The new mandate will go into effect on Jan. 13, 2022.

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Disney Cruise Line will require all children five years old and older to be fully vaccinated before embarking on a ship next year, the company announced this week.

The new mandate will go into effect on Jan. 13, 2022, according to the company. Currently, the cruise line requires all passengers 12 and up to be fully vaccinated to sail.

"While our cruise experience may have changed a bit, we've come up with new and exciting offerings to create magical memories together — tailored to our times and presented with all the care you've come to expect from Disney Cruise Line," the company wrote on its website. "As we set sail again, the health and safety of our guests, cast members, and crew members is a top priority. Our focus remains on operating our ships in a responsible way that continues to create magic for all on board."

When the updated policy goes into effect, children who are four years old and under will still be allowed to board, but will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken between three days and 24 hours of sailing. Those who board a cruise that lasts five nights or longer will also have to take another test on the ship before disembarking.

The Disney Dream docks at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the tropical waters of the Bahamas, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests
Credit: David Roark/Disney

Disney said it would accept either the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Novavax, Sinopharm, or Sinovac vaccines.

Disney first started mandating vaccines in August after the Bahamas implemented a vaccine policy requiring all cruise passengers 12 and older to show proof of vaccination in order for a ship to dock, including on a cruise line's private island.

In addition to vaccines, Disney Cruise Line — voted best mega-ship ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure's 2021 World's Best Awards — requires all guests to take a COVID-19 test at the terminal before boarding. Plus, all passengers two and up must wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.

Several cruise companies have implemented strict vaccination policies this year, including Norwegian Cruise Line, which has fought to defend its policy in court.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.