Cruise Ship Color Status
CDC is committed to helping cruise lines provide for the safety and well-being of their crew members while onboard cruise ships. CDC fully supports the efforts of cruise ship operators to vaccinate their crew. CDC implemented the COVID-19 color-coding system for cruise ships to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 onboard. Onboard preventive measures are recommended or required based on ship color status. A cruise ship’s color status is determined based on the criteria below.
All cruise ships operating in U.S. waters, or seeking to operate in U.S. waters, must comply with all of the requirements under the CDC Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) and Technical Instructions even when outside U.S. waters.
The CSO was written as a phased approach to take into account the evolving state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and worldwide. For an infographic on the phased approach, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/pdf/CSO-Phased-Approach-Infographic-p.pdf.
Eligibility for Ship Color Status
Ships are eligible for color status based on the following:
- Established a COVID-19 complete and accurate COVID-19 response plan.
- This does not mean ships are allowed to resume passenger operations, but rather that they have met CDC’s requirements to provide adequate health and safety protections for crew members.
- Cruise company officials must sign an acknowledgment of the completeness and accuracy of their response plan.
- Submission of the daily Enhanced Data Collection (EDC) form. Ships currently outside of U.S. waters and not operating under the CSO should submit the EDC form for the 28 days preceding the cruise ship’s expected arrival in U.S. waters.
Criteria for Ship Color Status
Ship color status is contingent on daily submission of the EDC form and is determined based on whether:
- There are confirmed cases of COVID-19 or COVID-19-like illness  for 14 days, as determined by a qualified medical professional.
- The ship has received ship-to-ship transfers from a ship that meets the “Red” criteria within the 14 days before the transfer occurred.
- Land-based crew were not immediately quarantined upon embarking the ship.
- Confirmed COVID-19 means laboratory confirmation for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, by viral test.
- COVID-19-like illness includes acute respiratory illness (ARI), influenza-like illness (ILI), or diagnosis of pneumonia, and additional COVID-19-like illness (aCLI) clinical criteria.
Status of COVID-19 Response Plans and Cruise Ship Color Status
As a condition of receiving permission to operate in U.S. waters, cruise ship operators must have a complete and accurate response plan that provides adequate health and safety protections for crew members to work and disembark during the initial phases of the CSO. CDC has provided feedback regarding all the response plans that have been submitted and is working with cruise ship operators to ensure they are implementing the safeguards outlined in their plans.
The following table lists cruise ships operating or planning to operate in U.S. waters during the initial phases of the CSO and have met surveillance reporting requirements.
Determination for color-coding status and ability to operate in U.S. waters (Green, Yellow, Orange, or Red) can only be made for ships if the following are true:
- CDC has finished the review of the cruise line’s plan.
- Cruise line has returned an acknowledgement attesting that their No Sail Order response plan is complete and accurate.
- Ship has submitted at least 4 weeks of surveillance data to CDC in accordance with the Technical Instructions.
This table is updated several times a week, as needed. Last updated June 22, 2021 with EDC data submitted June 21, 2021
|Parent Company||Cruise Line||No Sail Order Response Plan Status||Ship Name||Ship Status|
|Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line||Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||Grand Classica||Orange|
|Carnival Corporation||Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc.||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||Carnival Breeze||Orange|
|Carnival Mardi Gras||Orange|
|Holland America Line||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||Koningsdam||Orange|
|Princess Cruises||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||Caribbean Princess||Green|
|Walt Disney Company||Disney Cruise Line||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||Disney Dream||Orange|
|MSC Cruise Management (UK) Limited||MSC Cruises||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||MSC Armonia||Orange|
|Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings||Norwegian Cruise Line||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||Norwegian Gem||Orange|
|Pride of America||Green|
|Oceania||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||Insignia||Green|
|Royal Caribbean Group||Celebrity Cruises||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||Celebrity Edge||Red|
|Royal Caribbean International||Complete and accurate with signed acknowledgement||Allure of the Seas||Orange|
|Brilliance of the Seas||Green|
|Enchantment of the Seas||Green|
|Explorer of the Seas||Orange|
|Freedom of the Seas||Orange|
|Independence of the Seas||Orange|
|Liberty of the Seas||Green|
|Mariner of the Seas||Orange|
|Oasis of the Seas||Green|
|Odyssey of the Seas||Red|
|Ovation of the Seas||Green|
|Rhapsody of the Seas||Green|
|Serenade of the Seas||Orange|
|Symphony of the Seas||Green|
|Vision of the Seas||Green|
Does CDC allow commercial travel of crew members?
Yes, now that cruise ships have established routine testing protocols based on color status for crew and are working towards vaccinating crew members, CDC is allowing commercial travel of crew regardless of the ship’s color code status.
Do cruise ships have any restrictions for who can travel commercially?
Yes, cruise ships have restrictions for who can travel commercially. The following stipulations apply for commercial travel:
- Crew members who test positive for COVID-19 cannot travel commercially until they have fully recovered from COVID-19 based on CDC criteria for discontinuing isolation.
- Use of commercial transportation by crew members who have recovered from COVID-19 and met criteria for release from isolation according to CDC guidance.
- Crew members with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 cannot travel commercially until COVID-19 has been ruled out.
- Crew members who are identified as close contacts:
- If fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, commercial travel is permitted and there is no requirement for quarantine or testing.
- If not fully vaccinated and did not recover from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, commercial travel is not permitted until quarantine and testing requirements are completed.
Why is CDC requiring ships to routinely test all crew members during the phases of the CSO, including those on “Green” ships?
The purpose of testing during the phases of the CSO is to ensure cruise ship operators have adequate health and safety protections for crew members while they build the onboard laboratory capacity needed to test crew and future passengers. There also continue to be potential exposures on board — including on “Green” ships — such as from newly embarking crew members, crew transfers, and contractors.
What does it mean if a cruise line or cruise ship is not listed on the table above?
If a cruise line or cruise ship is not listed, it means one of the following:
- CDC has not been notified that the ship is intending to operate in U.S. waters during the period of the CSO, or
- CDC has not completed the review of the cruise line’s plan, or
- Cruise line has not returned an acknowledgement attesting that their No Sail Order response plan is complete and accurate, or
- Ship has not submitted at least 4 weeks of surveillance data to CDC in accordance with the Technical Instructions.