travel requirements for dubai, abu dhabi & qatar cruises

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

BEFORE YOUR CRUISE

It’s every guest’s responsibility to verify the travel requirements before the cruise departure. MSC Cruises has worked with the authorities in all of the regions and countries in which the ships operate to ensure its protocol meets and exceed the required health and safety measures. The below details are subject to change. 

COVID 19: MEASURES TO EMBARK

Before booking your cruise, please check HERE if you are allowed to embark according to your country of residence. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there might be international travel restrictions depending on your cruise destination and your country of residence.

For current sailings and until further notice, please note that all Guests will need to follow all of these requirements to be allowed on board: 

 

  • All Guests (2 years old and over) need to provide a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before embarkation. A mandatory COVID-19 test is organized at the airport (free of charge with a cruise ticket) upon arrival. This mandatory test does not replace the one needed to enter in the U.A.E and it is required to embark on the ship/cruise. All Guests who do not take this test at the airport will be required to take the COVID 19 PCR test at the port at a cost of 42 USD per person (organized by a private clinic). Upon testing either at the airport or at the port, all Guests will be provided with a sticker to be shown at the ship’s check-in counter. All Guests tested at the airport/port are authorized to board the ship while they are waiting for their results, which will be notified via an SMS on their mobile phone.
  • All Guests (12 years old and over) have to be fully vaccinated Guests are considered fully vaccinated if they received the full set of vaccine shots more than 14 days before the start of the cruise with an approved Covid-19 vaccine including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson; Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Covishield , Sinovac. A “mix-and-match” combination of the above list of vaccines is accepted.

To note: Guests that recovered from Covid-19 and received only one shot of vaccine are not considered as fully vaccinatedSputnik/Sinopharm/Sinovac are conditionally approved vaccines in Qatar. Guests with two shots of a conditionally certified vaccine must carry a serology antibody test with a positive result upon arrival to Qatar;  without the antibody test they won’t be allowed to embark or go ashore. People who have received two doses of a conditionally approved vaccine followed by one dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and after 14 days from the last dose will be considered fully immune (no need to show the Serelogy Antibody).

The original test and vaccination certificate must be presented at the terminal (paper or electronic format) and must be in English. The COVID 19 test certificate must contain: guest’s personal data (verifiable with the other travel documents), date of the test, identification / contact details of the centre that performed the analysis, technique used and negative test result.


OTHER TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

Before booking your cruise, please check HERE if you are allowed to embark according to your country of residence. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there might be international travel restrictions depending on your cruise destination and your country of residence.

 

Guests’ passports need to have a minimum of 6 months validity at the time of travel.

FOR GUESTS EMBARKING IN ABU DHABI: Effective from December 30, vaccinated people entering Abu Dhabi will need to show green status on the Al Hosn app : https://alhosnapp.ae/en/home/

A COVID-19 test is required to fly to the U.A.E.
QATAR: Travellers must register online in the Ehteraz website before entering the country. All Guests going ashore must register in the Ehteraz website

Guests will receive a confirmation through email which will be checked by the port authorities upon arrival. Guests will need to upload a copy of their passport and copy of their vaccine (if they are vaccinated with the conditionally approved vaccines, they will need to upload the anti-body test result). Registration can be done 72 hours before arrival. Guests will only be able to go ashore in Qatar if they are taking part in an organized MSC Shore Excursion.

 

Guests who have booked an MSC organized tour need to register in the Ehteraz website. In addition, they should carry their certificate of vaccination and their cruise card.

 

Guests who will disembark in Qatar are required to download the Ehteraz App. The app can be downloaded at any time but it can only be activated once Guests arrive in Doha. In addition, Guests need to provide a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or a negative antigen test taken within 24h prior to the arrival and their cruise card.

 

Other requirements such as a or Passenger locator form (PLF) may still be necessary for national or international mobility requirement: it’s every guest’s responsibility to verify this requirement before departure. For more information, it is recommended to check your country’s competent authorities official channels.

To ensure peace of mind, MSC Cruises requires all guests to have a specific and mandatory Covid-19 insurance policy to embark, covering against COVID-19 related risks, i.e cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization. 

