to customer ratio, to enhance our 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
- Double medical team