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We can’t wait to welcome you on board. Here you’ll find everything you need to know for your upcoming holiday; from checklists to vaccine policies, getting to the terminal to My Holiday. If you don’t see details specific to your upcoming holiday, please bear with us as we’ll be updating this page as things evolve. We’ll also be sending information directly as your holiday approaches.





1. Before you board (including vaccine and testing)

2. At the terminal

3. At the airport

4. Your experience on board

5. Going ashore
(including our handy A-Z destination guide!)

6. Returning home

Watch our step-by-step holiday guide

We know there’s been a lot of information about travel in the current climate. To make things as straightforward as possible, we’ve put together a short video featuring our Food Hero Olly Smith.


1. Before you board

Vaccine requirements

Unless otherwise communicated, all guests aged 16 years and over need to be fully vaccinated* with an approved COVID-19 vaccine a minimum of 14 days prior to travel. 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.

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.

All guests aged 12 to 15 years need to be fully vaccinated* with an approved COVID-19 vaccine a minimum of 14 days prior to travel. A booster vaccine is not required.

Guests aged five to 11 years need to be fully vaccinated* with an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel (a booster vaccine is not required) or must provide two negative COVID‑19 test results prior to sailing (see testing requirements below). 

Guests under five years of age are exempt from pre-travel vaccination and testing.

*The definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ is 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).

Currently approved vaccines are:

  • Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine)
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, including formulations Vaxzevria or Covishield
  • Moderna (Spikevax ) vaccine, including formulation Moderna Takeda
  • Janssen vaccine
  • Sinovac
  • Sinopharm Beijing
  • Covaxin
  • Nuvaxovid (Novavax)

Proof of vaccination status

You’ll need to show proof of your vaccination status which will also be checked against your photo ID at the terminal/airport prior to boarding. 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 get an official record of your vaccine status in advance of your holiday (some authorities require up to 10 days to process applications to receive postal certificates).

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/airport will result in denial of boarding at your own expense.

Please visit the following websites for more information on the acceptable formats for proof of vaccination.

Testing requirements

Organising your test

COVID-19 testing is as easy as 1, 2, 3

Book it. Take it. Show it... and relax!

A lateral flow (antigen) test is required for all guests aged five years and over.

Step 1

Book it.

In advance of your holiday

Book an in-person lateral flow (aka 'antigen') test OR order an unobserved lateral flow self-test from a government-approved provider (not the NHS).

Step 2

Take it.

The day before OR on the day you join the ship

Take your test at any time the day before OR on the day of embarkation. If self-testing, you’ll be asked to upload a photo of your test. Results are received from within a few minutes up to a couple of hours. (TOP TIP: if you don’t see an email from your testing provider in your inbox with your results, try checking your email junk folder).

Step 3

Show it.

At the terminal or airport

Show your negative antigen test result at the airport or cruise terminal, often referred to as a ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate. Print out and bring the original certificate OR show your email result or digital on-screen proof (via your test app).


... and relax!

To help, we’ve listed a few self-test suppliers below (subject to availability):

Express Test:

Alternatively, here’s a couple of in-person testing suppliers based in Southampton (subject to availability):

Express Test: Southampton Eastleigh drive through antigen lateral flow
The Regenerative Clinic: Southampton COVID-19 testing

Please note: the testing provider may ask you for information such as name and date of birth. This usually only takes a few minutes. It is your responsibility to check with your chosen testing provider that they can complete the test and/or issue a certificate in good time.


Our vaccination and testing policy is reviewed on a regular basis as the global situation continues to evolve. The vaccination and testing policy may be changed or enhanced for specific cruises at any time. In this instance, impacted guests will be contacted directly. At the time of travel, some ports may stipulate specific vaccine or testing policies for guests going ashore that differ from this policy.

