Caring for you before, during, and after you sail
Please note that to sail with us, you must be fully vaccinated. Check back as we’ll be regularly updating this page.
Last updated: 9/22/2021
Our Voyage Well initiative
A detailed breakdown of everything we’re doing to keep our Sailors and Crew healthy and safe as we hit the high seas.
All our sailings are open to fully vaccinated Sailors only. We will provide antigen testing free of charge at the terminal prior to boarding, and all the latest details around voyaging with us can be found here on this site.
Below we've outlined our Voyage Well plan for tackling COVID-19 — from our goals for redefining health measures at sea, to our new industry-leading partnerships with EcoLab and AtmosAir Solutions, we’ve outlined all the key points for what you can expect before, during, and after your voyage. Our intention is to prevent viruses from getting on board in the first place—so we've established our Voyage Well Expert Advisory Group to review and guide our decisions. This team is composed of our partners at AtmosAir, EcoLab, Dr. Heymann at Vikand, Global Public Health Services, and close collaboration with the CDC and UK government as well as frequent reviews of WHO best practices and guidelines.
Before we set sail
Our biggest priority is keeping you safe and giving you a sense of confidence when you sail with us, so we’re putting together our procedures based on the most reliable guidelines out there. See below for everything we’re doing to make that happen pre-sail:
We’ll be following recommended CDC and UK government guidelines, and working closely with the Voyage Well Expert Advisory Group in order to inform and update our processes and procedures in real-time.
Upon arrival, all Sailors are required to fill out a health declaration (aka the health check form). Those who have answered “yes” to any of the questions will be sent to a secondary screening in the event that they may have been exposed or potentially infected. Please refer to the CDC’s criteria for when not to travel, and note if any of their recommendations apply to you.
- In addition to pre-voyage assessments completed by those who are deemed high risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus), we will collect a pre-voyage medical questionnaire/health declaration that all Sailors must complete before boarding the ship
- This pre-voyage medical questionnaire opens up for completion in the Virgin Voyages Sailor App — 24 hours prior to sailing
- Sailors cannot board the ship until they have completed this questionnaire
- If Sailors’ responses cause our medical team concern (i.e. a Sailor has answered “Yes” to any question) Sailors will be asked, on arrival at the terminal, to meet with the Virgin Voyages medical care crew for an evaluation prior to boarding
- The medical care team will decide, based on this evaluation, if a Sailor is fit to travel or not
- If deemed not fit to travel, those particular Sailors will be denied boarding
- We do not require travel insurance to sail, but strongly advise Sailors to purchase private travel insurance and make sure that it covers you for COVID-related expenses
- At a minimum, you should have coverage for the cost of cancellation by yourself and the cost of medical treatment and assistance, including repatriation, or in the event of an accident or illness
- It is your responsibility to make sure that the insurance you purchase is suitable for your particular needs, and to purchase additional or alternative insurance if required
- In the UK, travel insurance is not offered, so if you’re sailing out of Portsmouth, you must contact your travel agent or an independent insurance broker for details and purchase of suitable policies
- Please read your policy details carefully and bring your policy with you
- If you choose to travel without adequate insurance, we may not be liable for any losses suffered by Sailors with respect to what insurance covers
Lastly, just as a final reminder, you cannot travel if you have been advised that you must self-isolate by the NHS test and trace service or you are
- Experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms
- Self-isolating as a result of COVID-19 symptoms
- Sharing a household or support bubble with somebody who has experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days
- If you’re unsure as to whether or not you’re in a high-risk health group, please call Sailor Services for additional support
We’ve outlined a few recommendations about approaching travel to and from the ship — the trains, planes, and automobiles in between.
- We recommend that you wear a mask when you feel it necessary, wash hands frequently, and maintain social distancing when you can
- When flying on planes or using car services like Uber or Lyft, we ask that you abide by their mask-wearing protocols.
We’ll be monitoring our Crew and Sailor's temperatures through temp checks at each and every terminal.
Please see below for detailed information on what is considered high risk, how to contact us with questions, or notify us of your high risk status.
