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. 

 

Last updated: 22nd September 2022

COVID 19: MEASURES TO EMBARK

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.

The below requirements are valid for current and following sailings (health and safety measures are subject to change and will adapt according to the evolution of the pandemic).
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), including local residents and Guests staying in the U.A.E. prior to the cruise, 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. 

     

  • 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. All Guests embarking on a cruise regardless of their Nationality must present a vaccination certificate indicating that complete vaccination / booster has taken place within the last 9 months. If the booster was done before expiration of the second vaccine (therefore within nine months) it is not necessary to respect the 14 days waiting period before boarding. However, if the booster is taken after nine months from the second dose, it is necessary to have had the booster at least 14 days before the departure date. The vaccination certificate must be valid for the duration of the entire cruise.  Starting from 1st of March 2022: any guest who received a 2nd vaccine dose or booster more than 9 months before the cruise (therefore, with an expired vaccination validity) but have recovered from COVID-19 within 9 months, will be allowed to embark. Guests must provide and official and verifiable laboratory test result as evidence of the past infection.

     


  • Passengers embarking in Doha (Qatar) must submit a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48h from departure time to flight to Doha.

     


    To note: Guests that recovered from Covid-19 and received only one shot of vaccine are not considered as fully vaccinated. Sputnik/Sinopharm/Sinovac are conditionally approved vaccines in Qatar and are considered valid within 6 months from the second dose or booster. The vaccination certificate must be valid for the duration of the entire cruise. Guests with two shots of a conditionally certified vaccine must carry a serology antibody test with a positive result upon arrival to Qatar;  without the antibody test they won’t be allowed to embark or go ashore. Guests who have received two doses of a conditionally approved vaccine followed by one dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and after 14 days from the last dose will be considered fully immune (no need to show the Serelogy Antibody). Antigen self-test is not accepted for Embarkation.

    For Guests arriving in Qatar, as of 1st March 2022 quarantine upon arrival is mandatory for nationalities and people coming from Countries listed in the red list. All other Countries are exempt from quarantine. For more information click here

     

               

The original test and vaccination certificate must be presented at the terminal (paper or electronic format) and must be in English. 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.

OTHER TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there might be international travel restrictions depending on your cruise destination and 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. Currently the passengers residents in Iran, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore are not allowed to cruise (until October 2022).

The wearing of face masks is highly recommended. In certain circumstances this recommendation might be due to a mandatory requirement in accordance with applicable health authorities regulations of a country or port of call visited. When ashore, guests must also follow any local regulations regarding face mask usage. These protocols are subject to change.

Guests’ passports need to have a minimum of 6 months validity at the time of travel.

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.

As during a cruise, you may be exposed to specific COVID-19 risks that may not be usually covered by existing insurance policies, to ensure your peace of mind is strongly recommended – for all new reservations from 1 July 2022 onwards - for all guests to have in place an insurance policy that specifically covers them against COVID-19 related risks, such as cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization. If you have no insurance in place, please note that you might be exposed to additional costs that could not be covered by the Company.

The insurance should be in place to cover you and your family, from the confirmation of your booking until the end of the cruise, your cruise and flight or your Stay & Cruise package.

To fully protect you from the above risks, MSC offers a COVID Protection Plan - an insurance policy specifically designed for these COVID-19 risks - that can be added to the cruise whilst making the booking. The Covid Protection Plan is applicable to all departures on sales. Before finalizing the reservation, it will be possible to add to the cruise the MSC COVID-19 Protection plan at the price of 29€ per person.

Alternatively, you may travel with another insurance policy covering the above risks.

GOING ASHORE AND 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. Not all destinations allow independent disembarkation and it may depend on the traveller’s vaccination status. More information in the FAQ section.

 

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.