Travelers Returning from Cruise Ship and River Cruise Voyages

Travelers Returning from Cruise Ship and River Cruise Voyages
How CDC is helping cruise ship travelers

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

On October 30, 2020, CDC issued a Framework for Conditional Sailing Order for cruise ships operating or seeking to operate in U.S. waters.

CDC recommends that all people avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide. That’s because the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is high since the virus appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships. It is especially important that people with an increased risk of severe illness defer travel on cruise ships, including river cruises. CDC has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for cruise ship travel.

Passengers who decide to travel should take the following steps to protect others after their return from a cruise ship or river cruise voyage:

  • Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 14 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Follow state and local recommendations or requirements after you return from travel

What to do if you get sick after travel

If you get sick with fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19:

  • You might have COVID-19. If you do, know that most people are able to recover at home without medical care.
  • Stay home and take other precautions. Avoid contact with others until it’s safe for you to end home isolation.
  • Don’t travel when you are sick or if you have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room and let them know you might have COVID-19.
  • If you have an emergency warning sign (such as trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately.
  • If you live in close quarters with others, take additional precautions to protect them.
If you are returning to an international port or disembarking an international river cruise
  • Your return travel plans may be impacted. Foreign health officials may implement formal quarantine procedures if they identify a case of COVID-19 aboard your cruise ship.
  • If you travel on a cruise ship or river cruise and disembark in a foreign port, you might not be able to receive appropriate medical care or be medically evacuated if you get sick.
  • Some countries might refuse to dock your ship or allow passengers to disembark.