High Risk groups are defined as:
- Your doctor or GP has classified you as clinically extremely vulnerable because they think you're at a high risk of getting seriously ill
- You've been identified as possibly being high-risk through the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment
- Had an organ transplant
- Having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
- Having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
- Having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
- Have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
- Had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
- Have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
- Have a condition that means you have a remarkably high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
- Taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)
- Have a serious heart condition
- Have a problem with your spleen or your spleen has been removed (splenectomy)
- Down's syndrome
- Dialysis or has severe (stage 5) long-term kidney disease
Sailors should notify Virgin Voyages of any existing high risk health conditions no later than 48 hours prior to departure. If you need any help determining if you fall into a high risk group, or to notify us of your high risk condition, please contact email@example.com.
In addition, anyone who has failed the pre-voyage assessment or failed the 24-hour pre-voyage health questionnaire (by answering “yes” to any of the medical questions contained in the health check form) will be required to have a health evaluation with our Vikand Medical Care team at the boarding terminal to assess their ability to travel safely.
Any Sailor who is deemed to be in the high risk group, or who the Vikand Medical Care team deems unfit to travel following a health evaluation at the boarding terminal, will not be able to sail with us and will be denied boarding. All Sailors should consider their own individual risk level for severe illness, and make travel decisions based on that — as well as conversations with their doctor prior to booking or sailing with us.
To reiterate, if you have any questions at all about whether you are considered high risk or not, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll gladly help.
If any Sailor is not ready to sail, please know that you can call us or your First Mate up to 15 days prior to your voyage to rebook or receive a future voyage credit. While we have the utmost confidence in our ability to keep you well, we also want you to know that we have your back if you decide you’d rather sail at a later date.
Please note that at 15 days (or fewer) prior to boarding, you won’t be able to request a FVC or a change to your voyage — which is in line with our existing flexible booking policy. Any changes need to be made up to 15 days before the voyage if you’d like to receive 100% FVC. Your agency and/or tour operators may have terms and conditions that apply outside of our policy, so please refer to their specific documentation as well.
While we set sail
During the voyage, we’ve implemented best practices around sanitation, physical distancing, limited occupancy, and health checks for everyone on board. But let’s get down to the details of exactly what that will look like:
We will be requiring that all Sailors and Crew be vaccinated to sail with us. Below you can find a detailed breakdown of our vaccine requirements:
- For UK sailings, you must have a vaccine card with you — the original NHS-issued card or the NHS app certificate on your phone
- Your vaccine card must be an NHS (for the UK sailings) or CDC-issued (for American sailings) card (aka local official body-issued card)
- You must be more than 2 weeks out from your final dose to come aboard.
Below you can find a detailed list of everything we’re doing to keep it clean and ship shape by:
- Adopting the use of advanced cleaning tools like fogging; which means that all luggage and delivery to the ship will be fogged down, as well as fogging cabins as needed — in addition to sanitizing each cabin between every sail
- Incorporating the latest hygiene initiatives specifically for COVID-19; sanitizing dispensers in every public space, touchless faucets, increased hygiene signage, and leveraging hospital grade EPA registered disinfectants from EcoLab — all while using best practices to sanitize and disinfect.
- Utilizing our partnership with Ecolab, identifying specific high touch points across cabins, public spaces, restaurants, and recreational areas that will be disinfected on a frequent basis, so that you don’t have to worry before touching a door handle or elevator button when you’re with us.
From keeping the ship fresh with optimal air flow to high-tech purification systems, we’re keeping it all flowing by:
- Installing the latest technology from AtmosAir Solutions — an air purification system that disinfects air on board
- Leveraging bi-polar Ionization technology, this air purification system has been shown to kill 99.9% of viruses — making us the first in our industry to treat 100% of the air on board with this technology
- Our sea terrace ratio is one of the highest in the industry — allowing plenty of access to (salt-infused) fresh air
Below you can find a detailed list of everything we’re doing to keep it clean and ship shape by:
- Managing personal space by significantly reducing our overall ship capacity for our start-up sailing period — meaning that we can all easily adhere to appropriate social spacing/physical distancing recommendations.
