Still your incredible P&O Cruises holiday; a few reassuring changes

With our enhanced well-being measures on board our ships you’ll still be able to enjoy the holiday you dreamed of, even though some aspects of your cruise may initially feel a little different.

These changes are designed to protect the health of everyone on board as well as the destinations we visit, and we hope as you return to sailing you will find these both comforting and easy to adjust to.

As the world evolves so may our policies and procedures, but rest assured we will have every aspect of your holiday experience covered.

As of 13 October 2020


Our assurance to you


Our new protocols

As we prepare to return to sea we’re combining over 180 years’ experience with the expertise of foremost accredited scientists, medical professionals and government advisors to deliver the P&O Cruises holiday you expect.

The framework of enhanced protocols outlined here has been supported by the UK Government; Department for Transport; Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association; EU Healthy Gateways and public health agencies, and are designed to keep you and our crew healthy and well throughout your holiday.

Carnival Corporation, P&O Cruises parent company, has also been working with a number of world-leading experts to support efforts in developing the enhanced protocols for the return of cruise holidays.

The advisors include:

  • Dr. Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, author, former vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and 19th Surgeon General of the United States
  • Dr. Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology, University of Reading School of Biological Sciences (UK)
  • Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD, Herbert S. Gasser professor of medicine, molecular microbiology, pathology & immunology; and associate director, Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Michael Z. Lin, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology, bioengineering, and chemical and systems biology; and principal investigator, The Lin Lab, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Dr. Jewel Mullen, MD, MPH, associate dean for health equity, University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School
  • Emil C. Reisinger, MD, full professor of internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine and director of the Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Rostock, Germany
  • Dr. Stefano Vella, MD, former director, National Center for Global Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health); and adjunct professor of global health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart) in Rome

Guest and crew well-being

We are committed to delivering the highest standards of health, safety and well-being for our guests, crew and the wider communities we visit. To achieve this:

  • All guests and crew boarding our ships will undergo health screening and testing for COVID-19 before boarding
  • Every area of the ship will be rigorously and regularly cleaned and disinfected
  • We’ll provide additional hand-sanitising stations
  • We have enhanced our on-board ventilation systems to provide improved filtration and increased fresh air
  • We’ll adhere to approved guidance for every aspect of the holiday experience
  • Everyone on board will need to adhere to the most up-to-date guidance regarding the use of face-coverings and social distancing which will be in place in all public areas
  • We have plans in place, tailored for each ship, to manage medical needs, including dedicated cabin capacity for isolation, should this be required

Booking with confidence


Flexible transfers

Before your balance due date you can transfer your booking as many times as you like.


ABTA and ATOL protected

P&O Cruises is fully bonded with ABTA and your fly-cruise holidays are ATOL protected.


Insurance and accredited medical professionals

You must take out comprehensive holiday insurance when you sail with us. Whilst we hope you never have to claim, the policy will ensure you’re able to relax and enjoy your holiday with the peace of mind that you’re protected should you need it.

P&O Cruises has partnered with Holiday Extras to offer appropriate, comprehensive travel insurance cover for our holidays. For further details visit:

It is understood that those with certain pre-existing medical conditions or of a certain age may experience more severe symptoms should they contract COVID-19 (coronavirus). We strongly recommend that you review the UK Government guidance prior to making travel arrangements; this can be found at:

If you have any existing medical conditions, we advise you to discuss your travel plans with your doctor.

All our ships have medical centres on board staffed by experienced doctors and nurses available 24/7, to help support your health needs.


Your holiday experience


Before you board

All guests will be subject to testing for COVID-19 in the period before travelling and/or at the cruise terminal. If you test positive for COVID-19, or if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating in the days prior to your holiday, you will not be permitted to board the ship.

Prior to your departure, P&O Cruises will send you the latest public health guidance as well as pre-cruise information about mitigating the risk of COVID-19, along with a health declaration questionnaire. Please read this carefully as this will include what to expect when you arrive at the terminal, time on board, any country specific requirements to be aware of and other relevant protocols while you are travelling with us.


Boarding your ship

We have enhanced our boarding procedures, working with our partners in the ports. In the cruise terminal you will be required to adhere to the wearing of face coverings and social distancing, in accordance with all current guidelines.

Additional health screening will be conducted before you board your ship. This will include a review of your health declaration questionnaire, a temperature check and further comprehensive medical screening if required.. If you are identified as having COVID-19-like symptoms or test positive, or if you have been exposed, or potentially exposed to COVID-19 then you will not be permitted to board.


Cleanliness and care

We have always taken great pride in our standards of cleanliness on board. Our enhanced measures will ensure all areas of the ship are even more thoroughly and regularly cleaned, with products which have proven effectiveness against COVID-19. There will be added hand sanitiser and hand-washing facilities available throughout the ship.


Eating and drinking

We all know that delicious food and drink are a core part of your holiday and this will certainly not change. You may be asked to pre-book a table in the restaurants, the buffets and deck grills will now be served by our waiting staff and you will only be permitted to dine with your travelling group or household. We are adapting our restaurants and bars to ensure you can enjoy your experience and maintain social distancing in line with guidance.



The show will go on – but our performances will be adapted so that artistes and audience adhere to the latest guidance and social distancing measures.


Activities and leisure

Shops, spa, salon, gym, pools, casinos, children’s clubs and activities on board as well as on deck will be operating but will all be subject to the latest approved guidance to minimise contact, reduce the number of guests in each area and maintain the highest levels of cleanliness. You may see changes which will include pre-booked appointment slots only. Social distancing will also be in place in all public areas and lifts will have limited capacity. (Rest assured, if you need to use the lift you will be able to do so.)



Your cabin steward will maintain the cleanliness and tidiness of your accommodation to our enhanced standards although we would ask that you are not in your cabin at the same time as the steward. We will also be introducing an enhanced in-cabin television service providing essential updates, and an extended room service menu for you to enjoy as you relax in your cabin.


Seeing the sights
on shore

You can still go ashore and explore the amazing ports we visit, initially only with our organised and vetted shore experiences. Port transfer and organised shore experience operators will be subject to new policies and procedures to reflect the latest approved guidance in line with our on board protocols, and will comply with all local guidance relating to social distancing and face coverings. Temperature checks and health screening may be carried out again on re-boarding when returning to the ship.


Time to go home –
Track and Trace

All guests and crew will need to complete a guest locator form to adhere to the UK Government’s Track and Trace initiative. Local country initiatives may also apply at the time of sailing.