Want to book a holiday?

We know (all too well) how much can change with holidays at the moment. To put your mind at ease, we’ve updated our policies so you can book your holiday with confidence.

Updated August 2022



Vaccination policy

For full details about our vaccination policy, please click here.


COVID-19 vaccinations required

COVID-19 test required

(to be taken prior to travelling to your airport/embarkation terminal)

Fully vaccinated*

(a minimum of 14 days prior to travel)

Plus booster if applicable^

(a minimum of seven days prior to travel)
Guests aged 16 years and over
Children aged 12-15 years
Children aged five-11 years
Children aged four years and under


You must show proof of your vaccination status at the terminal or airport (up-to-date NHS COVID Pass or valid vaccination certificates issued by a local health authority).

*Fully vaccinated is defined as having completed an approved (by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL)) two-dose COVID‑19 vaccination course, or the approved single-dose Janssen COVID‑19 vaccine (plus a booster if applicable).

^For guests aged 16 years and over, if more than 270 days (calculated from the last day of the cruise) have passed since the full completion of a vaccination course, a booster vaccine will also be needed and must be administered a minimum of seven days prior to travel.

Guests who have had one booster vaccine, regardless of the date, are considered fully vaccinated. At this time, a second booster vaccination is not required, however, we strongly recommend all guests to have booster vaccinations at the earliest opportunity, should they be available to them, in order to comply with evolving vaccine policies from the countries we visit.

The vaccination policy may be changed or enhanced for specific cruises at any time. In this instance, impacted guests will be contacted directly.

For full details please click here.



Testing policy

Changes to testing requirements: Guests on cruises after 5 September 2022 whose testing requirements differ from the below policy will be contacted directly for their upcoming holiday.

Complimentary antigen test at the airport

P&O Cruises COVID-19 testing policy

~Lateral flow/antigen test taken within two days prior to embarkation of the ship for all guests aged five years and over. This test doesn’t need to be medically observed and over the counter COVID-19 lateral flow/antigen tests will be accepted.

Testing to go ashore^ (when needed):
£18 per antigen test
£25 per PCR test

~Unless otherwise communicated, all guests aged five years and over must take a lateral flow/antigen test within two days prior to embarkation of the ship. This can be at any time in the two days before or on the day of embarkation. Guests will be asked to confirm the test has been taken, with a negative result, as part of the pre boarding health declaration at the cruise terminal/airport.

^If you need a test to go ashore in a destination, this can be done on board from just £18pp. Currently, the majority of ports we visit this year don’t require testing but you can find out more in our A-Z destination guide.

To find out more about testing, click here.

What happens if I test positive on board?
Find out more


Book with confidence


Flexible booking policy

For added peace of mind, it helps to have added flexibility. With our fee-free flexible transfer policy, you have the option of changing your booking up to the date the balance for your holiday is due.


Our promise to you

If you, or a member of your household, test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of your holiday or are not permitted to travel following completion of the Health Declaration questionnaire, you will be denied boarding but we’re pleased to say you’ll receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) to the value of the cruise. We’ll automatically refund any pre-cruise purchases made through My P&O Cruises*.

If you were part of a linked booking, your friends or family would also be able to opt for the FCC and refund for purchases made. Just ask us to make sure all members of your travelling group are linked when you make your booking.

*Your FCC is non-refundable and is not ABTA or ATOL protected until a new booking is made. If your cruise is part of a wider holiday package booked through a tour operator, please contact them for information relating to their policies should you be denied boarding.


Our guarantee

In the unlikely event we need to cancel your cruise, we guarantee you an enhanced FCC. This can be used on any new booking on sale in that period or you can use it to upgrade an existing booking. If you’d like to upgrade, please contact your travel agent or our Customer Contact Centre if you booked direct. Please note, this FCC is not covered by ABTA's scheme of financial protection, although any booking made using this FCC will be protected up to the amount of the refund due on the original booking. If the enhanced Future Cruise Credit offer does not meet your needs, you can request a full refund instead.

All new bookings using FCCs will be subject to P&O Cruises Booking Conditions, including our standard cancellation terms. Once an FCC has been applied to a new booking, if you cancel any refund will be given as an FCC. If we have to cancel due to COVID-19, you will be given a refund of your FCC.


ABTA and ATOL protected

P&O Cruises is fully bonded with ABTA and your fly-cruise holidays are ATOL protected. This means you have the benefit, support and expertise of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct for all non-fly-cruise holidays sold in the UK. And your fly-cruise is financially protected by the ATOL scheme.



It’s mandatory for all UK guests to have comprehensive cruise-specific travel 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 knowing you’re protected should you need it. When travelling with us, your insurance must include medical cover of £2 million minimum and you will be denied boarding at your own expense if you don’t have the required insurance.

We’ve partnered with Holiday Extras to offer appropriate comprehensive travel insurance cover for our holidays. You can find the full details about the level of cover you will need on our travel insurance page.


Our assurance to you


Enhanced well-being measures

To help you to feel comfortable throughout your holiday, we’ve introduced enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone on board. These include:

  • A vaccination and testing policy for all guests and crew
  • Health screening at the cruise terminal
  • Enhanced on-board ventilation systems to improve and increase filtration and fresh air
  • Even higher levels of cleanliness and enhanced sanitation
  • Plans in place to manage your medical needs

Our well-being measures can evolve as we work with experts and government bodies to respond to the latest advice, but rest assured our focus is always to protect the health and well-being of our guests, crew, and the communities we visit.

If you're required to isolate/quarantine, or in some cases disembark the ship, due to testing positive for COVID-19 during your holiday, you'll be given a non-refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) pro-rated for the duration of days lost from your booked holiday with P&O Cruises. This FCC (which for UK guests is not ABTA or ATOL protected until a new booking is made with the FCC) can be used on any new booking and is valid for two years from the date of issue. For more information, please click here.




Pre-existing medical requirements

It’s understood that those with certain pre-existing medical requirements or of a certain age may experience more severe symptoms should they contract COVID-19. We strongly recommend that you read the UK government guidance prior to making holiday plans; this can be found here.

If you have any pre-existing medical requirements, we advise that you discuss your travel plans with your doctor. We’ve put together a simple health advisory letter that you can take to your GP so they can verify if you’re safe to travel.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to accept guests who have the following medical requirements:

  • Supplementary oxygen (including via oxygen concentrator)
  • Mechanical ventilatory support (except for overnight CPAP for sleep apnoea)
  • Dialysis
  • Within the 10 days prior to the cruise:
    - Have been unwell with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
    - Have been in close contact with someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19