dubai, abu dhabi & qatar cruises: travel requirements for u.s. residents

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Qatar cruises require that all guests 12 years and older must be fully vaccinatedAccordingly, MSC Cruises requires guests 12 years and older to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing. We will continually evaluate these requirements and make updates as local public health standards evolve. Please read the requirements based on your departure date for exact information and to ensure you are not denied boarding.

 

Guests will be considered fully vaccinated if they have received their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as Pfizer or Moderna vaccines (or their single dose, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) at least 14 days prior to the cruise. Currently, the CDC does not recognize any mixed combinations of COVID-19 vaccines as fully vaccinated. If you are unable or unwilling to show proof of vaccination, you will be denied boarding. 

Before booking your cruise, please click HERE to check if your country of residence is allowing guests to cruise in your selected destination. We will continue to evaluate these requirements as local public health standards evolve. Please read all of the requirements below to ensure you are not denied boarding. 

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE REQUIRED: 
All bookings are required to purchase a Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19. Insurance purchased through MSC Cruises must be purchased through your country of residence. If purchased from MSC Cruises, this must be purchased prior to making final payment on your booking. You must either purchase insurance through MSC Cruises or present at the pier documentation of sufficient coverage purchased from another provider, or you will be denied boarding.  


 

PRE-CRUISE REQUIREMENTS

 

FULLY VACCINATED GUESTS & CHILDREN 2 - 11 YEARS OLD

For all sailings in the upcoming months 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) need to provide a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before embarkation. 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. For Abu Dhabi only: the RT-PCR test needs to be taken 48 hours before embarkation. A mandatory COVID-19 test is organized at the airport (free of charge with a cruise ticket) upon arrival. This mandatory test do not replace the one needed to enter in the U.A.E and it is required to embark on the ship /cruise. In case any Guest skip the test at the airport, the Guest must complete a test at the port at a cost of 42 USD (organized by a private clinic). All Guests tested at the airport/port are authorized to board the Ship waiting for the results. Those tested at the airport/port will receive a sticker at the airport/port testing area as well an SMS on the mobile to be showed at the ship’s check-in.
  • 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, Covidshield , Sinovac. A “mix-and-match” combination of the above list of vaccines is accepted. 
  • To note: Guests that recovered from Covid-19 and received only one shot of vaccine are not considered as fully vaccinated. Sputnik/Sinopharm/Sinovac are conditionally approved vaccines in Qatar. Guests with two shots of a conditionally certified vaccine must carry a serology antibody test with a positive result upon arrival to Qatar;  without the antibody test they won’t be allowed to embark or go ashore. Guests 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 Serelogy Antibody).
  • 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 centre that performed the analysis, technique used and negative test result.   
  • 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.
  • All bookings are required to purchase a Travel Protection Plan with coverage for COVID-19. If purchased from MSC Cruises, this must be purchased prior to making final payment on your booking. You must either purchase insurance through MSC Cruises or present at the pier documentation of sufficient coverage purchased from another provider, or you will be denied boarding.  

 

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.

Guests’ 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: Travelers must register online in the Ehteraz website before entering the country. All Guests going ashore must register in the Ehteraz website

Guests will receive a confirmation 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.

Guests who have booked an MSC organized tour need to register in the Ehteraz portal. In addition, they should carry their certificate of vaccination and their cruise card.

Guests going ashore in Doha must participate in an MSC Cruises shore excursion effective Jan. 6th onward, until further notice. You will not be allowed to disembark unless you have purchased an MSC Cruises shore excursion. In addition, Guests need to provide a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or a negative antigen test taken within 24h prior to the arrival and their cruise card.

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.


To ensure peace of mind, MSC Cruises requires all guests to have a specific and mandatory Covid-19 insurance policy to embark, covering against COVID-19 related risks, i.e cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization. Before finalizing a reservation, it is possible to add to the cruise the MSC COVID-19 Protection plan for cruises for the whole Summer 2022 on this website. A proof of the specific COVID-19 coverage insurance policy - which must be in one of the following languages English, Italian, German, French or Spanish - must be presented at embarkation or boarding will be denied.

TERMINAL & EMBARKATION REQUIREMENTS

FULLY VACCINATED GUESTS & CHILDREN 2 - 11 YEARS OLD

As per our stringent MSC Health & Safety protocol, all guests both vaccinated and unvaccinated, 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: 

 

  • Printed copy of your embarkation form (available in your cruise ticket)
  • Printed copy of your 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)
  • Proof of COVID-19 insurance clearly showing the COVID-19 risks coverage
  • Valid identity document
 

We will deny boarding in case of:

 

  • Symptoms i.e fever (>37,5 C 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.
  • Failure to provide the proof of the mandatory COVID-19 insurance policy (which must be in one fo the following languages: English, Italian, German, French or Spanish)

ONBOARD, ASHORE & DISEMBARKATION REQUIREMENTS

ALL GUESTS

  • MASK REQUIRED: Face masks are required for all guests when in public areas, except when seated in restaurants, bars, lounges, and when sitting on the sun deck.

  • SHORE EXCURSIONS: If you wish to go ashore during your cruise, we highly recommend guests to participate in an MSC shore excursion to ensure the same high standards of health and safety ashore as on board. Select excursions will require an official COVID-19 certificate to access certain venues (i.e.. museums, churches, etc.) or to participate in an event. Please read all the details of the excursion, when making a reservation for a shore excursion.

  • SYMPOTAMTIC ONBOARD: If you become symptomatic during your cruise, you will be required to take a RT-PCR test on board (covered by MSC Cruises).

  • DISEMBARKATION: A COVID-19 test may be required to return home. MSC Cruises has organized the possibility for its guests to purchase and perform a molecular test (i.e. RT-PCR) or an antigen test during their cruise. Visit our FAQ for more information. In addition, 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 official requirements.