UK Cruise Line to Remove Requirements on Sailings From May

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Marella, a UK-based cruise line, has announced it will drop its Covid vaccination requirement from 1 May 2023. The move will apply to all destinations except those that require proof of vaccination.

The cruise line’s managing director, Chris Hackney, stated that the decision to relax vaccination rules is a natural next step for the travel and cruise industry as many destinations no longer require vaccination as a condition of entry. The hope is that this change will provide guests with a more comfortable pre-travel experience.

Marella Changes Covid Requirements

Marella Cruises has announced that it will scrap Covid vaccination requirements from May, except for countries that still require vaccination to enter. Specifically, the change affects cruises sailing from European ports such as Dubrovnik, Corfu, and Palma de Mallorca.

For those guests traveling on or after 2 May, there will only be a vaccination requirement if the destination ports require this from the ship. Other than that, guests must provide proof of comprehensive cruise travel insurance and complete all necessary registration steps on the Marella website three days before travel.

Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Kateryna Mashkevych / Shutterstock

Guests must also agree to be tested for Covid-19 and follow the onboard protocols required for boarding the ship and entering destinations.

For guests traveling before 1 May, specific requirements must be met before boarding any of Marella’s cruises. These include being fully vaccinated (with proof) for those aged 12 and over and providing proof of comprehensive cruise travel insurance. If guests cannot meet vaccination requirements, they are advised to contact Marella before their sailing.

Marella is one of the last cruise lines to still require vaccinations for the majority of its cruises. Most cruise lines worldwide had already removed strict vaccination requirements by late 2021.

The cruise line has stated that it will continue to implement a range of health and safety measures, including enhanced cleaning protocols, pre-boarding health screenings, and testing where necessary to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew.

Marella is Based In the UK

Marella Cruises is a popular British cruise line that is part of the TUI Group. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, the cruise line operates a fleet of five ships that cater mainly to British guests. 

The fleet includes Marella Explorer, acquired in 2018, and the largest ship in the Marella Cruises fleet, weighing 76,998 gross tons. The ship was previously known as the mv Galaxy for Celebrity Cruises and Mein Schiff for the German TUI cruise line, Mein Schiff.

Marella Cruise Ship
Marella Cruise Ship

In addition to Marella Explorer, the fleet includes the 71,545 gross tons Marella Explorer 2, which was acquired in 2019. This slightly smaller ship can accommodate up to 1,814 passengers. Marella Explorer 2 previously operated under the name Celebrity Century

The 69,130 gross tons Marella Discovery, formerly known as Splendour of the Seas, was acquired by Marella in 2016. Marella Discovery 2 is the former Legend of the Seas

Lastly, the cruise line operates the Marella Voyager. This cruise ship operated under the names Celebrity Mercury and Mein Schiff 2 previously. 

Marella Cruises operates so many former Royal Caribbean Group cruise ships because the company is part of TUI Group, which in turn has a partnership with the Royal Caribbean Group under TUI Cruises. 

This joint venture operates several cruise lines, such as Mein Schiff and Hapag Lloyd. While TUI cruises do not operate Marella, the companies work closely together. Marella Cruise came into the news earlier this year when the cruise line canceled a full week of sailings due to food and beverage issues.

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