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Cunard - Sailing with Confidence

Updated 31 March, 2021 (subject to change)

The future may be uncertain, but Cunard are doing everything they can to plan ahead to fulfil their guests' holiday dreams, with safety as a constant priority.

“We have always taken pride in having the highest levels of health and safety. We are now reviewing every aspect of the Cunard experience and will only resume sailing when we have the approval and accreditation of enhanced health protocols from the most trusted and informed sources.” - Cunard President, Simon Palethorpe.

A few mindful changes; still your Cunard voyage.

With their enhanced wellbeing measures on board their ships you’ll still be able to enjoy the holiday you dreamed of, even though some aspects of your voyage may initially feel a little different. These changes are designed to protect the health of everyone on board and in the destinations you visit. Cunard hope as you return to sailing you will find these changes reassuring and easy to adjust to. As the world evolves so may their policies and procedures, but rest assured they will have every aspect of your holiday experience covered.

Their Assurance To You

New Protocols

As they prepare to return to sea, Cunard are combining over 180 years’ experience with the expertise of foremost accredited scientists, medical professionals and government advisors to deliver the signature Cunard holiday you expect.

All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone on board. These have been developed with guidance from global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK government agencies.

These protocols include enhanced sanitation measures, appropriate social distancing and the mandatory wearing of face masks in certain areas of the ship. All guests will need to comply with this face mask policy in order to travel. Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. The protocols are subject to change, as we will continue to work with experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice, with our primary focus always being to protect the health and well-being of crew and guests and the communities we visit.

Although the exact measures may change as the advice continues to evolve, you can have the confidence that Cunard will have in place pre-booking and boarding health screening, the highest levels of cleanliness throughout our ships, as well as approved standards for the service of food and drink, entertainment and experiences on board and on shore.

For years, Cunard have had in place many of the protocols now considered advisable for other social gathering venues, such as hand-sanitising stations and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures. For years, they have also gone beyond those protocols by asking guests to complete a health declaration form and having a comprehensive medical facility on board each ship providing 24/7 medical care and treatment and this will, of course, continue across the fleet.

Guest & Crew Wellbeing

Cunard are committed to delivering the highest standards of health, safety and wellbeing for their guests, crew and the wider communities they visit.

To achieve this:
  • Every area of the ship will be rigorously and regularly cleaned and disinfected
  • Additional hand-sanitising stations will be provided
  • They have enhanced the on board ventilation systems to provide improved filtration and increased fresh air on board
  • Adhere to approved, up to date, guidance for every aspect of the holiday experience, including the mandatory use of face masks and social distancing, which will be in place in certain areas
  • We will be operating initially with a reduced occupancy on our ships to support our new protocols
  • Crew will undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board.
  • Cunard have plans in place, tailored for each ship, to manage medical needs, including dedicated cabin capacity for isolation should this be required.


Cunard holidays on sale (excluding UK guests for UK guests) do not currently require guests to be vaccinated (all voyages departing on Queen Elizabeth on or after 2 October, departing on Queen Mary 2 on or after 13 November and departing on Queen Victoria on or after 28 August).

As the vaccine rollout progresses and the UK government has announced its intended roadmap for the future, the guidance is continually evolving. Pre-embarkation Covid-19 tests may be required as part of our framework of protocols and will be included in the price of your holiday. We will update this page as necessary and update all guests prior to their holiday departure date. Please do ensure that your preferences and details are up to date in My Cunard.

Pre-existing Medican Conditions

It is understood that those with certain pre-existing medical requirements or of a certain age may experience more severe symptoms should they contract Covid-19 (coronavirus). Cunard strongly recommend that guests review their local government guidance prior to making travel arrangements.

If you have any existing medical requirements, Cunard advise you to discuss your travel plans with your doctor. They have put together a simple health advisory letter that you can provide to your GP so they can verify if you’re safe to travel.

All their ships have medical centres onboard staffed by experienced doctors and nurses available 24/7, to help support your health needs.

Cunard are following all latest guidance to evolved enhanced protocols to protect the health and wellbeing of guests, crew and the communities they visit once they begin sailing again. When we return to sailing unfortunately we will be unable to accept guests who have the following medical requirements:
  • Supplementary oxygen (including via oxygen concentrator)
  • Mechanical ventilatory support (except for overnight CPAP for sleep apnoea)
  • Dialysis
  • Within the 14 days prior to the cruise: Have been unwell with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, Have been in close contact with someone with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, Have been advised to self-isolate under a government test and trace system.

Cunard apologise to have to make this change, but need to follow new industry procedures for the protection of everyone on board. Any guests impacted by the requirements for supplementary oxygen, mechanical ventilatory support or dialysis will be given a full refund of monies paid to date for their bookings.

Booking with Confidence

Flexible Transfer Policy

In this uncertain environment, Cunard understands that you may appreciate some added flexibility. To that end, they’ve updated their transfer policy. Before your balance due date you can transfer your booking as many times as you like. If transferring to a higher value voyage, guests will be required to pay the difference. If transferring to a lower value voyage, guests will be refunded the difference.

In this uncertain environment,Cunard understand that you may appreciate some added flexibility.