- Additional measures include limiting large groups at our events through virtual ticketing and keeping empty seats between one another, and leaving tables empty between groups at each eatery
- We don’t have buffets or large dining rooms; purposely creating smaller eateries to limit large crowds. And there’s no communal food sharing — food is only prepared when it’s ordered and delivered directly to you
- When using our delivery food service on board, ShipEats, we have contactless drop-off and pick up.
- Leveraging our already-digital onboard experience to limit contact; The Band (for contactless payment), Service Chat (for assistance digitally), and our Virtual Queues (for getting in lines for onboard experiences without actually getting in physical lines). Frankly, the only lines we like are tan lines.
- For masks, we follow the same guidance as is recommended on land in accordance with the CDC and UK government — so if people are advised to wear masks there, we will do so at sea, as well.
Our Crew members receive regular tests and health checks. Our goal is to ensure all of our crew are fully vaccinated with two shots of a WHO-approved COVID vaccine.
In addition to vaccinations, we’ll be doing the following for our Crew:
- Bi-weekly testing for the COVID-19 virus for our Crew
- Any Crew members who come into contact with anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will isolate and take part in additional health checks to stop potential outbreaks
- Increased Crew uniform cleaning at our laundry facilities with the latest cleaning technology installed; high temperature cleaning that eradicates viruses and harmful bacteria that can live on clothing
- Required gloves and frequent hand washing for high risk areas of contamination like pre-health check terminal welcome areas, delivery areas, laundry and waste disposal areas
As of right now, masks are required for the test site, terminal, and shuttle services. While on Scarlet Lady, we recommend that Sailors wear a mask when walking around the ship, or when you’re not able to be physically distanced. We provide masks in cabins or on request to any Sailor who may need one.
We’ll be doing our best to ensure that no matter where we go, we’re considering our Sailors well-being by:
- Managing the arrival and disembarkation times of Sailors and Crew at the port terminals, so that necessary physical distancing is possible.
- For all our Shore Things and at The Beach Club at Bimini, we only suggest activities on land that meet the sanitation or physical distancing requirements that we have on the ship
In the case of positive COVID-19 cases on board, we’ve outlined our protocols for quarantining and contact tracing to ensure the best possible care for impacted Sailors, and protection to other Sailors and Crew on board.
Our quarantine protocol aboard our lady ships is as follows:
- Any Sailor who has signs of COVID will receive complimentary medical care on board via our onboard Medical Team — our medical center is equipped with the latest PCR testing capabilities to test for COVID-19 and other viral diseases
- In case of a positive PCR test, those Sailors will be isolated under Virgin Voyages Infection Prevention & Control protocols
- Our highly trained medical team will treat impacted Sailors with the best care until we arrive back and are in port, and the impacted Sailors can be transferred to local medical or quarantine facilities
- If negative, we will test for other viral infections as well, for example, influenza A & B, etc., and if any of those tests are confirmed, treatment is administered accordingly
- Isolation may not be required for the above cases, but our medical doctors on board will determine on a case by case basis
- It’s important to note that the likelihood of infection is very low due to all passengers being required to be fully vaccinated — nevertheless, we are fully prepared for all scenarios
- Using the close contact tracing feature built into our Sailor App, we will identify other Sailors and Crew who will also need to isolate and take a PCR test
- If those Sailors test positive, they will need to remain isolated for the rest of the Voyage and then be transferred to a designated shore-based quarantine facility to complete the remainder of the required quarantine period
- Any and all Sailors who test positive for COVID-19 are moved to a Sea Terrace Cabin on Deck 9 in an isolated zone away from other Sailors
Below we’ve outlined some of the financial details, and how we’ve got your back, in the rare case that there are COVID-19-impaced Sailors:
- A prorated voyage fare refund will be given to anyone who has their cruise cut short due to testing positive for COVID-19, or being suspected of having COVID-19 during the sailing
- If you test positive for COVID-19 during the sailing, Virgin Voyages will cover the costs of COVID-19-related medical treatment on board, any required land-based quarantining, and travel home for you and your traveling party
