Vaccination and Immunization Requirements for Your Cruise Vacation

When you travel to foreign countries, you always want to be aware of their current health regulations and vaccination requirements. Immunizations vary by destination and do change from time to time.

You are solely responsible for providing proper documentation to the cruise line if any immunizations or vaccines are required for your itinerary. If you do not have an up-to-date certification, you will not be permitted to visit each port of call and will be denied boarding.

Information regarding required vaccinations for your cruise or cruise-tour is listed on your pre-cruise letter or Travel Summary (if applicable). Please check with your cruise guide if you are unsure whether or not you will require a vaccination for travel.

Whether or not a vaccine is required, all guests must ensure they are medically fit for travel.

We recommend that you consult with your doctor at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to sailing, to make sure you are up to date with any required immunizations or vaccines you may need.

Most vaccines take time to become effective in your body and some vaccines must be given in a series over a period of days or sometimes weeks.

If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. You might still benefit from shots or medications and other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide guidelines as to which vaccinations are required in each country. CDC divides vaccines into 3 categories: routine, recommended, and required.

Make sure you are up to date on your routine US immunization schedule. Visit the CDC’s destination page to view the vaccines recommended specific to the countries you are visiting.

The only vaccine required by International Health Regulations is yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Meningococcal vaccination is required by the government of Saudi Arabia for annual travel during the Hajj.

Other informational resources can be accessed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Traveler’s Health website at or toll free at 1-877-FYI-TRIP, and the World Health Organization website at

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