Virgin Voyages to remove pre-embarkation Covid testing

Virgin Voyages to remove pre-embarkation Covid testing

Passengers boarding Valiant Lady in Barcelona and Scarlet Lady in Miami no longer need a negative PCR test from end of July

Following the decision by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) decision to discontinue their voluntary Covid-19 programme for cruise ships, Virgin Voyages has responded by removing pre-embarkation testing from EU sailings and US sailings.

PCR test requirements will be dropped from 24 July on EU sailings and 27 July on US sailings.

Proof of vaccination remains a requirement for the majority of passengers sailing on both Valiant Lady and Scarlet Lady, however Virgin Voyages is currently evaluating this stance while announcing a new policy allowing 10% of passengers – or 'sailors', as the company calls them – to board without proof of vaccination. 

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For US sailings, passenger vaccination requirements will now be marked at 90%. This allows passengers who are not vaccinated to contact Virgin Voyages’ Sailor Services to book a sailing if these thresholds are met. Ship crew on all US and EU sailings will maintain their fully vaccinated status.


Certain measures implemented during the pandemic, including enhanced air purification systems and deep cleaning regular sanitisation will also be maintained. 

Virgin Voyages added that it will continue to work closely with the CDC to implement all required regulations. 

The Virgin Voyages announcement stated: “In line with the rest of the travel industry, and to create a more seamless travel experience for you, we’re updating our guidelines in tandem with the discontinuation of the CDC’s Voluntary Program for the Cruise Industry.

“As a result, we will no longer be requiring that Sailors test for COVID-19 in order to board both Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady — making your pre-voyage prep even breezier. We’re still requiring that the majority (90%) of Sailors be vaccinated, but we’re opening up our voyages for a limited number (10%) of unvaccinated Sailors to join us.

“Our Crew will remain fully vaccinated as they are now. As always, your safety is our first priority, so we will continue with our other protocols to keep you well while enjoying your relaxing vacation.”

Launched in 2019, Virgin Voyages' fleet of two cruise ships have offered a new style of adults-only cruising with the more typical buffets and set dining times replaced by a choice of more than 20 bars and restaurants with every venue included meaning 'all-inclusive' actually means just that. 

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