- If you test positive, Virgin Voyages will take care of all Ship Eats delivery charges while in isolation and/or quarantine and premium WiFi will automatically be provided
- We will also take care of all On Demand Entertainment Charges from Sailors’ folios during isolation/quarantine
- Please note that all other Ship Eats charges will still be applied to orders e.g. alcohol and speciality drinks
And finally, our contact tracing protocol on board is as follows:
- Via the Sailor App, Sailors will be asked to turn on Bluetooth once on board — doing so allows us to access the ability to contract trace while aboard the ship
- All Sailors who have been in the proximity of a positive test will be notified either on board or once back home depending upon when the positive test on board was discovered
- Sailors who may have come into contact with another Sailor with a positive test while on board will be sent to their cabin and a health officer will visit
- If their COVID-19 test is positive, those Sailors will be asked to quarantine in a designated cabin
- The quarantine measures detailed above will then apply to the impacted Sailor(s)
- Our Medical Care Crew on board will coordinate with our Terminal Crew to arrange the safe disembarkation of COVID positive Sailors, so that they’ll be isolated from the standard disembarkation flow/pathway of the rest of the Sailors
In accordance with the CDC, our policies for Sailors who test positive on embarkation day, during the voyage, or at the port — or have identified close contacts who have had COVID-19 recently and don’t have recovery documentation from the previous 90 days, travel restrictions may apply if:
- After identification, passengers intend to travel commercially, domestically or internationally, despite being advised of the need for continued isolation or quarantine; or
- After identification as a case or close contact, Sailors are non-adherent to public health interventions and are at risk for commercial travel, despite the need for continued isolation or quarantine
With the help of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and their component agencies, the CDC will place those Sailors on a Do Not Board (DNB) public health travel restrictions list. For more information see Travel Restrictions to Prevent the Spread of Disease.
Once public health authorities confirm a Sailor is no longer contagious or at risk of becoming contagious, the CDC will request that DHS remove the person from the DNB list. CDC routinely reviews the DNB list to determine when persons are eligible for removal.
For more information on when not to travel, please reference: When NOT to Travel: Avoid Spreading COVID-19 | CDC.
After we sail
Caring for each other extends beyond the time we sail together. So in the instance that any of our Sailors or Crew potentially become unwell after we return home, we want you to know we’ve got your back by:
- Aiming to set up a post-voyage notification process through which Sailors and Crew can inform us if becoming unwell within 14 days of leaving the ship (the COVID-19 incubation period)
- Contacting Sailors and/or Crew who may have come in close contact with anyone who became unwell, so you can arrange any necessary follow-ups or care.
Please note that all of our Sailors are responsible for making necessary COVID-testing plans after disembarkation from the ship. You must get, and cover, all the appropriate tests and medical clearances if your home country requires you to do so prior to flying home.
One last thing...
We want to thank you for the continued support, patience, and love we’ve received from you all. We’re so excited to meet you and get out on the open ocean with you soon.
Sail the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea
A comprehensive collection of information you’ll need before setting out for sundrenched beach days and moonlit nights at sea.
All our sailings are open to fully vaccinated Sailors only. We will provide antigen testing free of charge near the terminal prior to boarding, and all the latest details around voyaging with us can be found here on this site. Click here to view our full Voyage Well manual for our US sailings.
Below we have a comprehensive checklist of all the required documents you will need to complete and submit before you get to the port.
Ready-to-Sail is required information for every Sailor in a reservation and includes the following:
- Legal name
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Visa (if required)
- At some point, we will need proof of your vaccine card, but we’ll expand on that more shortly
Sailors can add/confirm Ready-to-Sail information through any of the following avenues:
The Band is your room key, wallet, bar and restaurant tab all in one — with just one tap. We deliver The Band to you before you arrive at port, so that the boarding process is even breezier. Please confirm or change your address in one of the following places so we can send it to you:
All Sailors must be at least 18 years old and fully vaccinated with a WHO or FDA approved vaccine against COVID-19.
