Cruise behemoths Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean Group are offering select itineraries to vaccinated passengers as the industry looks to free itself from the pandemic that has shut it down for a year.
Carnival Corp's UK brand Cunard is giving inoculated UK residents the opportunity to take round-trip voyages from Southampton on its 90,901-gt flagship Queen Elizabeth (built 2010).
Carnival said the itineraries, which go on sale on Wednesday and run from July until the end of October, will provide "British Isles scenic cruising and special Sun Voyages, sailing to wherever the sun shines brightest".
Passengers will still need to follow enhanced sanitation measures, practice social distancing and wear masks in certain areas of the ship.
Carnival said crew members will undergo strict testing and quarantine regimes that will include regular screening while they are on the vessel.
"Guests will be able to experience the most luxurious summer at sea enjoying exquisite fine dining, the onboard spa and spectacular entertainment while having the opportunity to see the UK's coastline from a unique vantage point," the New York-listed owner said.
"All other voyages on sale currently do not require guests to be vaccinated."
Peer competitor Royal Caribbean Group, which owns 52 ships, is allowing only vaccinated passengers on Royal Caribbean International vessels sailing from Nassau in the Bahamas and Bermuda.
The Richard Fain-led company has yet to see what it will do with the rest of its fleet, spokesman Jonathon Fishman said.
"We’re still exploring all options, but no decision has been made," he told TradeWinds.
"As the science evolves, so will we."
More decisions to come
Earlier this week, Carnival pulled up anchor on two ships within its German AIDA Cruises brand and plans to start sailing some of its Costa Cruises ships on Saturday.
The company has not decided whether or not it will require passengers on all its voyages to be vaccinated, spokesman Roger Frizzell said.
"Our brands may make individual country-specific decisions, such as P&O and Cunard have done in the UK for their initial sailings," he told TradeWinds.
"Our plan across the company is follow the science and be led by the advice of our science and medical experts, and follow any requirements by the destinations we visit."
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which is requiring only crew vaccinations, and MSC Cruises did not immediately return calls.