With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the subsequent variants, there’s a lot of pent-up demand for a return to normalcy, and many are wondering if we will ever return to pre-pandemic rules. Thankfully, things are starting to look promising.

These have been uncertain times. However, there’s no need to fear! With USA River Cruises, you can rest assured that our passengers and their safety are our No. 1 priority.

In 2021, over 800 of our cruises sailed with successful covid protocols in place. That translates to over 120,000 happy passengers. And, thanks to the hard work of our crews, not a single cruise was canceled due to Covid. What’s more, we are anticipating that we will do even better this year!

Here’s our take on what the cruising industry in 2022 will look like.

COVID-19: How it will affect your cruise vacation

The CDC has ended its Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) starting mid-January of 2022. This leaves the guidelines optional to enforce on a ship-by-ship basis. However, if your cruise line chooses to follow it, the Framework requires the following:

  • Cruise ship operators must screen passengers for symptoms of Covid-19, as well as any potential exposure during the 14 days prior to the trip.
  • If an unvaccinated person exhibits signs or symptoms of Covid (without documentation of recovery) the cruise line is required to deny them entry. However, if they are fully vaccinated, that decision is up to the cruise operator. Boarding is also under the cruise line’s discretion if the passenger can present documentation of recovery and their embarkation day test is negative.
  • Those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive can also be denied boarding if they are not fully vaccinated or do not have documentation of recovery. If the passenger is vaccinated or has documentation of recovery, operators may allow access as they see fit.

As defined by the CDC, documentation of recovery is a paper (or electronic) copy of a passenger’s previous viral test — no more than 90 days prior — and a signed letter with official letterhead from a licensed healthcare provider stating that the passenger is cleared to end isolation. If the documentation doesn’t follow these guidelines, the passenger will likely be denied.

In terms of mask-wearing regulations, the CDC is currently not requiring individuals to wear a mask in outdoor areas of transportation. However, they recommend that unvaccinated individuals do so. Individual cruise lines may implement their own rules, so pay attention when booking.

The rules and regulations pertaining to Covid-19 and travel restrictions are constantly evolving. To check the current status of the CDC’s cruise travel recommendations, click here.

To view some frequently asked questions in regards to both air and cruise travel, check out the CDC’s page.

Hurricanes and Inclement Weather

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, however, it is still possible to see hurricanes outside of that timeline. Generally, storms are fairly predictable because they tend to follow the same path. However, cruise lines can avoid storms — with enough warning — by changing their route to stay out of its path.

Overall, those who travel during hurricane season could potentially experience delays, rough water, and even cancellations. Despite the risks, many still decide to travel during the season because the tickets are typically discounted.

In terms of weather on land, you can check the weather of your destination with this tool from the National Weather Service.

Travel Insurance

If you’re worried that weather, Covid, or other potential issues could affect your cruise experience, purchasing travel insurance is likely a good option for you.

Regular coverage travel insurance covers the following:

  • Job loss
  • Cease of operation
  • Bankruptcy
  • Trip Cancellation
  • Trip Interruption
  • Trip Delay
  • Missed Connection
  • Baggage & Personal Effects Loss
  • Medical Expense
  • Emergency Medical Transportation

Click here to learn more about your travel insurance options.

Book with USA River Cruises

USA River Cruises cares about the health and safety of our customers and employees above all else. To learn more about the steps we are taking, check out our COVID-19 safety measures.

We know that you’ve been looking forward to checking off that place on your bucket list, book with us today to get there!

Any further questions or concerns? Check out our frequently asked questions below.

What if I test positive before getting on the cruise?

Most cruises will give you a full refund. However, it is best to double-check with your cruise line.

What if I test positive during the cruise?

You will be required to isolate yourself in your cabin until the crew can remove you with one of our small ships. This process will likely not take more than 24 hours, and we will assist with making arrangements to get you home. The unused cruise amount will be refunded. However, the cost of transportation back will be your responsibility.

What if I become sick on the cruise?

Cruises have medical assistance onboard but because we are in port practically daily, there is access to local doctors and hospitals along the way. If you are in need of medical assistance, our staff will assist you in getting you the care you need.