Royal Caribbean: All cruise guests should be vaccinated

Royal Caribbean: All cruise guests should be vaccinated

One of the world’s biggest cruise lines has announced that all travellers will have to get the COVID vaccination before they board their ships.

Royal Caribbean’s chief executive Richard Fain told the BBC that they “expect all of our guests who are eligible for a vaccine to have it.”

The act of cruising was once worth $150 billion before the COVID-19 pandemic decimated the entire industry, along with the 1.2 million jobs it provided.

Mr Fain is hopeful that customers will be enticed to return to cruising after hearing about new safety measures including social distancing, enhanced cleaning processes and reduced capacity.

"The combination of the vaccines and testing and contact tracing, all these kinds of protocols really help us reach our objective, which is to make cruising safer than in your home community,” he said.

"We want you to be more comfortable walking on board a ship than walking down Main Street."

Image: Richard Fain

Cruisers may be asked to provide proof of vaccine documents, but Mr Fain says the industry will force a vaccine passport as the airline industry is asking for.

"I don't think we're talking about a vaccine passport. I think we are talking about people who are vaccinated, and there are lots of different ways to show that,” he said.

He went on to add that he did not think forgeries of paper vaccine documents will cause much of an issue for cruisers.

"We don't think many people would even bother to do so,” he said when asked about fake vaccine paperwork.

"We've actually surveyed our guests and the vast bulk of the people that have booked our cruises have already been vaccinated, and they're volunteering it, they want it.

“And people want a place where they can go where they know they're safe."

image: Shutterstock / Screengrab from Shutterstock