Sailing with confidence.

“We have always taken pride in having the highest levels of health and safety. We are now reviewing every aspect of the Cunard experience and will only resume sailing when we have the approval and accreditation of enhanced health protocols from the most trusted and informed sources.”

Cunard President, Simon Palethorpe.

A few mindful changes; still your Cunard voyage.

With our enhanced well-being measures on board our ships you’ll still be able to enjoy the holiday you dreamed of, even though some aspects of your voyage may initially feel a little different. These changes are designed to protect the health of everyone on board and in the destinations we visit. We hope as you return to sailing you will find these changes both reassuring and easy to adjust to. 

At this time, we have outlined the necessary measures for when we return to sailing in line with current guidance but as the world evolves so may our policies and procedures. Rest assured we will continue to work with the highest levels of government and scientific advisors to continually review our health protocols and ensure we have every aspect of your holiday experience covered.

Our new protocols - correct as of 10 May 2021.

As we prepare to return to sea, we’re combining over 180 years’ experience with the expertise of foremost accredited scientists, medical professionals and government advisors to deliver the signature Cunard holiday you expect.

All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone on board. These have been developed with guidance from our global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies.


These protocols include enhanced sanitation measures, appropriate social distancing and the mandatory wearing of face masks in certain areas of the ship. All guests will need to comply with this face mask policy in order to travel. Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. Our protocols are subject to change, as we will continue to work with our experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice, with our primary focus always being to protect the health and well-being of our crew and guests and the communities we visit.

Although the exact measures may change as the advice continues to evolve, you can have the confidence that we will have in place pre-booking and boarding health screening, the highest levels of cleanliness throughout ourships, as well as approved standards for the service of food and drink, entertainment and experiences on board and on shore.

For years, we have had in place many of the protocols now considered advisable for other social gathering venues, such as hand-sanitising stations and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures. For years, we have also gone beyond those protocols by asking guests to complete a health declaration form and having a comprehensive medical facility on board each ship providing 24/7 medical care and treatment and this will, of course, continue across the fleet.

Working with Bureau Veritas.

Bureau Veritas is a world-leading provider in marine and offshore testing, inspection and certification. To ensure the highest level of independent and specialist expertise on all health and hygiene standards, Bureau Veritas has partnered with the Cleveland Clinic, which is recognised as the leader in this field.

Cunard is working with Bureau Veritas to conduct a comprehensive review of our operations before we resume sailing. This will ensure we are fully compliant with the UK Government, UK Chamber of Shipping and other recognised and relevant standards, as required,to protect the health and well-being of crew, guests, and the communities we visit.

The programme will include simulation exercises to audit all aspects in practice.

Vaccine policy.

UK voyages for UK guests only.

When we first return to sailing, we will be offering a series of UK voyages on board Queen Elizabeth(up to and including departures through until 1 October 2021). Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination programme, and strong expressed preference on the part of our guests for this limited series of UK Summer at Sea voyages, these sailings will befor UK resident, Covid-19 vaccinated, guests only.

For these voyages the definition of “vaccinated” is a minimum of seven days following the second dose of the currently approved Covid-19 vaccines being administered. Proof of vaccination and the dates given will be required (approved forms of evidence will be confirmed closer to time of departure) and this will be required to be shown at the terminal prior to boarding. Failure to provide this evidence will result in denial of boarding at your own expense. There is no age restriction on this series of UK Summer at Sea voyages but all guests of all ages must meet the requirements of the Covid-19 vaccination policy.

All other voyages.

All other Cunard holidays on sale do not currently require guests to be vaccinated(all voyages departing on Queen Elizabeth on or after 2 October, departing on Queen Mary 2 on or after 13 November and departing on Queen Victoria on or after 28 August).

As the vaccine roll out progresses and the UK government has announced its intended roadmap for the future, the guidance is continually evolving. Pre-embarkation Covid-19 tests may be required as part of our framework of protocols and will be included in the price of your holiday. We will update this page as necessary and update all guests prior to their holiday departure date. Please do ensure that your preferences and details are up to date in My Cunard.

Your Cunard experience.

