The highest hygiene standards

The protection and health of guests and crew always have top priority for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. In cooperation with experts and the relevant authorities, we have developed a prevention and hygiene concept for the resumption of cruise operations, the measures of which allow for a safe and comfortable cruise on board and meet or often exceed the hygiene standards recommended for cruises as well as those applicable in Germany or in the destinations with regard to Covid-19. The concept is continuously updated and adapted to the current situation and findings. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is looking forward to gradually welcoming passengers without Covid-19 vaccination certificates again from May 2023 onwards.

Health questionnaire for all cruises

Our health questionnaire for all cruises can be downloaded as a PDF here.

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Basic hygiene and prevention measures

Travelling with Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has always meant enjoying the luxury of spacious interiors with few fellow travellers on board the small luxury and expedition ships. Our spacious outside cabins, a high proportion of which have balconies, provide private places to retreat to. A crew-to-passenger ratio of almost 1:1 guarantees personal and particularly attentive service. 

Our cruise prices include a cancellation fee insurance from ERGO Reiseversicherung AG. The insurance cannot be deducted from the cruise price and is an integral part of the booking. The excess is 20 % of the refundable loss, but no less than € 25 per person.

Note: The cancellation fee insurance included in the cruise price does not provide Covid-19 cover. Therefore, the cancellation fee insurance should be supplemented with additional Covid-19 cover up to 30 days prior to the start of the cruise, as illness due to a Covid-19 infection is otherwise not insured. We offer two multi-cover protection packages from ERGO Reiseversicherung AG for travellers resident in the European Economic Area (EEA), which should be extended to include the supplementary Covid-19 cover. Please refer to the additional information provided here https://www.hl-cruises.com/cruise-with-us/faqs/planning-your-cruise in the section on insurance.

The safety and health of our guests, partners and crew members is always our top priority. The strictest hygiene regulations and continuous controls have always been a matter of course on board all Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ships. The medical provision and equipment in the hospitals on board corresponds to the highest cruise ship standards. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been working with experts and the relevant authorities to draw up a safety and prevention policy and have supplemented existing plans. The measures in the policy ensure a safe, comfortable cruise on board while meeting the strictest hygiene standards.

Mandatory action prior to departure: Health questionnaire and Covid-19 test

In order to embark, you must have these things alongside the usual documents and identification:

  • Completed health questionnaire: there will be an extensive health questionnaire prior to departure which you must bring with you when you embark.
  • A machine-readable vaccination certificate (e.g. the EU Digital COVID Certificate) and the international WHO vaccination passport showing that you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.  
  • Negative Covid-19 test results obtained within predetermined time frames. Country-specific regulations to take a test may apply.
  • For our cruises to far-flung destinations as of autumn 2022, the following additionally applies: Due to local requirements and infrastructure, a second negative Covid-19 test is mandatory for all passengers aged 4 and older. This rapid antigen test is carried out free of charge for our guests during embarkation or at the Welcome Point.
  • Guests will receive more detailed information about the testing strategy for their cruise along with their travel documents.

Please note:
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will gradually waive the requirement for Covid-19 vaccination proof from May 2023 onwards. As soon as the fleet leaves the remote regions of the world and returns to European waters, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will gradually further adapt its Covid-19 measures. Proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test result will then no longer be mandatory for travel, unless otherwise required by local authorities. Even though a vaccination against Covid-19 is not mandatory to embark on the cruise, it is recommended as well as carrying out an independent rapid antigen test – in your own interest and in the interest of all other passengers.

Measures during embarkation and disembarkation

If they are making their own arrangements to arrive by train or plane, we urge all guests to check the specific regulations regarding face masks or a negative Covid-19 test result, for example, before starting their journey.

Before guests can embark, they must first present the necessary negative Covid-19 test results and proof of vaccination for the cruise in question. Guests must also submit a health questionnaire which will be checked by the medical staff who may make enquiries if necessary. In some countries, guests are required to undergo a contact-free body temperature measurement due to local regulations. Please also note the updated information on measures prior to the start of the cruise, which will apply from May 2023.

The cruise department will assign time slots to guests in good time prior to disembarkation.

Life on board with the hygiene and prevention measures

Guests are not required to wear a mask in the outdoor and indoor areas, meaning they can enjoy their cruise without any restrictions. Depending on the route, there may be changes or deviations due to local regulations. Visits to the bridge on board the ship are an exception; face masks must be worn here.

Travelling when fully vaccinated 

Until May 2023, full vaccination protection against Covid-19 will be a requirement for guests (currently 12 years and older) and crew members alike for traveling on board the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet.

For all persons over the age of 12, a booster vaccination is a prerequisite for travel, provided that the basic immunization against Covid-19 was more than 3 months ago. (Different regulations may apply to individual cruises, about which we will inform the guests concerned in good time).