Holiday checklists


Online check-in

In the days before your holiday, you can check-in online – meaning you can start your holiday quicker! Once checked in, you’ll need to print your boarding pass, luggage labels and e-tickets. To complete online check-in at My P&O Cruises you’ll need:

  • Your booking reference
  • Passport details
  • Passport-style photos for each guest
  • Payment card

Are your details up to date?

Please make sure that your personal details (in particular your address) are up to date on My P&O Cruises. Your address is important as, should another member of your group who lives at a separate address be denied boarding due to failing the Health Declaration or obtaining a positive COVID-19 test, you’ll still be permitted to board if it‘s confirmed you don’t live together.

Linked bookings

Are you travelling with friends and family on a different booking? Link your bookings that way if one member of your group tests positive for COVID-19 and is unable to board, you’re also able to opt to cancel your booking. You’ll receive a non-refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for the value of the cruise. Please note that this FCC is not ABTA or ATOL protected until a new booking is made. We’ll also automatically refund any pre-cruise purchases made via My P&O Cruises. 

To link your bookings, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 0344 338 8003 (local call charges apply) or speak to your travel agent. If you booked your cruise as part of a wider holiday package, please contact your travel provider for information relating to their policies.

Travel insurance

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 cover for emergency evacuations and medical expenses related to COVID-19. Your policy must also include cover for repatriation, cancellation and curtailment and full cover for any and all pre-existing medical conditions worldwide, or as a minimum, in the countries you’re due to visit.

You’ll be asked to confirm you have travel insurance at the terminal/airport and you may need to provide proof of your policy. It’s your responsibility to have appropriate cover in place. Unfortunately, you will be denied boarding at your own expense if you don’t arrange 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 here.

Health Declaration

You must complete a Health Declaration 1-3 days before your holiday. You can do this via My P&O Cruises. It’s quick and easy to complete and asks a few simple questions such as, ‘have you shown symptoms of COVID-19 during the last 14 days?’ (you don’t need to have your full medical history to hand!). You must complete a Health Declaration for all under 18s travelling with you and you’ll be asked to complete it again at the terminal/airport.

How to keep healthy before your holiday

To limit your chances of becoming unwell, we recommend you take the following precautionary measures:

  • Have close interactions only with people you’re travelling with
  • Keep a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) from others when in public
  • Wear a face mask while in public and during travel
  • Avoid contact with anyone you know who’s unwell and their close contacts
  • Avoid places which may be crowded such as gatherings, indoor public areas and public transport
  • Wash your hands often or use a hand sanitiser when hand washing facilities aren’t available
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or bent elbow and not into your hands. Throw used tissues in the bin and wash your hands afterwards
  • If you’re travelling to the ship with others outside of your group, such as by coach or train, wear a face mask and socially distance.

If you experience a high temperature, a new continuous cough, shortness of breath or a new loss of taste/smell within 14 days before your cruise, please call our Customer Contact Centre on 0344 338 8003 (local call charges apply).

Pre-book the things you’re most looking forward to

We recommend you book on-board activities, such as the theatre, ahead of time. On My P&O Cruises, you can book your seat in a venue, a spa treatment, shore experiences (where applicable), drinks packages (where applicable) and more. Log into My P&O Cruises now and line up some treats for your holiday.

Things to pack 

On top of the usual holiday packing – flip flops, book, something a little special for the black tie Celebration Night – make sure you bring your face masks and hand sanitiser. You’ll also find self-serve launderettes as well as a chargeable laundry service on board, so you can always refresh your wardrobe during your holiday. Or pack more than enough outfits thanks to our limitless luggage allowance on holidays departing from Southampton.

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2. At the terminal

Terminal Checklist

  • Passport
  • Boarding pass or travel documents
  • Evidence of COVID-19 vaccination status (up-to-date NHS COVID-19 Pass or valid vaccination certificates issued by your local health authority). The record card that is given out at the time of vaccination will not be accepted
  • Evidence of valid travel insurance
  • Negative lateral flow/antigen test certificate for all guests aged five years and above unless otherwise communicated


At your ship’s terminal

You’ll head into your ship’s terminal to reconfirm your Health Declaration. You also may be asked to provide evidence of your travel insurance at this point. Your passport will be validated and you’ll be guided through the embarkation process. Peninsular Club priority check-in will be available for Caribbean, Baltic and Ligurian guests but the Loyalty hospitality lounge won’t be open as we want guests to go through the terminal as efficiently as possible.