      

Guest and crew well-being.

We are committed to delivering the highest standards of health, safety and well-being for our guests, crew and the wider communities we visit. To achieve this:

  • Every area of the ship will be rigorously and regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • We’ll provide additional hand-sanitising stations.
  • We have enhanced our on-board ventilation systems to provide improved filtration and increased fresh air.
  • We’ll adhere to approved, up to date, guidance for every aspect of the holiday experience, including the mandatory use of face masks and social distancing, which will be in place in certain areas.
  • We will be operating initially with a reduced occupancy on our ships to support our new protocols.
  • Crew will undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board.
  • We have plans in place, tailored for each ship, to manage medical needs, including dedicated cabin stateroom capacity for isolation, should this be required.

It is understood that those with certain pre-existing medical requirements or of a certain age may experience more severe symptoms should they contract Covid-19 (coronavirus). We strongly recommend that you review the UK Government guidance prior to making travel arrangements; this can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus.

If you have any existing medical requirements, we advise you to discuss your travel plans with your doctor. We have put together a simple health advisory letter that you can provide to your GP so they can verify if you’re safe to travel. Please download it here. All our ships have medical centres on board staffed by experienced doctors and nurses available 24/7, to help support your health needs.

We are following all latest guidance to evolve our enhanced protocols to protect the health and well-being of guests, crew and the communities we visit once we begin sailing again. When we return to sailing unfortunately we will be unable to accept guests who have the following medical requirements:

  • Supplementary oxygen (including via oxygen concentrator).
  • Mechanical ventilatory support (except for overnight CPAP for sleep apnoea).
  • Dialysis.
  • Within the 14 days prior to the cruise:
    • Have been unwell with confirmed or suspected Covid-19.
    • Have been in close contact with someone with confirmed or suspected Covid-19.
    • Have been advised to self-isolate under a government Test and Trace system.

We are so sorry to have to make this change, but we need to follow new industry procedures for the protection of everyone on board. Any guest that is impacted by the requirement for supplementary oxygen, mechanical ventilatory support or dialysis will be given a full refund of monies paid to date for their bookings.

Health Advisory Letter available here

Before you board.

Prior to your departure, Cunard will send you the latest public health guidance as well as pre-voyage information about mitigating the risk of Covid-19, along with a health declaration questionnaire. Please read this carefully as this will include information regarding what to expect when you arrive at the terminal, your time on board, any country-specific requirements to be aware of and other relevant protocols while you are travelling with us.

If you’re booked on a fly-cruise, please refer to your airline for their latest protocols and air travel advice. You can take a look at the government’s safer aviation guidance, including how to travel safely in airports and on aircraft, here.

If you are travelling with friends and family, please let us know at the time of booking so that we can link your parties to form one travelling group up to a maximum number allowed by UK Government guidelines at the time of sailing. This will help to coordinate your experience. Please call our Customer Contact Centre or speak to your travel agent to link your bookings before you sail.

UK voyages for UK guests only.

When we first return to sailing, we will be hosting UK voyages on board Queen Elizabeth. Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination programme, and strong expressed preference on the part of our guests for this limited series of UK Summer at Sea voyages, these sailings will be for UK resident Covid-19 vaccinated guests only.

Boarding your ship.

We have enhanced our boarding procedures, working with our partners in the ports. In the cruise terminal you will be required to adhere to the wearing of face masks and social distancing, in accordance with all current guidelines.
 
All guests and crew boarding our ships will undergo health screening and pre-embarkation Covid-19 tests may be required as part of our framework of protocols. If required, it will be complimentary in the price of your holiday. We will update ‘Our Assurance to you’ page as necessary and update all guests prior to their holiday departure date. Please do ensure that your preferences and details are up to date in My Cunard.

If you test positive for the virus, you will be denied boarding. You’ll receive an FCC to the value of the cruise and we will automatically refund any pre-cruise purchases made through My Cunard*. If you were part of a linked booking, your friends or family would also be able to opt for the FCC and receive a refund for any pre-cruise purchases made. That way, you can enjoy your break when the time is right. Guests must link with other travellers at the time of booking.

