Cruise Ship Crew Member Disembarkations

CDC is allowing crew members to disembark from cruise ships in U.S. waters and return home if cruise lines submit a signed attestation stating that they have complied with requirements to safely disembark their crew members.

CDC shared information with all cruise lines in US waters on April 23, 2020, to help crew members return home safely. Since then, several cruise lines have requested to disembark crew through this process, and CDC stands ready to approve these requests with same-day turnaround. The list on this page provides the latest information on signed attestations that CDC has received from cruise lines and approved to safely disembark crew. This list is updated daily.

CDC helping cruise ship travelers

Learn what CDC is doing to help cruise ship travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Medical Disembarkations

The CDC will continue to support urgent medical evacuations of crew in U.S. waters and ports, either by air or land ambulance. Emergency medical evacuations should be coordinated with U.S. Coast Guard and the receiving medical facility and do not require CDC approval. CDC has notified all cruise lines as well as federal, state, and local partners that the No Sail Order of April 15 will not prevent crew members from receiving emergency medical care.

Frequently Asked Questions

By signing the attestation form, cruise ship operators agree to follow specific conditions that are designed to allow crew to safely disembark while protecting public health, including the following:

  • Arrange to transport crew members to their final destination (US or overseas) by industry-chartered private transport, industry-chartered private flights, or personal vehicles (no rental cars, taxis, or ride-share services) with measures in place to ensure neither those involved in transport nor other members of the public are exposed to the disembarking individuals.
  • Screen disembarking crew members for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Ensure crew members with known exposures to COVID-19 are transported separately from those with no known exposure.
  • Provide face coverings, such as a cloth face covering, to disembarking crew members or confirm that they have their own face coverings.
  • Instruct disembarking crew members to stay home for 14 days and continue to practice social distancing after reaching their final destination.
  • Ensure disembarking crew members:
    • will not stay overnight in a hotel before the flight or at any point until they reach their final destination
    • will not use public transportation (including taxis, rental cars or ride-share services) to get to the airport/charter flight
    • will not enter the public airport terminal
    • will not take commercial aircraft after an initial charter flight
    • will not have a transportation layover exceeding 8 hours
    • will not have interaction with the public during their travel home or to their new duty station (e.g., rental car companies, restaurants, other public areas)

Requiring a signed attestation helps ensure that the information provided by cruise officials as a condition of disembarking or transferring crew is truthful and accurate. By signing the legal attestation documents, cruise line officials certify that the information they provided to CDC is truthful and accurate. If the information is not truthful and accurate, these officials are subject to the criminal penalty provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. It is common to ask corporate officials in other settings to certify that statements made to the U.S. Government on behalf of the corporate entity are true and correct, such as in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing or when seeking payment reimbursement under Medicare.

CDC is using its legal authority under the No Sail Order and 42 CFR 71.31(b), 71.32(b) to stipulate specific conditions for the safe disembarkation of crew in a manner that will not endanger the public’s health. Having cruise lines sign a legal attestation is one method of ensuring that these conditions have been or will be met. CDC is not detaining crew who are U.S. citizens or preventing them from entering the United States. We are hopeful that more cruise lines will take the necessary steps to ensure that their crew members get home safely in a way that will not risk the health and safety of our communities.

At this time, given the limited availability of testing onboard ships and inconsistent reporting from cruise ships, CDC does not have confirmation or evidence that any cruise ship is free of COVID-19. We are currently in a phase of the pandemic where it is necessary to implement strict measures to control the spread of COVID-19. Just as the American public has a role to play by practicing social distancing, cruise lines have a role to play in limiting the contact their crew members have with the public when disembarking. This is why CDC has provided instructions for the safe disembarkation of crew in a manner that will not endanger the public’s health. We are hopeful that more cruise lines will take advantage of the opportunity to use the attestation process. Crew members who remain at sea and want to disembark should contact their cruise ship or cruise line about meeting CDC requirements for safe disembarkation and transport.

CDC requires cruise lines to sign an attestation form to verify that the information they provide to CDC is true and accurate. Legal penalties would only be applied if the cruise line knowingly submitted a false statement, which could pose further risk to the public’s health.

The sentence for this crime can include 5 years in federal prison and a fine.

CDC’s No Sail Order (NSO)external icon applies to all cruise ships operating, or seeking to operate, in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction.  CDC recommends that all cruise lines follow the same guidance for safe travel to protect the public’s health, including conducting a medical screening at disembarkation, providing face coverings, and advising crew members to stay home for 14 days after disembarking.

Cruise lines that are unable or unwilling to abide by all elements outlined in the NSO and CDC’s Interim Guidance for Cruise Ships During the Period of the No Sail Order must remain entirely outside U.S. waters during the period of the NSO. Cruise ships that expect to operate in U.S. waters in any capacity or for any length of time must follow all elements outlined in the NSO and in the Interim Guidance, even while outside of U.S. waters.

However, the NSO does not apply to ships operating entirely outside of U.S. waters.  Foreign jurisdictions may impose their own restrictions or requirements on cruise ships.

Cruise Ship Crew Member Disembarkations Approved by CDC (April 15, 2020 – Present)

Last updated on May 15, 2020

Cruise Ship Crew Member Disembarkations Approved by CDC (April 15, 2020 – Present)
Vessel Name Cruise line Parent Company Date Submitted Number of Crew Affected Country of Repatriation
Vessel Name Cruise line Parent Company Date Submitted Number of Crew Affected Country of Repatriation