After final security checks, you’ll board your ship where your holiday can begin! Please have your boarding pass ready to scan when boarding the ship.

We’re aware of the new NHS guidance for close contacts which states there’s no longer a need to self-isolate if you’ve completed your vaccination course. However, the framework of approved protocols for cruise ships differs slightly to that on land and the health and well-being of all guests and crew is our priority. Therefore, if you’re identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days prior to boarding, you unfortunately will not be able to travel. So that you’ve the opportunity to travel at a later date, you’ll receive a non-refundable FCC to the value of the cruise. This FCC is not ABTA or ATOL protected until a new booking is made. We’ll automatically refund any pre-cruise purchases made through My P&O Cruises.

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3. At the airport


For guests travelling on a Mediterranean fly-cruise


Airport checklist

Please bring the following items with you when you arrive at the airport to fly to Malta:

  • Passport
  • Ship e-ticket downloaded from My P&O Cruises
  • Evidence of COVID-19 vaccination status (up-to-date NHS COVID-19 Pass or valid vaccination certificates issued by your local health authority). The record card that is given out at the time of vaccination will not be accepted
  • Negative lateral flow/antigen test certificate for all guests aged five years and above
  • Negative PCR test certificate for unvaccinated children aged between five and 11 years old
  • Evidence of valid travel insurance

We’d suggest printing out all necessary documentation. Failure to have the above items with you may result in denial of boarding.

Please note, whether you're on a scheduled flight or a charter flight to Malta, all guests must collect their luggage from the Malta airport baggage hall.

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4. Your experience on board

Once on board, you’ll find everything that makes a P&O Cruises holiday… friendly service, I-want-it-all menus, pools and spas, buzzing atriums, theatres and live music, endless ocean views and swoon-worthy destinations waiting to be explored. But don’t just take our word for it, see what some of our guests are saying about being back on board

Keeping you healthy during your holiday

Mask wearing – We recommend that guests wear masks on board, but they’re only required in the medical centre. Some destinations may also require you to wear masks when ashore and we recommend taking one with you whenever you disembark the ship.

Hand washing – Thorough hand washing and regular sanitising is encouraged throughout your holiday.

Reporting COVID-19 symptoms – All our ships have 24/7 medical centres staffed by experienced doctors and nurses to help support your health needs. Please report any COVID-19 symptoms to the medical team straight away.

Our protocols are subject to change, and may do so on your cruise, as we continue to work with our experts and with government bodies across all the destinations we visit to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice.  You’ll find the latest information on these pages, and if you’ve booked we’ll let you know of any changes before your cruise.

Muster drills

Upon embarkation, one of our friendly crew members will be able to help direct you to your muster station. You’ll have your boarding pass scanned and can familiarise yourself with your muster station, ensuring you know where you need to go in the event of an emergency. When you arrive at your cabin, we ask that you watch our safety video that will be showing on your in-cabin TV. This includes important health, well-being and safety information as well as the actions you would need to take in the unlikely event of an emergency, including a life jacket demonstration. Once this is done, you can relax, explore and enjoy everything your ship has to offer.

Facilities and venues that won’t be available

Important information about the children’s club
The current and extraordinary impact of COVID-19 in the UK, in the wider hospitality, service and airline industry as a whole has resulted in a temporary disruption to crew members available to join our ships. Therefore, we are currently operating a reduced service in our children’s club.

As numbers are limited, we recommend registering on My P&O Cruises before your holiday to avoid disappointment. Registration is available here from 15 days before your holiday.

