(Updated 9:56 a.m. EST) -- Several cruise lines have updated their vaccine policies to require passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and protected with booster shots as the omicron variant continues to spread throughout the globe.
In a letter to booked passengers posted to Cruise Critic's message boards, Cunard states that all passengers intending to embark on Queen Mary 2's January 14, 2022 voyage will need to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, along with proof of a third-dose booster shot given at least one week prior to embarkation
"In order to travel on your voyage, all guests must be fully vaccinated with a booster vaccination at least seven days prior to travel," states the letter.
"The definition of "fully vaccinated" being having completed an approved two dose Covid-19 vaccination course with a third booster vaccination (approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL)), or the approved single dose Janssen Covid-19 vaccine with a booster.
"A single or double dose of any other vaccine will not be accepted."
The letter further states all passengers will require negative COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation, with further details to follow.
Passengers wishing to not depart on the voyage are advised they can switch to another cruise on sale or cancel and receive a full refund.
Cunard has not yet updated its website with additional information. Currently, the line requires passengers sailing on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of embarkation.
Meanwhile, UK-based P&O Cruises has also announced it will require booster shots for COVID-19, with passengers on the January 3 sailing of Ventura to the Caribbean being informed they need a booster shot no less than 7 days prior to embarkation.
As of this moment, P&O's guidance seems to be only for its Caribbean voyages.
On January 14, German cruise brand TUI stated boosters will be required for all passengers from February 23 onward, with the exception of those fully vaccinated in the last three months. Sister-luxury brand Hapag-Lloyd Cruises announced it, too, will begin requiring passengers to be boostered against COVID-19.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.