WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR CRUISE

COVID-19: MEASURES TO EMBARK

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.


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. Guests must bring the valid negative test certificate with them to the terminal. For example, 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 at the earliest. 
  • 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/Covaxin. 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 has taken place within the last 9 months (12 months for those Guests who received a booster vaccine with Pfizer, Moderna or Astrazeneca). 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 an 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. Guests must bring the valid negative test certificate with them to the terminal.
 

To note: Guests that recovered from Covid-19 and received only one shot of vaccine are not considered as fully vaccinated​. Sputnik/Sinopharm/Sinovac/Covaxin 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 within 30 days upon arrival to Qatar;  without the antibody test they won’t be allowed to embark or go ashore. People 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 Serology Antibody). Antigen self-test is not accepted for Embarkation.

For Guests arriving in Qatar, as of 1st March 2022 fully vaccinated guests arriving Countries on the red list are required to obtain a Rapid Antigen Test within 24 hours of arrival. More information 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 center that performed the analysis, technique used and negative test result.

OTHER TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

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 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
 

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


FOR GUESTS EMBARKING IN ABU DHABI: Effective from December 30, vaccinated people entering Abu Dhabi will need to show green status on the Al Hosn app : https://alhosnapp.ae/en/home/


U.A.E.: A COVID-19 test is required to fly to the U.A.E. 

QATAR: 

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and European Union (EU) nationals and residents are no longer required to register online in the Ehteraz website before entering the country or flying to Qatar. It is however mandatory to to download the Ehteraz APP which is required for all guests on their cell phones. The Ehteraz APP will be activated when guests landed in Qatar via Mobile Data.

 

All non GCC and EU Guests going ashore must register in the Ehteraz website Guests will receive pre– approval letter (this document must be downloaded before travel to Qatar in order to be able to get on the plane and to get out of the Doha Airport) through email which will be checked by the port authorities upon arrival. Guests will need to upload a copy of their passport and copy of their vaccine; if they are vaccinated with the conditionally approved vaccines, they will need to upload the anti-body test result. Registration can be done 72 hours before arrival. Guests will only be able to go ashore in Qatar if they are taking part in an organized MSC Shore Excursion. 


MANDATORY Download of Ehteraz APP on their cell phones. Ehteraz APP will be activated when guests landed in Qatar via Mobile Data.


For Guests arriving in Qatar, as of 1st March 2022 fully vaccinated guests arriving Countries on the red list are required to obtain a Rapid Antigen Test within 24 hours of arrival. For more information click here.


For itineraries calling in Qatar, to go ashore it will be possible only with an MSC organized excursion (to go ashore Guests will be required to show Vaccination Certificate + Cruise Card)


Guests who will disembark in Qatar are required to download the Ehteraz App. The app can be downloaded at any time but it can only be activated once Guests arrive in Doha (please find instructions below on how the app can be downloaded and activated). Guests going directly to the airport after disembarking the ship must have a valid 48hr PCR test or 24hr antigen test prior to arriving in Qatar for all flight destinations requiring it. For Guests with a post cruise stay in DOHA only a 48hr PCR test will be accepted.


Other requirements such as a COVID-19 test or 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.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EMBARKATION

HEALTH SCREENINGS & EMBARKATION CHECKLIST

As per our stringent MSC Health & Safety protocol, all guests both vaccinated and unvaccinated, (under 12 years old), will need to undergo some Health and COVID 19 screenings including a health questionnaire and a contactless temperature check, at the terminal before boarding. 


For a seamless embarkation process, please make sure to review our Health & safety measures in place in our terminals and to bring:


  • A printed copy of the embarkation form (available in your cruise ticket)
  • A printed copy of the mandatory health questionnaire duly completed and signed within 6 hours prior to the embarkation (available in your cruise ticket)
  • The original COVID 19 test and vaccination certificate (paper or electronic format) must indicate that complete vaccination has taken place within the last 9 months (12 months for those Guests who received a booster vaccine with Pfizer, Moderna or Astrazeneca).      
  • A valid identity document 

We will deny boarding in case of:

  • Symptoms i.e fever (>37.5 C / 99.5 F), cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle/body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat and loss of taste/smell in the 14 days prior to embarkation
  • Potential exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID 19 in the 14 days prior to embarkation
  • Temporary travel restrictions based on local circumstances. For example, certain countries may deny visas or prohibit entry based on travel history or nationality.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOING ASHORE & TRAVELLING BACK HOME

GOING ASHORE & 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. 


Guests will be able to go ashore independently according to local requirements which are continually monitored and subject to change. Guests who are travelling with unvaccinated children are also able to go ashore independently. For the best ashore experience, we recommend all guests explore destinations with the comfort, convenience, and safety of an MSC Cruises Shore Excursion, bookable pre-cruise and on board. More information in the FAQ section


Transit Guests in Dubai who embarked in Doha will need to take a local UAE PCR test on arrival to Dubai. There is not requirement to wait for results before going on an excursion.


For itineraries calling in Qatar:


For itineraries calling in Qatar, to go ashore it will be possible only with an MSC organized excursion (to go ashore Guests will be required to show Vaccination Certificate + Cruise Card)


Guests who will disembark in Qatar (staying in Qatar or going directly to airport) are required to download the Ehteraz App. The app can be downloaded at any time but it can only be activated registrate in to Ehteraz Portal via “(https://www.ehteraz.gov.qa/)” and download the required official documents to receive Pre-Approval Letter from the portal via email.
*They will be able to get this letter via email while they are in Abu Dhabi or Sir Bani Yas where FREE Wi-Fi is available.
  • If guests did not receive Pre-Approval Letter, they need their:  Vaccination certificate, Copy of passport, Cruise Card, ONLY for Guests vaccinated with conditionally approved
  • Guests going directly to the airport after disembarking the ship must have a valid 48hr PCR test or 24hr antigen test prior to arriving in Qatar for all flight destinations requiring it. For Guests with a post cruise stay in DOHA only a 48hr PCR test will be accepted.

 

Important information regarding the app Ehteraz (Qatar)


- The app is only required for those Guest who will disembark in Doha (Qatar).

- Guests can download and register in advance but the app can only be activated once in Qatar by getting Wi-Fi connection from and IP address in Qatar or when turning on the data roaming. If international SIM card is not working, Guests can purchase a local sim card available at the terminal at a cost of $24 to activate the Ehteraz app. 


It is the responsibility of each Guest to ensure they are in compliance with any local regulations related to COVID-19 testing when returning to their final post cruise destination.

GTM-MKWRNZ