(9:30 a.m.) -- Saga Cruises has become the first cruise line in the world to demand passengers get vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of boarding, as part of a raft of new safety measures.
The over-50s only cruise line is mandating that passengers have the vaccine 14 days before departure.
Saga will also carry out pre-departure testing for all passengers, reduce capacity on both its ships and enhance its cleaning regime onboard.
It is also pushing its restart date further out -- to May 4 -- to allow passengers to get vaccinated in time for their cruise.
"The health and safety of our customers has always been our number one priority at Saga, so we have taken the decision to require everyone travelling with us to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Our customers want the reassurance of the vaccine and to know others travelling with them will be vaccinated too," a spokesman said.
"To allow our customers time to get vaccinated, we are moving the restart date for our travel businesses to May. Our new vaccination policy will be in addition to the detailed arrangements we have already put in place for when cruises and other holidays restart."
Most other cruise lines have released detailed health and safety improvements onboard, but Saga is the first one which has insisted on a vaccine ahead of travel.
Other health enhancements include:
- Social distancing which feels subtle onboard our spacious ships
- Additional enhancements to our state-of-the-art air conditioning, which already provides 100% fresh air in all public areas and cabins
- Improved and expanded medical facilities with a new dedicated isolation area
- Double medical team