To be fully vaccinated, you may need two shots of (some of the) COVID-19 vaccines:
- Two shots: If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two shots, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second shot. Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford/Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines require two shots.
- One shot: If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires one shot, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your shot. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine only requires one shot.
If it has been less than two weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second shot, you are considered not fully vaccinated and therefore will not be able to sail.
Health & Wellness To-Do's
It's our job to keep you, and our Crew, well throughout your voyage; so below you can find all the documents and tests we need from you before getting on board.
Please head to our Sailor App to complete the health-check form at least 24 hours before embarkation. If this is not complete, we cannot let you board the ship.
Sailors will be required to take an antigen test before boarding, but we will follow the CDC guidelines at the time of the voyage — and we will continue to update this page when we know more from the CDC. The testing will occur at the terminal and will be provided free of charge by Virgin Voyages, so Sailors will need to arrive 2 hours prior to their scheduled embarkation time to ensure time for the test. Please note that arriving earlier than that will not result in being tested or boarded quicker.
Our biggest priority is keeping our Crew and Sailors healthy, and we want you to feel confident when you set sail with us. In order to do so, here’s what we’re doing and what we’ll need from you:
- Only fully vaccinated Sailors will be allowed to board — and your boarding date must be a full two weeks after your final shot in order to do so
- You must have your original, CDC-issued vaccine card with you in order to come aboard
- We will have to deny boarding to any Sailor who has a positive COVID test result
- We will deny boarding to any Sailor whose response is “yes" at boarding to any COVID related questions
- We will deny boarding if a member traveling in your group has a positive COVID test result
- We aim to sail with our entire crew fully vaccinated
- Our Crew is tested every 2 weeks per CDC standards
- Our Crew will wear masks, and we strongly advise that Sailors do so as well
In order to sail with us and ensure that we Voyage Well together, we need you to sign our Voyage Well acknowledgment. Head over to our Sailor App to sign the acknowledge form.
All of our Sailors are accountable for making necessary COVID-testing plans after disembarkation from the ship. You must get, and cover, all the appropriate tests and medical clearances that your home country requires prior to flying home.
From the must-brings (like your passports and vaccine cards) to the nice-to-haves (like swimsuits and sunglasses), we have a list to help you prepare.
When you arrive at the port, you and your fellow Sailors will need to bring the following items in order to board the ship:
- Valid government-issued passport
- CDC-issued vaccine card
- The Band
While we’ll leave the creative packing choices up to you, there are a few things we already have on board that you won’t need to bring along.
- Money for tips
- We're already taking care of the Crew. The tips are on us.
- We've got you (and your hair) covered there.
- Power adapters
- These are already provided in your cabin and/or suites.
- Your cabin's well stocked with these.
- Data roaming worries
- There's complimentary WiFi on board, so you don’t need to check with your provider about data roaming charges.
