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 put off travel on cruise ships, including river cruises. CDC has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for cruise ship travel.

CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Passengers who decide to travel should take the following steps to protect others from COVID-19 after disembarking from a cruise ship or river cruise voyage:

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation, including ships, traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

Get Tested and Stay Home After Travel

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 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 all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

Also, take these actions after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:

  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
  • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

What to do if you get sick after travel

If you have 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.
  • Do not 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
  • All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery before arriving in the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
  • Your return travel plans may be affected. 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.