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Cruise companies deliver mixed vaccine bombshell for Canada and USA cruises

July 22, 2021 Cruise News, Headline News No Comments

According to Canadian cruise news The Cruisington Times, mixed type COVID-19 vaccinations may not qualify as fully vaccinated in North America.

While health officials in Canada and many other countries consider mixing vaccines acceptable, it appears so as to get as many people fully immunized as quickly as possible, mixed vaccinations may disqualify passengers from a cruise, it appears currently largely in North America.

The report adds that several lines have suddenly added wording to their fine print saying that having two shots of different types of vaccines do not qualify for sailing on ships designated for vaccinated travellers only.

On further research by Global Travel Media, this is what the Carnival Cruise Lines website says: –


For cruises departing the U.S., the CDC requires both vaccines in a 2-dose series to be of the same type.

They also accept mixing mRNA vaccines only (Pfizer and Moderna).

No other vaccine combination meets the criteria to be considered fully vaccinated.

So, for example, Canadian or other international guests who received a combination of AstraZeneca and Pfizer are considered unvaccinated by the CDC.

Guests who are not fully vaccinated, according to these criteria, will be considered unvaccinated and need to apply for a vaccination exemption.


In addition, this is what the Holland America website says:


Guests who have received one single dose of a vector vaccine (e.g. AstraZeneca) and one single dose of a mRNA vaccine (e.g. Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna) will not be considered fully vaccinated.

Guests who have received two single doses of mixed vaccines that are the same type (e.g., both are mRNA) will be considered fully vaccinated and will be permitted to sail, so long as the final dose is received at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise.


Princess Cruises’ website says:


Guests who have received one single dose of a vector vaccine (e.g. AstraZeneca) and one single dose of a mRNA vaccine (e.g. Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna) will not be considered fully vaccinated.

Guests who have received two single doses of mixed vaccines that are the same type (e.g., mRNA) will be considered fully vaccinated and will be permitted to sail, so long as the final dose is received at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise.


Norwegian Cruise Line, which includes Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas says:


For ships embarking or disembarking at US ports, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or World Health Organisation (WHO) authorised single brand vaccination protocol will be accepted, including, J&J Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford.

Mixed vaccination protocol will not be accepted (i.e. Pfizer + Moderna or AstraZeneca + Pfizer, etc).————————————————————

Further research shows that a Royal Caribbean blog in the USA says:


“Over the weekend, Royal Caribbean had joined other cruise lines in adding language to its vaccination policy saying it would not accept mixed vaccines as being fully vaccinated”.

On Jul 17 Royal Caribbean’s policy said that mixed vaccines protocols were not considered to be fully vaccinated, that is:-

This would mean someone who took 1 dose Pfizer + 1 dose Moderna, or 1 dose AstraZeneca + 1 dose Pfizer, etc they would be considered unvaccinated and would not be allowed to cruise

As of July 19, that policy had been removed with no mention at all of the mixed vaccines.


The Cruisington Times report also says that the practice of mixing vaccines is prevalent in countries like Canada or Germany, where those governments have been openly advocating this approach for months, with the new policy potentially resulting in many North Americans unable to sail.

The report also says this is of particular concern to Canadians, where the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has urged people to take what’s available to get fully vaxxed, even if it means mixing types and since June, provinces have been advised that a first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine can be followed by either Moderna or Pfizer.

In addition, Canadians who have had a first dose of Moderna or Pfizer, Canada’s NACI recommends they can now take either of the two shots as a second dose — because they both use a similar mRNA technology.

The ruling follows research in Spain and the United Kingdom, which do allow mixing shots, the research finding having one each of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines is both safe and effective at preventing COVID-19,

However, the cruise lines are also following World Health Organization advice from a mid-July conference that advises against mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines from different manufacturers, which follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advice that not enough is known about mixing doses and it is not recommended.

The report says that as a result, passengers may have to scramble to get on cruises they’ve booked. Princess Cruises told the website Cruise.blog that if passengers can’t get a third shot two weeks or longer before their sail date, they should request a medical exemption and, if space allows, sail as an unvaccinated guest and follow protocols for unvaccinated passengers, such as extra COVID tests and mandatory travel insurance.

There may be some alternatives, with Norwegian Cruise Line clarifying that its policy applies only to cruises from U.S. ports, adding, “All other vessels departing from a non-US port will accept any U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized single brand vaccination protocol. Or a mixed vaccination protocol of only AstraZeneca-SK Bio, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna combinations.”  It is not known if mixed vaccination protocol will apply to Australia

We will keep you appraised

A report by John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor Global Travel Media and Global Cruise News.

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