Our assurance to you

 

As of 25 July 2021

 
   
 

Our assurance to you

 

Our new protocols

As we 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. We’ve developed enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone on board and all guests and crew will be required to follow these.

For years, we have had in place many of the protocols now considered advisable for other social gathering venues, such as hand-sanitising stations and rigorous cleaning procedures. We've also gone beyond those protocols by asking guests to complete a Health Declaration and having a comprehensive medical facility on board each ship providing 24/7 medical care and treatment and this will, of course, continue across the fleet.

To ensure you can continue to enjoy your incredible P&O Cruises holiday, our new measures include:

  • A stringent vaccination and testing policy for all guests
  • Pre-boarding health screening
  • The highest levels of cleanliness throughout the ships
  • Adherence to approved standards for the service of food and drink, entertainment and experiences on board and on shore
  • Enhanced on-board ventilation systems to provide improved filtration and increased fresh air
  • Enhanced sanitation measures
  • Appropriate social distancing in line with latest guidance for cruise lines
  • The requirement to wear a face mask, with no exceptions, in specific areas including the terminal, when moving around indoors on board, and when seated in the theatre. You’re free to remove your mask when seated elsewhere around the ship, when out on deck and when exercising. We’d always recommend guests wash their mask daily and choose a good quality, ideally medical grade, standard. Please note that visors and face shields will not be accepted as a substitute for a face mask
  • We will be operating initially with a reduced occupancy on our ships to support our new protocols
  • For all holidays sailing up to and including 24 September, guests will require a seven day gap between any of the UK getaway cruises. Back-to-back bookings will not be available. This seven day gap also applies to cruises booked with other cruise lines including our sister brands Cunard and Princess Cruises. From 25 September onwards, back-to-back bookings are allowed
  • Crew will also undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board
  • We have plans in place, tailored for each ship, to manage medical needs, including dedicated cabin capacity for isolation and quarantine, should this be required.

 

These protocols are subject to change as we continue to work with our experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice. Rest assured, our primary focus is always to protect the health and well-being of our crew and guests and the communities we visit. 

Working with Bureau Veritas

Ahead of Britannia's return to sailing, in line with Chamber of Shipping guidance, the ship has achieved external validation of its health and well-being protocols from Bureau Veritas (BV), a world leader in testing, inspection and certification. Iona's inspection will be undertaken shortly.

President Marine and Offshore, Bureau Veritas, Matthieu de Tugny said:

“Our passenger ship experts have been supporting P&O Cruises with the verification of health and well-being standards to enable a return to service in line with the UK Chamber of Shipping’s guidance and Bureau Veritas guidelines. The ship was exceptionally well prepared and we give full credit to the entire ship’s crew and management. It will be good to see Britannia back in operation.”

 

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:

  • Every area of the ship will be rigorously and regularly cleaned and sanitised
  • 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, up-to-date guidance for every aspect of the holiday experience including the mandatory use of face masks and social distancing which will be in place in certain areas
  • We will be operating initially with a reduced occupancy on our ships to support our new protocols
  • For all holidays sailing up to and including 24 September, guests will require a seven day gap between any of the UK getaway cruises. Back-to-back bookings will not be available. This seven day gap also applies to cruises booked with other cruise lines including our sister brands Cunard and Princess Cruises. From 25 September onwards, back-to-back bookings are allowed
  • Crew will undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board
  • We have plans in place, tailored for each ship, to manage medical needs, including dedicated cabin capacity for isolation and quarantine, should this be required.

 

Pre-existing medical requirements

It is understood that those with certain pre-existing medical requirements 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 here.

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

DOWNLOAD HEALTH ADVISORY LETTER

All our ships have medical centres on board staffed by experienced doctors and nurses available 24/7, to help support your health needs. We are following all latest guidance to evolve our enhanced protocols to protect the health and well-being of guests, crew and the communities we visit once we begin sailing again.

Unfortunately we are 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 14 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
    • Have been advised to self-isolate under a government Test and Trace system

We are so sorry to have to make this change, but we need to follow new industry procedures for the protection of everyone on board. Any guest that is impacted by the requirement for supplementary oxygen, mechanical ventilatory support or dialysis will be given a full refund of monies paid to date for their bookings.

Vaccine and testing policy*

The vaccination and testing policy has been updated for all sailings on Britannia and Iona departing between 8 July and 24 September 2021. These cruises are still for UK resident COVID-19 vaccinated guests only (irrespective of age) but for these cruises the definition of “vaccinated” will now be a minimum of 14 days following the second dose of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines being administered or 14 days following the recently approved single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine being administered. All guests will still also require a negative COVID-19 test at the terminal (the cost of which will be complimentary).

The vaccination and testing policy for all cruises departing from 25 September to 31 December 2021 requires all guests 18 years old and over to have completed their vaccination course a minimum of 14 days prior to sailing. All guests 17 years old and below will need to have completed their vaccination course a minimum of 14 days prior to sailing or will require a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to travel. All guests will also require a negative COVID-19 test at the terminal; the cost of both the COVID-19 test at the terminal and the PCR test will be complimentary.

This vaccination and testing policy will be reviewed on a regular basis as the global situation continues to evolve.

At the time of travel, some ports of call may stipulate specific vaccine or testing policies for guests going ashore that differ from this policy.

All other P&O Cruises holidays on sale do not currently require guests to be vaccinated.

Whilst you are not required to take a test before your arrival at the terminal, we would recommend you follow the government’s advice of testing yourself regularly at home. If you were to test positive within 14 days of departure, you would need to call our Customer Contact Centre on 0344 338 8003 (local call charges apply) and not travel to the terminal. You’ll receive a non-refundable Future Cruise Credit (which is not ABTA or ATOL protected), ready for you to take your holiday again at a later date.

It is the responsibility of any guest travelling from the Common Travel Area to adhere to the local travel restrictions that apply when travelling in and out of England.

Proof of vaccination status

All guests will be required to show proof of vaccination status at the terminal prior to boarding which will be checked against the guest’s photo ID. This can be either in digital or printed format (a screenshot is fine) and must be an official certificate of vaccine status issued by your local health authority (e.g. NHS England). Please visit your relevant NHS or local health authority website for full details of how to obtain an official record of your vaccine status in advance of your holiday (please note that some authorities require up to 10 days to process applications to receive postal certificates). Guests in England can download the NHS app, register with their NHS number and photo ID and gain access to ‘Get your NHS COVID Pass’ – this allows you to download a PDF copy of your vaccine record and/or to request to receive an offline copy by email. Alternatively to prove your vaccination status you can show a screenshot of your vaccination details which show below your unique 2D barcode within the app. This shows the details of each vaccination and the date given; please note that there are two different screens for vaccination 1 and 2. Please register for the NHS app well in advance of travel as NHS app accounts can take up to 14 days to approve. If using the app, in case of any connectivity issues we’d recommend taking a screenshot so that you can easily show this at the terminal.

Please note that the record card that is given out at the time of vaccination will not be accepted as proof of your vaccination status. Unfortunately failure to provide proof of vaccination at the terminal will result in denial of boarding at your own expense.

Please see the following FAQs for more information relating to the acceptable formats for proof of vaccination.

Vaccine policy infographic

We will update this page as necessary and update all guests prior to their holiday departure date. Please do ensure that your preferences and contact details are up to date in the My Account section of our website.

Frequently asked questions