*If your voyage is part of a wider holiday package booked through a tour operator please contact your tour operator for information relating to their policies in place should you be denied boarding.

UK voyages for UK guests only.

When we first return to sailing with our UK Summer at Sea voyages, all guests will need to provide proof of vaccinationand the dates given (approved forms of evidence will be confirmed closer to time of departure) and this will be required to be shown at the terminal prior to boarding. Failure to provide this evidence will result in denial of boardingat your own expense. This also applies to providing proof of suitable travel insurance.

Cleanliness and care.

We have always taken pride in the cleanliness of our ships. Our enhanced measures will raise these standards even higher, ensuring all areas are inspected and cleaned even more regularly, with products proven to be effective against Covid-19. Added hand sanitiser and hand-washing stations will also be available for your comfort and well-being.

We will be initially operating with a reduced occupancy on our ships to ensure we’re able to adhere to the latest social distancing guidelines. Social distancing will be in place in all public areas and lifts will have limited capacity, though still available to those who need to use them. The wearing of face masks in certain areas of the ship will be a mandatory requirement.

Restaurants and bars.

Dining on board one of our Queens will always be part of what makes a voyage with Cunard so special. Going forward, you may be asked to pre-reserve a table at our restaurants and you will only be permitted to dine with your linked travelling group or household, up to a maximum number allowed by government guidelines at the time of sailing.
 
Additionally, dishes in our buffets and deck grills will now be served by our waiting staff, while each of our restaurants and bars will be adapted to allow for the latest social distancing guidance.

 

Restaurants and bars - UK voyages for UK guests only.

As we return to sailing, we are making some temporary changes to our dining times for our Summer at Sea voyages on board Queen Elizabeth.

Changes to the Britannia dining experience.

You will still be able to confirm your dining preference in advance of travel at the time of booking or through My Cunard. Those booking on the Cunard Fare will still benefit from first priority for chosen dining time. Revised timings and reservations will be in place to support social distancing and capacity restrictions.

  • First Sitting: Guests selecting this option will have tables reserved at 5.30pm each evening for the duration of the voyage.
  • Second Sitting: Guests selecting this option can dine any time from 7.00pm, with last orders taken at 9.00pm. Reservations can be made daily on board.

Changes to the Britannia Club, Princess and Queens Grill dining experience.

To support social distancing and capacity restrictions, reservations can be made daily on board, or tables will be allocated to those without reservations upon arrival. 

  • Guests can dine any time from 6.30pm, with last orders taken at 9.00pm. 

Changes to the Britannia dining experience.

You will still be able to confirm your dining preference in advance of travel at the time of booking or through My Cunard. Those booking on the Cunard Fare will still benefit from first priority for chosen dining time. Revised timings and reservations will be in place to support social distancing and capacity restrictions.

  • First Sitting: Guests selecting this option will have tables reserved at 5.30pm each evening for the duration of the voyage.
  • Second Sitting: Guests selecting this option can dine any time from 7.00pm, with last orders taken at 9.00pm. Reservations can be made daily on board.

Entertainment.

We’ll continue to offer a comprehensive programme of music, theatre and guest speakers on each of our voyages. Our performances will be adapted so that artistes and audience adhere to the latest guidance. You may be asked to pre-book a performance in key venues.

Activities and leisure.

Areas such as our spa, salon, gym, pools, casino, shops, lounges and children’s clubs will be operating but will be subject to the latest approved guidance to minimise contact, reduce the number of guests in each area, and maintain the highest levels of cleanliness.
 
All public areas will be adapted for social distancing and lift capacity will be reduced. You may see changes including pre-booked appointment slots and additional services such as an on board retail concierge and selected shops offering a pre-order service on a hand-picked range of products for collection or delivery to your stateroom.

Certain activities or areas of the ship that would make social distancing difficult may not be in operation when we return to sailing. We will keep all guests aware of any potential restrictions before they sail.

Your suite or stateroom.

Your stateroom steward, or butler if you’re staying in our Queens Grill suites, will maintain your accommodation to our enhanced housekeeping standards throughout your stay. To ensure social distancing, we will kindly ask that you are not in your accommodation whilst cleaning is taking place.
 