Children will be allocated a cohort with dedicated sessions throughout your holiday (session availability and length may vary).

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to offer our usual night nursery. For those attending the day nursery (children aged 6 months to 2 years) and for Splashers aged 2-4, a parent, adult family member or guardian is required to stay and supervise to ensure enhanced well-being and hygiene measures are followed.

On-board photography
With a smartphone, everyone’s a photographer these days! Make sure you brush up on your selfie skills and bring your camera; we won’t have professional photographers on board for the time being.

Holiday your way with My Holiday

We’re excited to introduce our brand-new digital pocket planner, My Holiday. You can access it once on board free of charge using the ship’s Wi-Fi on your mobile phone or tablet, and you’ll have the power to personalise your experience from the comfort of your cabin, sun lounger, wherever! Want to book a seat for a show? View your on-board account summary? Make a dining reservation? You can browse the restaurants and make bookings for your entire holiday. For restaurants that allow walk-ins or offer Freedom dining, you typically go to the restaurant and queue for a table; but with My Holiday, you can join the queue from anywhere on the ship and only head to the restaurant when your table is ready. It’s never been easier to holiday your way…

If you don’t have your own device and can’t use My Holiday, we do have a My Holiday desk on board where we can assist. You’ll find details of how to contact the My Holiday desk when you’re on board.

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5. Going ashore

You can explore each intriguing destination either through a shore experience or independently.

It’s your responsibility when travelling from the Common Travel Area to adhere to the local travel restrictions that apply when travelling in and out of England for departures from Southampton. If you embark the ship at a port outside of the UK, it’s your responsibility to meet all entry requirements for that country at the time of sailing. We can’t accept responsibility if you’re denied entry to a country because you don’t meet its entry requirements.

During your holiday, destinations and venues ashore on your itinerary may have various documentation requirements. You’re responsible for meeting the entry requirements of each destination and any venues you may visit ashore, regardless of whether you’ve booked a P&O Cruises shore experience or are exploring independently. Please retain your proof of vaccination status throughout your holiday and keep this to hand when going ashore in case it is required.

If tests are needed to go ashore on your holiday, we can organise this on board. Tests are available to purchase - £18 per antigen test and £25 per PCR test. 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. All requirements are subject to change.

Countries requiring a Passenger Locator Form

All guests flying into Barbados must provide evidence of completing the Barbados Immigration and Customs form here. The form will be available within 72 hours prior to travel. This will be checked at the airport before boarding your flight. We’ve put together a handy guide on how to fill this out here.

All guests must complete the Belgium passenger locator form here prior to sailing. Whether you plan to stay on board or explore ashore in Belgium, guests must have a copy of this document when boarding in Southampton. We’ve put together a handy guide on how to fill this out here.

Before sailing into Canada, guests must create a profile and upload required documentation to ArriveCAN, Canada’s entry requirements programme. ArriveCAN is available as an app for iOS and Android, or you can also submit your information online at We strongly recommend guests create their ArriveCAN account prior to travel. You will be required to log into your profile within 72 hours prior to arrival into Canada to create a submission that you are entering the country. More information is available here.

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6. Returning home

We’d like to remind you that it's important to stay up to date with the latest travel requirements relating to all aspects of your holiday. It is your responsibility to organise and complete all documentation and testing requirements, therefore please ensure you are aware of, and compliant with, the latest government guidance for travelling. This includes travel to your port of embarkation and your return home. The guidance may change with little warning. For the latest government guidance click here.

We can’t wait to welcome you on board

We know there’s a lot to take in but we’ll make sure every step is plain sailing. These reassuring changes ensure we can bring you a wonderful P&O Cruises holiday while protecting the well-being of everyone on board. When you see the crew, settle into your cabin and head to the deck to gaze out over the shimmering waters, you’ll quickly settle back into holiday mode. We can’t wait to see you.

We are constantly reviewing the guidance and will regularly update our website with any changes. Please visit this page to make sure you’re up to date with the very latest information.

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