This means prior to the balance due date on your booking, you can now:
  • Transfer your booking to any Cunard voyage currently on sale.
  • Transfer your booking to a voyage of higher or lower value*.
  • Transfer your booking an unlimited number of times.
  • Transfer your bookings free of charge.
  • *Where the new booking is of a higher value, guests will be required to pay the difference. Where the new booking is of a lower value, guests will be refunded the difference.

Insurance & Accredited Medical Professionals

Cunard strongly advise you to take out comprehensive holiday insurance when you sail with them. While they hope you never have to use it, the policy will ensure you’re able to relax and enjoy your holiday with the peace of mind that you’re protected should you need it.

Your Cunard Experience

Before you Board

Prior to your departure, Cunard will send you the latest public health guidance as well as pre-voyage information about mitigating the risk of Covid-19, along with a health declaration questionnaire. Please read this carefully as this will include information regarding what to expect when you arrive at the terminal, your time on board, any country-specific requirements to be aware of and other relevant protocols while you are travelling with them.

If you’re booked on a fly-cruise, please refer to your airline for their latest protocols and air travel advice. If you are travelling with friends and family, please let us know at the time of booking so that we can link your parties to form one travelling group up to a maximum number allowed by UK Government guidelines at the time of sailing. This will help to coordinate your experience.

Boarding Your Ship

Cunard have enhanced our boarding procedures, working with our partners in the ports. In the cruise terminal, you will be required to adhere to the wearing of face masks and social distancing, in accordance with all current guidelines.

All guests and crew boarding their ships will undergo health screening and pre-embarkation Covid-19 tests may be required as part of our framework of protocols. If required, it will be included in the price of your holiday. We will update ‘Our Assurance to you’ page as necessary and update all guests prior to their holiday departure date. Please do ensure that your preferences and details are up to date in My Cunard.

If you test positive for the virus, you will be denied boarding. You’ll receive an FCC to the value of the cruise and Cunard will automatically refund any pre-cruise purchases made through My Cunard*. If you were part of a linked booking, your friends or family would also be able to opt for the FCC and receive a refund for any pre-cruise purchases made. That way, you can enjoy your break when the time is right. Guests must link with other travellers at the time of booking.

Cleanliness & Care

Cunard have always taken pride in the cleanliness of their ships.Their enhanced measures will raise these standards even higher, ensuring all areas are inspected and cleaned even more regularly, with products proven to be effective against Covid-19. Added hand sanitiser and hand-washing stations will also be available for your comfort and wellbeing. Cunard will be initially operating with a reduced occupancy on their ships to ensure they’re able to adhere to the latest social distancing guidelines. Social distancing will be in place in all public areas and lifts will have limited capacity, though still available to those who need to use them. The wearing of face masks in certain areas of the ship will be a mandatory requirement.

Restaurants & Bars

Dining aboard one of the Queens will always be part of what makes a voyage with Cunard so special. Going forward, you may be asked to pre-reserve a table at their restaurants and you will only be permitted to dine with your travelling group or household. Additionally, dishes in the buffets and deck grills will now be served by waiting staff, while each of our restaurants and bars will be adapted to allow for social distancing.


Cunard will continue to offer a comprehensive programme of music, theatre and guest speakers on each of our voyages, with measures in place to ensure each performance adheres to the latest wellbeing and social distancing guidance. You may be asked to pre-book a performance in key venues.

Activities & Leisure

Areas such as the spa, salon, gym, pools, casino, shops, lounges and children’s clubs will be operating but will be subject to the latest approved guidance to minimise contact, reduce the number of guests in each area, and maintain the highest levels of cleanliness. All public areas will be adapted for social distancing and lift capacity will be reduced. You may see changes that will include pre-booked appointment slots only and additional services such as a retail concierge service with shops offering a pre-order service on a hand-picked range of products for collection or delivery to your stateroom. Certain activities or areas of the ship that would make social distancing difficult may not be in operation when they return to sailing. Cunard will keep all guests aware of any potential restrictions before they sail.

Your Suite or Stateroom

Your stateroom steward, or butler if you’re staying in our Queens Grill suites, will maintain your accommodation to the enhanced housekeeping standards throughout your stay. To ensure social distancing, Cunard will kindly ask that you are not in your accommodation whilst cleaning is taking place. To enhance the stateroom experience even further, we’ll be introducing an extended complimentary room service menu for you to enjoy.

In Port

You can still go ashore to explore the rich variety of ports Cunard visit, initially only with the organised and vetted shore experiences so that you can be reassured your well-being is protected. Port transfer and organised shore experience operators will be subject to new policies and procedures to reflect the latest approved guidance in line with the on board protocols.

Unfortunately, some of the existing experiences may have to be put on hold at this time if they cannot be run in a Covid-safe environment, but they know how much you love to explore each destination and are introducing a new range of options, including more accessible friendly options to suit every budget and every traveller, so everyone still has the opportunity to experience the best of each exciting stop. Additional health screening may be required when returning to the ship.


All guests and crew will need to complete a passenger locator form to adhere to the UK Government’s Track and Trace initiative. Local country initiatives may also apply at the time of sailing.

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