To enhance our stateroom experience even further, we’ll be introducing an extended complimentary room service menu for you to enjoy.

In port.

You can still go ashore to explore the rich variety of ports we visit, initially only with our organised and vetted shore experiences so that you can be reassured your well-being is protected.

Port transfer and organised shore experience operators will be subject to new policies and procedures to reflect the latest approved guidance in line with our on board protocols.

Unfortunately, some of our existing experiences may have to be put on hold at this time if they cannot be run in a Covid-safe environment, but we know how much our guests love to explore each destination and we’re introducing a new range of options, including more accessible options to suit every budget and every traveller, so everyone still has the opportunity to experience the best of each exciting stop.

Additional health screening may be required when returning to the ship.

Post-voyage - Test and Trace.

All guests and crew will need to complete a passenger locator form to adhere to the UK government’s Test and Trace initiative. Local country initiatives may also apply at the time of sailing.

Flexible transfers policy.

In this uncertain environment, we understand that you may appreciate some added flexibility. To that end, we’ve updated our transfer policy.

For, voyages sailing on or before 1 October 2021, you can transfer your booking to another holiday, free of charge, up to 30 days before your holiday departs, as many times as you like. See our policy page for full details.

ABTA and ATOL protected.

When you book with Cunard your money and holiday are in safe hands, with the added confidence of ABTA and ATOL protection. 

Travel insurance.

It’s mandatory for all UK guests to have comprehensive cruise-specific travel insurance when they sail with us. Whilst we hope you never have to claim, the policy will ensure you’re able to relax and enjoy your voyage knowing you’re protected should you need it.            

When travelling with us, your insurance must include medical cover of £2 million minimum and cover for emergency evacuations and medical expenses related to Covid-19. You must also ensure your policy includes cover for repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and full cover for any and all pre-existing medical conditions worldwide, or as a minimum, in the countries you are due to visit. You will be asked to confirm you have travel insurance at the terminal and you may need to provide proof of your policy. It is your responsibility to ensure you have appropriate cover in place. Unfortunately you will be denied boarding, at your own expense, if you do not arrange insurance.

Cunard has partnered with Holiday Extras to offer appropriate, comprehensive travel insurance cover for our holidays. For further details visit: www.holidayextras.com/cunard.

Future Cruise Credit

If you are unable to cruise due to a positive Covid-19 test within 14 days of sailing, you’ll receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) to the value of the cruise and we will automatically refund any pre-cruise purchases made through My Cunard*.

If you were part of a linked booking, your friends or family will also be able to opt for the FCC and refund for purchases made. Just ask us to make sure all members of your travelling group are linked when you make your booking.

*If you booked your cruise as part of a wider holiday package, please contact your travel provider for more information relating to their policy in place should you be denied boarding.

Frequently asked questions.

  • Question:
    How have you developed your protocols? 
  • Answer:
    The framework of protocols has been put together in collaboration with and supported by the DfT, PHE and CLIA, the global body for the cruise industry.
     
  • Question:
    My insurance won’t cover me for Covid-19, can I still travel with you? 
  • Answer:
    When travelling with us, your travel insurance must include a combined medical and repatriation cover of £2 million minimum that includes cover for emergency evacuations and medical expenses related to Covid-19. You must also ensure your policy includes cover for travel, cancellation and curtailment and full cover for any and all pre-existing medical conditions worldwide, or as a minimum, in the countries you are due to visit. Your travel insurance documents will be checked at the terminal and must cover the entire duration of your holiday. Unfortunately you will be denied boarding, at your own expense, if you don’t have appropriate cover.

    Cunard has partnered with Holiday Extras to offer appropriate, comprehensive travel insurance cover for our holidays. For further details visit: www.holidayextras.com/cunard.
  • Question:
    I have an underlying medical condition, is it safe for me to travel?  Will I be denied boarding?
  • Answer:
    It is understood that those with certain pre-existing medical conditions or of a certain age may experience more severe symptoms should they contract Covid-19 (coronavirus).  We strongly recommend that you review the UK Government guidance prior to making travel arrangements; this can be found at:
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/.

