Royal Caribbean Group's three cruise lines, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises, will require crew members to receive the Covid-19 vaccine prior to returning to work on their ships.
Royal Caribbean Group confirmed the text of a letter sent to crew members and first reported by Crew Center that says, "So far, several vaccines have shown to be effective at preventing both mild and severe symptoms of Covid-19, and we intend to make them a key component of our healthy return to service. Therefore, we expect vaccinations will be required for our crew as part of our plan for your return to working on our ships."
Royal said in a statement provided to Travel Weekly: "The health of our crew and guests remains our number one priority. At this point in our planning, based on science and the guidance of our experts, we are shifting from a strategy based primarily on protocols to one that is based on vaccines, supported by protocols."
In December, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio said its brands, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas, would "certainly" require its crew to be vaccinated.
Neither the letter nor Royal Caribbean Group has so far indicated whether passengers will be required to have vaccines to sail on Royal ships. So far, only U.K.-based Saga Cruises and two U.S.-based small-ship lines, American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines, have said they will require passengers to be vaccinated before boarding.