Uniworld to Become One of the First River Cruises to Drop Vaccine Requirements next Year

Uniworld River Cruises
Photo: Courtesy of Uniworld River Cruises

River cruise line Uniworld will drop its vaccination requirement next year, becoming one of the first major river cruises to do so and joining other large ship cruise lines in relaxing their COVID-19-era policies.

The company will allow its current vaccine policy to expire after Dec. 31, and will no longer require proof of vaccination to sail in 2023, Uniworld confirmed to Travel + Leisure. The company will also not impose any testing or other pandemic-related requirements beyond what the destination itself mandates.

“While we will continue to require our guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 through 2022, we have made the careful and informed decision to not require COVID vaccinations for guests traveling with Uniworld in 2023,” a company spokesperson told T+L. “However, guests will be required to follow the entry requirements specified by each country visited along their itinerary — by river, land or rail. Entry guidelines for travel to each destination can be found on our Travel Requirements page and guests are responsible for ensuring they meet the travel entry requirements of each country visited during their river cruise.”

Currently, Uniworld requires all guests to be fully vaccinated, according to the company. The cruise line makes an exception for young children who cannot be vaccinated due to their age. These children must provide a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of embarkation. 

While other major river cruise lines, like Viking and AmaWaterways, are operating cruises with nearly all guests required to be vaccinated, American Cruise Lines does not mandate guests be vaccinated. Instead, the company requires travelers to “complete a pre-embarkation health declaration certifying their COVID-19 vaccination status,” and warns that “vaccines may become required with minimal notice prior to their cruise.”

Other larger ocean cruise lines have also started to drop vaccine rules, including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line

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.



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