COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel
Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel—Widespread Ongoing Transmission
- CDC recommends that travelers defer all cruise travel worldwide.
- Widespread ongoing spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been reported in some countries. Other countries have reported sustained community spread.
- Cruise passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on several cruise ships.
- Cruise travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing. See Travelers Returning from Cruise Ship and River Cruise Voyages.
What is the current situation?
CDC typically posts travel health notices for countries and other international destinations, not conveyances, such as ships, airplanes, or trains. Because of the unprecedented nature of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the increased risk of transmission of COVID-19 on cruise ships, the US government is advising US travelers to defer all cruise travel.
Recent reports of COVID-19 on cruises highlight the risk of infections to cruise passengers and crew. Like many other viruses, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships and boats. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there remains a risk of infected passengers and crew on board cruise ships.
Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, and diabetes, are at a higher risk of serious disease if infected with the novel coronavirus.
In addition, the U.S. Department of State advises travelers to not go on cruises. This is a dynamic situation and those traveling by ship may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities. While the U.S. government has successfully evacuated hundreds of our citizens in the previous weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for US citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities. U.S. citizens should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to remain in an area that may be subject to quarantine and take the appropriate proactive measures. Passengers who plan to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information on the current rules and restrictions and continue to monitor the travel.state.gov website for updated information.
What can travelers do to protect themselves and others?
CDC recommends that travelers defer cruise travel worldwide. For most travelers, cruise ship travel is voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date. If you do go on a cruise during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Do not board a cruise if you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Discuss cruise ship travel with your healthcare provider. Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for severe disease if infected with the novel coronavirus.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- If you get sick with fever or new or worsening cough or trouble breathing during your cruise, stay in your cabin and notify the onboard medical center immediately
If you were on a cruise in the past 14 days:
- Stay home for 14 days from the time you disembark, practice social distancing, and monitor your health. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible. See Travelers Returning from Cruise Ship and River Cruise Voyages.
- What to do if you are sick after travel.
For additional information
- About Coronavirus Disease 2010 (COVID-19)
- Novel Coronavirus Information for Travelers
- Information for Healthcare Professionals
- U.S. Department of State Cruise Ship Passengers
- Information for Cruise Ship Passengers
- Information about Managing COVID-19 on Cruise Ships
This notice was originally posted March 17, 2020.