You can see the policy benefits available here to see if they are of interest and benefit for you. A proof of the specific COVID-19 coverage insurance policy - which must be in one of the following languages English, Italian, German, French or Spanish - must be presented at embarkation or boarding will be denied.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EMBARKATION

HEALTH SCREENINGS & EMBARKATION CHECKLIST

As per our stringent MSC Health & Safety protocol, all guests both vaccinated and unvaccinated, will need to undergo some Health and COVID 19 screenings, including a health questionnaire and a contactless temperature check, at the terminal before boarding.  

For a seamless embarkation process, please make sure to review our Health & safety measures in place in our terminals and to bring: 

 

  • A printed copy of your embarkation form (available in your cruise ticket)
  • A printed copy of your mandatory health questionnaire duly completed and signed within 6 hours prior to the embarkation (available in your cruise ticket)
  • The original COVID 19 test and vaccination certificate (paper or electronic format)
  • A proof of COVID-19 insurance clearly showing the COVID-19 risks coverage
  • A valid identity document
 
We will deny boarding in case of:

 

  • Symptoms i.e fever (>37.5 C / 99.5 F), cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle/body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat and loss of taste/smell in the 14 days prior to embarkation
  • Potential exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID 19 in the 14 days prior to embarkation
  • Temporary travel restrictions based on local circumstances. For example, certain countries may deny visas or prohibit entry based on travel history or nationality.
  • Failure to provide the proof of the mandatory COVID-19 insurance policy (which must be in one fo the following languages: English, Italian, German, French or Spanish)

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOING

ashore & travelling back home

GOING ASHORE & TRAVELLING BACK HOME

A COVID-19 test or Passenger locator form (PLF) may still be necessary for national or international mobility requirement: it’s every guest’s responsibility to verify this requirement before departure. For more information, it is recommended to check your country’s competent authorities official channels.

Discover in protected excursions: To go ashore during the cruise, MSC Cruises highly recommends to participate in one of or MSC Shore Excursions to ensure the same high standards of health and safety ashore as on board. Guests who are fully vaccinated may be able to go ashore independently and will need to follow the requirements of going ashore according to the countries they will visit. Not all destinations allow independent disembarkation and it may depend on the traveller’s vaccination status. Those Guests who are not fully vaccinated or who have unvaccinated children in their travelling party, will need to go ashore with an MSC Excursion to discover in a protected excursion. More information in the FAQ section.


For itineraries calling in Qatar:

 

Guests who have booked an MSC organized tour need to register in the Ehteraz website. In addition, they should carry their certificate of vaccination and their cruise card. Guests will only be able to go ashore in Qatar if they are taking part in an organized MSC Shore Excursion.

 

 

 

 

 

Guests who will disembark in Qatar are required to download the Ehteraz App. The app can be downloaded at any time but it can only be activated once Guests arrive in Doha. In addition, Guests need to provide a certificate of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or a negative antigen test taken within 24h prior to the arrival and their cruise card.

 

Important information regarding the app Ehteraz (Qatar):

 

 

- The app is only required for those Guest who will disembark in Doha (Qatar)

- Guests can download and register in advance but the app can only be activated once in Qatar by getting Wi-Fi connection from and IP address in Qatar or when turning on the data roaming. If international SIM card is not working, Guests can purchase a local sim card available at the terminal at a cost of $24 to activate the Ehteraz app.

 

UK Residents returning to the UK from any cruise destinations must complete a passenger locator form (PLF) and book a PCR test to take on or before day 2 upon their return to the UK.

French residents returning from any country outside the European Community must show a certificate of a negative RT-PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival. The test can be completed on board at the cost of 80,00 Euros.

 

Italian authorities require all international Guests travelling to Italy to show proof of a negative antigen test taken within 24h prior to arrival in Italy or a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival in Italy.

Swiss passport holders and residents returning to Switzerland are required to show a certificate or a negative RT-PCR test and submit to additional testing between Day 4 and Day 7 upon returning to Switzerland. Guests are also obligated to notify the Authority of Health in their Canton. The test can be completed on board at the cost of 80,00 Euros.

 

To support Guests in complying with international mobility requirements, MSC Cruises has organized the possibility for its guests to purchase and perform a molecular test (i.e RT-PCR) or an antigen test during their cruise. More information in the FAQ section.