Windstar to require passenger vaccinations

Windstar Cruises has become the latest line to require passengers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before sailing.

The company’s small ships are due to make a phased return to service in June with initial cruises operating at reduced capacity with some modified itineraries and enhanced health and safety protocols.

Crew members will be required to be vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them.

Windstar will “periodically review” this and all other Covid-19 policies for updates as the pandemic evolves.

Star Breeze is scheduled to be first to resume in the Caribbean on June 19 together with Wind Star in the Mediterranean.

Wind Spirit will return from Tahiti on July 15 followed by Wind Surf in the Med on August 8, Star Legend in northern Europe on September 4 and Star Pride in the Caribbean on November 3.

The line said: “At the cruise terminal prior to embarkation, guests will be required to provide proof of a completed current vaccine course – one or two shots, depending on the brand – finished at least 14 days prior to the guest’s embarkation date. Negative Covid-19 test results will also be required prior to embarkation.”

The decision was made “in the best health and wellness interests of its guests, crew, and the places the yachts visit”.

The US company added: “Many Windstar destinations and some airlines have announced or are considering vaccine mandates, providing further support for the new Windstar policy.”

Windstar president Christopher Prelong said: “Vaccination is another layer of safety for all of us, and it’s the responsible course of action as our yachts resume cruising and our guests travel the world.”

Chief executive Andrew Todd, also boss of parent company Xanterra Travel Collection, added: “Looking at the science behind the virus, we see consistent recommendations for wearing masks, social distancing, testing, and enhanced cleaning.

“In response, Windstar developed a new ‘Beyond Ordinary’ care programme, which is a multi-layered strategy with key hospital-grade elements.”

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