What proof of vaccination must each guest present?
Complete vaccination protection AND booster vaccination must be shown upon embarkation in the vaccination certificate and in the digital vaccination certificate. Please understand that failure to meet this requirement will lead to the termination of the cruise contract and embarkation will not be possible. Proof of recovery without additional proof of vaccination is not sufficient.

  1. Either: Their completed full vaccination/second vaccination was at least 14 full days and a maximum of 3 months ago at the time of embarkation. Then they do not need a booster vaccination to travel with us.
  2. Or: If this was more than 3 months ago, proof of a booster vaccination must be provided at the time of embarkation.
  3. The vaccines from BionTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson* and Novaxovid** are still approved.

* Please note: Guests who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine now also need second vaccination in order to go on a cruise with us, namely with an mRNA vaccine (Moderna, BionTech/Pfizer), no older than maximum 3 months at the time of embarkation. If the second vaccination was more than 3 months ago, a further booster vaccination with an mRNA vaccine is necessary.
** The vaccine Nuvaxovid from the manufacturer Novavax is currently not yet accepted by all destination countries. We recommend that guests who have been vaccinated with this vaccine contact Hapag-Lloyd Cruises before booking to ensure that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as part of our hygiene and prevention concept.ccination was more than 3 months ago, a further booster vaccination with an mRNA vaccine is necessary.

Until May 2023, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will offer all voyages exclusively to guests fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (applies to all guests 12 years of age or older at departure). For all persons over the age of 12, a booster vaccination is a prerequisite for travel, provided that the basic immunization against Covid-19 was more than 3 months ago. (Different regulations may apply to individual cruises, about which we will inform the guests concerned in good time).

In view of the easing of restrictions in various countries, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is also adjusting its Covid-19 measures. From May 2023, proof of vaccination protection or a negative Covid-19 test result will thus no longer be required, provided the ships' cruising areas allow it. Should the testing and vaccination requirements for certain destinations differ due to local regulations, guests will receive the relevant information with their travel documents. According to the currently valid vaccination requirements, this affects cruises on the expedition ships HANSEATIC inspiration and HANSEATIC nature, which occasionally travel to the USA or Japan.

According to the current status, the changes will be implemented from the following cruises:

ShipDateCruise number 
HANSEATIC spiritMay 3, 2023  SPI2308
EUROPAMay 9, 2023  EUR2308*
EUROPA 2 May 11, 2023   EUX2309*
HANSEATIC inspiration July 6, 2023  INS2314*
HANSEATIC nature September 11, 2023   NAT2315

Even though a vaccination against Covid-19 is not mandatory to embark on the cruise, it is recommended as well as carrying out an independent rapid antigen test - in your own interest and in the interest of all other passengers.

*Due to local regulations, vaccination is currently mandatory for cruises EUR2321, EUR2322, EUX2326 - EUX2330, EUX2405 - EUX2409, INS2319 - INS2320, INS2419 - INS2420 and SPI2410 - SPI2413.

Our cruises have a prevention and hygiene policy which implements the relevant local and international rules for cruises that are valid at the time of the cruise and serves as the basis for approval of the planned route. In line with this concept, a negative Covid-19 test result and a corresponding certificate must be presented at embarkation until May 2023, in addition to the completed health questionnaire.

Depending on the cruising area, the regulations may vary or even change at short notice. They include test measures, age limits or stipulated time periods relating to vaccination, physical distancing rules and the wearing of masks in certain areas. Guests will be sent up-to-date information with their travel documents.

Measures to be taken in the case of a Covid-19 case on board

Qualified medical personnel are present on every cruise. Should a guest notice that they have symptoms of Covid-19 during the cruise, they should notify our medical personnel by phone immediately. If there is one or several confirmed cases of Covid-19 on board, a precisely defined procedure with specific measures will take effect. The top priority is always to prevent the further transmission of the virus on board. The patient will be isolated in a cabin and receive the appropriate care. In consultation with the local authorities and the infected person, quarantine takes place on board or ashore. Our service provider will provide local support and assist with the return trip to the patient’s home. 

Avoiding the potential spread of a disease is always the top priority. With that in mind, the measures to be taken, including quarantine, will be decided upon based on the circumstances, situation and proportionality. Depending on the position of the ship, the appropriate orders may be issued by the cruise company or in consultation with the responsible local authorities.

Passengers who do not show symptoms and have not had close contact with the isolated patient will not be isolated. Furthermore, in consultation with the local health authorities, measures analogous to the customary national processes for handling the virus will be discussed.

As long as the guest is not quarantined, and in coordination with the authorities responsible, this is possible. However, this does not give rise to any claim for reimbursement of the (proportional) cruise price.

If a case is suspected, the guest will first be quarantined on board. The ship’s doctor will carry out the appropriate test. If the test is positive, the guest will remain isolated in a cabin and receive the appropriate care. Our service provider MEDCON will provide local support and assist with the return trip to the patient’s home. The guest bears the costs. We recommend that you take out the appropriate additional insurance cover.