‘...We have taken the decision to require everyone travelling with us to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,’ said a spokesperson for the cruise line. ‘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.’ The vaccine will not be mandatory for crew.
Spirit of Adventure’s inaugural voyage on May 4 will mark the cruise line's return to service, followed by Spirit of Discovery on June 2.
Its holidays programme will begin on May 1 to include hotel stays, escorted tours and river cruises.
Extra health measures for mid-2021 sailings
May/June departures will call for extra measures ahead of embarkation, including transport by private chauffeur per household up to 250mi and pre-departure testing of customers in the terminal, plus full medical screening.
A maximum of 800 people will be permitted on board each ship to support social distancing requirements; there will be an increased crew to passenger ratio to support the level of cleaning on board.
Saga claims there is ‘100% fresh air in all public areas and cabins,’ however additional enhancements to air conditioning will be made.
The on board medical team will double in size, with access to improved and expanded medical facilities, as well as a new dedicated isolation area.
Shield+ health protocols
The new measures are in addition to health and safety measures that earned Saga Lloyds’ Register Shield+ accreditation; these include stringent training for all Saga employees to ensure health and safety protocols are implemented, and ongoing monitoring and communication with customers.