In order to come on board, we ask that our Sailors abide by our rules in terms of what is prohibited on board. Please note that if any of these items are brought on the ship, they will be confiscated before you board the ship:
- Illegal Drugs and illegal substances: all illegal drugs, non-prescribed controlled substances, medically prescribed marijuana or synthetic marijuana and CBD products are prohibited
- Firearms and weapons: all firearms and weapons, ammunition, explosives and incendiary devices
- Replicas of any firearms or ammunition
- Explosives: all explosives, incendiaries and pyrotechnic items
- Flammable Items: all items with open flames or heating elements are prohibited; with the exception of hair curling irons and hair dryers — which are permitted on board. Flammable items include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Candles and incense
- Extension cords and multi-plug power strips
- Seasonal and/or celebratory light bulb strings
- Any appliance with a heating body or element
- Any flammable liquids, fuels, paints or thinners
- Aerosols, except for personal care toiletries which are permitted
- Large batteries
- Gas torches
- Hookahs & water hookah pipes
- Knives and sharp objects: all knives with a blade larger than 4 inches are prohibited. Other sharp objects, such as scissors with blades longer than 4 inches, which could reasonably be used as a weapon, are also not allowed
- Personal grooming items exception: personal grooming items such as metal nail files, cuticle tools, scissors for trimming facial hair, manicure sets and other similar small personal grooming items, are permitted on board
- Hand and power tools
- Martial arts and self-defense items
- Sporting\recreational goods: may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Baseball and cricket bats
- Hockey\lacrosse sticks
- Skateboards and hoverboards
- Surf boards
- Golf clubs (permitted, stored in the cabin)
- Scooters, regular or electrical (not for disability related use)
- Remote-controlled helicopters, airplanes, drones or similar devices
- Disabling or dangerous chemicals:
- Spray paints
- Tear gas
- Pepper sprays\mace
- Spillable batteries (note: wheelchair batteries are permitted)
- Small compressed gas cartridges
- Fire extinguishers (not ship equipment)
- Other compressed gas cylinders (medical gas bottles are permitted - 680 liters or E / M-24 size, only 2 can be hand carried, rest are delivered)
- HAM Radios
- Liquids / Food
- Alcoholic beverages, hard liquor, spirits or beer is not allowed. Any alcohol in checked luggage will be collected on embarkation and returned once the voyage is complete
- Passengers can bring two (2) 750mL bottles of wine per cabin in carry-on bags.
- Water or soft drinks in boxes and cans are permitted in hand luggage only
- Ice chests and coolers, except for those permitted for storing medications and items related to dietary restrictions
- Homemade, pre-cooked or perishable foods or open food containers
Any questions, clarifications or exceptions to this list must be requested from the Ship’s Security Officer Only.
Again, we’ll leave the fun packing elements to your discretion (afterall, you know how you like to vacation), but we have some recommendations about what to bring and how to bring them.
What to put in your carry-on:
- Your passport
- Your vaccine card
- Anything you want to use right away. Swimwear, running shoes, party dress...
Suggestions for things to bring in your suitcase:
- Workout gear
- Comfy shoes for exploring the ship
- Quick dry sports top
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- Reusable water bottle
- Waterproof pouches for valuables
- Seasickness medicine
- Anti wrinkle spray
- Dry shampoo
- A Splash of red for Scarlet Night
- Swimsuit for the Retro-Glam pool party
On the day of your sail, please arrive at the terminal about 2 hours prior to your embarkation time in order to allow for a COVID test — which must be done at the terminal. Please note that any test results brought with Sailors will not be recognized as valid. You’ll then check in, receive your Band, and board the ship.
For sailings through December 1st, 2021 – you will board the ship using Terminal G for Embarkation and receive your COVID test there. On the day of disembarkation, you will arrive back in Miami and use Terminal F to disembark.
We've put together some information so that you know exactly what you need to book pre-sail, and what you can book once we have set out to sea.
Below is a list of things you need or can book before you get on board:
- We’ll need you to book your disembarkation slot so that we can all get off the ship in a spaced-out fashion. You can do so on the Sailor App or by contacting Sailor Services.
- Entertainment and shows are open for booking
- Dinner reservations at our eateries are available for booking
- Shore Things are open and available for booking as well
- Virgin Voyages Beach Club at Bimini cabanas are as well
Below is a list of things you can only book once you’re on the ship:
- Redemption Spa and Thermal Suite services
- Squid Ink appointments
- Lunch and breakfast reservations at our eateries
- Fitness classes
- Onboard cabanas
- The Dry Dock appointments
- Stubble and Groom appointments
- Tune Up & Medi Spa services
If a Sailor tests positive, they will be denied boarding and will receive either a full refund or FVC. Sailors are responsible for their own costs to return home, therefore are strongly encouraged to purchase travel insurance that includes COVID coverage.
Any Sailor who tests positive should email email@example.com upon their return home.
Voyages to Europe are a bit further off, so we’re still collecting the info you’ll need. We’ll update this page when we know more, so check back soon.