travel requirements for dubai, abu dhabi & qatar cruises



It’s every guest’s responsibility to verify the travel requirements before the cruise departure. MSC Cruises has worked with the authorities in all of the regions and countries in which the ships operate to ensure its protocol meets and exceed the required health and safety measures. The below details are subject to change. 


For all sailings in the upcoming months till March 31st 2022, please note that all Guests will need to follow all of these requirements to be allowed on board: 

  • All Guests (2 years old and over) need to provide a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before embarkation. If you embark on your cruise at 15:00 on a Saturday, you should take your COVID-19 test on the Wednesday as of 15:00. For Abu Dhabi only: the RT-PCR test needs to be taken 48 hours before embarkation. 

    A mandatory COVID-19 test is organized at the airport (free of charge with a cruise ticket) upon arrival. This mandatory test do not replace the one needed to enter in the U.A.E and it is required to embark on the ship /cruise. In case any Guest skip the test at the airport, the Guest must complete a test at the port at a cost of 42 USD (organized by a private clinic). All Guests tested at the airport/port are authorized to board the Ship waiting for the results. Those tested at the airport/port will receive a sticker at the airport/port testing area as well an SMS on the mobile to be showed at the ship’s check-in.


  • All Guests (12 years old and over) have to be fully vaccinated. Guests are considered fully vaccinated if they received the full set of vaccine shots more than 14 days before the start of the cruise with an approved Covid-19 vaccine including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson; Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Covishield , Sinovac. A “mix-and-match” combination of the above list of vaccines is accepted. 

    To note: Guests that recovered from Covid-19 and received only one shot of vaccine are not considered as fully vaccinated. Sputnik is a conditionally approved vaccine in Qatar. Guests with a conditionally certified vaccine must carry a Serologoy Antibody test with a positive result upon arrival to Qatar. 


The original test and vaccination certificate must be presented at the terminal (paper or electronic format) and must be in one of the following languages: English, Italian, German, French or Spanish. The COVID 19 test certificate must contain: guest’s personal data (verifiable with the other travel documents), date of the test, identification / contact details of the centre that performed the analysis, technique used and negative test result. 


Before booking your cruise, please check HERE if you are allowed to embark according to your country of residence. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there might be international travel restrictions depending on your cruise destination and your country of residence.


U.A.E: A COVID-19 test is required to fly to the U.A.E. 

QATAR: Travellers must register online in the Ehteraz website before entering the country. All Guests going ashore must register in the Ehteraz website. Guests will receive a confirmation through email which will be checked by the port authorities upon arrival. Guests will need to upload a copy of their passport and copy of their vaccine (if they are vaccinated with the conditionally approved vaccines, they will need to upload the anti-body test result). Registration can be done 72 hours before arrival. 


Other requirements such as a COVID-19 test  a Passenger locator form (PLF) may still be necessary for national or international mobility requirement: it’s every guest’s responsibility to verify this requirement before departure. For more information, it is recommended to check your country’s competent authorities official channels.

To ensure peace of mind, MSC Cruises requires all guests to have a specific and mandatory Covid-19 insurance policy to embark, covering against COVID-19 related risks, i.e cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization. Before finalizing a reservation, it is possible to add to the cruise the MSC COVID-19 Protection plan for Winter 21/22 cruises on this website. A proof of the specific COVID-19 coverage insurance policy - which must be in one of the following languages English, Italian, German, French or Spanish - must be presented at embarkation or boarding will be denied.




As per our stringent MSC Health & Safety protocol, all guests both vaccinated and unvaccinated, will need to undergo some Health and COVID 19 screenings, including a health questionnaire and a contactless temperature check, at the terminal before boarding.  

For a seamless embarkation process, please make sure to review our Health & safety measures in place in our terminals and to bring: 


  • A printed copy of your embarkation form (available in your cruise ticket)
  • A printed copy of your mandatory health questionnaire duly completed and signed within 6 hours prior to the embarkation (available in your cruise ticket)
  • The original COVID 19 test and vaccination certificate (paper or electronic format)
  • A proof of COVID-19 insurance clearly showing the COVID-19 risks coverage
  • A valid identity document
We will deny boarding in case of:


  • Symptoms i.e fever (>37,5 C C / 99.5 F), cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle/body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat and loss of taste/smell in the 14 days prior to embarkation
  • Potential exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID 19 in the 14 days prior to embarkation
  • Temporary travel restrictions based on local circumstances. For example, certain countries may deny visas or prohibit entry based on travel history or nationality.
  • Failure to provide the proof of the mandatory COVID-19 insurance policy (which must be in one fo the following languages: English, Italian, German, French or Spanish)


ashore & travelling back home


A COVID-19 test or Passenger locator form (PLF) may still be necessary for national or international mobility requirement: it’s every guest’s responsibility to verify this requirement before departure. For more information, it is recommended to check your country’s competent authorities official channels.

Discover in protected excursions: To go ashore during the cruise, MSC Cruises highly recommends to participate in one of or MSC Shore Excursions to ensure the same high standards of health and safety ashore as on board. Guests who are fully vaccinated will be able to go ashore independently and will need to follow the requirements of going ashore according to the countries they will visit.  Not all destinations allow independent disembarkation and it may depend on the traveller’s vaccination status. Those Guests who are not fully vaccinated or who have children in their travelling party, will need to go ashore with an MSC Excursion to discover in a protected excursion. More information in the FAQ section.


For itineraries calling in Qatar:

Guests who have booked an MSC organized tour must register on Ehteraz website but do not need to download the App. Guests going ashore can show a soft (electronic) copy of the pre-registration, however carrying a hard (printed) copy is recommended.

Guests who will go on independent or regular tours are required to download the Ehteraz App. The app can be downloaded at any time but it can only be activated once Guests arrive in Doha.



To support Guests in complying with international mobility requirements, MSC Cruises has organized the possibility for its guests to purchase and perform a molecular test (i.e RT-PCR) or an antigen test during their cruise. More information in the FAQ section.