    Unfortunately we will be unable to accept guests who require supplementary oxygen, medical ventilatory support or dialysis.

    We are so sorry to have to make this change, but we need to follow new industry procedures for the protection of everyone on board. If you are unsure or have concerns, we’ve produced a medical advisory note for you to discuss with your GP.
  • Supplementary oxygen (including via oxygen concentrator) – To comply with health and safety regulations there is a limit on board for how much oxygen we can store. Unfortunately as we will be increasing our own supply of oxygen on board we will be unable to carry additional supplies for individual guests.
  • Mechanical ventilatory support (except for overnight CPAP for sleep apnoea, guests who only require overnight CPAP for sleep apnoea can travel) – The mechanical ventilators that we hold in the medical centres on board need to be retained for medical centre use, therefore we would not be able to support if the guests equipment fails.
  • Dialysis – This requirement presents a time critical need for treatment, if we are not able to access replacement dialysis equipment/fluids if needed this brings about a significant risk to the guest.

    If you have any existing medical conditions, we advise you to discuss your travel plans with your doctor.
  • Question:
    Will guests be expected to wear face masks on the ship and on shore?
  • Answer:
    All guests will wear face masks in public areas of the ship when social distancing cannot be maintained and also on shore experiences where local rules to this effect are in place.
  • Question:
    I have a booking and no longer wish to travel due to the changes on board.  What are my options?
  • Answer:
    Your cancellation would be subject to the standard cancellation policy. Guests will still have a wonderful holiday with us next year, albeit with a few changes. These new measures, which may evolve as guidance changes, are designed specifically to protect the health and well-being of guests, crew and the communities we visit. Our flexible booking policy allows guests to transfer their holiday as many times as they like prior to the balance due date.
  • Question:
    What if the advice changes, will you tell me what you are going to do differently or do I need to find out myself?
  • Answer: 
    Our cruises are currently paused until mid-2021. It is likely that the current guidance will evolve closer to the time of sailing and all guests with bookings will be advised of the latest advice and screening measures. This will also be available on the website and updated as necessary.
  • Question
    What happens if there is an outbreak onboard?
  • Answer:
    Our comprehensive new protocols are designed to protect the health and well-being of all our guests and crew.
  • Question
    Until when will these protocols be in place?
  • Answer:
    These protocols will be in place until government guidance changes and we will adapt and evolve accordingly. Please check www.cunard.com/sailing-with-confidence for the latest information.
  • Question:
    What happens if I do not pass the health screening at the terminal and I am denied boarding?
  • Answer:
    If you do not pass the health screening at the terminal you will be denied boarding but you’ll receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) to the value of the cruise and we will automatically refund any pre-cruise purchases made through My Cunard. If you are part of a linked booking, your friends or family will also be able to opt for the FCC and refund for purchases made. If you booked your cruise as part of a wider holiday package please contact your travel provider for information relating to their policies in place should you be denied boarding.
  • Question:
    Why can't I explore independently? / Why can't I leave the ship without booking a shore experience?
  • Answer:
    In line with the approved health protocols all shore experiences will be on organised excursions only using vetted operators who will be subject to regular testing and ongoing guidance.

Our shore experience operators will be subject to new screening and guidance/ temperature checks/and or health screening may be carried out prior to boarding the ship after time on shore.

  • Question:
    As guests can only go on shore on an organised excursion, does this mean the tour is included in the cost of our holiday or is it an additional charge?
  • Answer:
    We are currently working on a new programme that will be available including options at a lower price and available to purchase via My Cunard eight weeks prior to departure.  The new programme and additional options will ensure that we have options available for all guests to travel ashore.
  • Question:
    How will you ensure everyone follows the protocals on board?
  • Answer:
    The protocols on board will be clearly set out, easy to follow and are for the protection of all guests and crew. Everyone on board will be required to adhere to the protocols, which cover several aspects including the wearing of face-coverings, testing and social distancing.

Any guest failing to comply with these new procedures will be asked to disembark the ship, with the costs for their journey home at their own expense.