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Windstar Cruises has announced that it will require guests to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination before sailing aboard its yachts.

As many Windstar destinations and some airlines have announced or are considering vaccine mandates, the cruise line says it has arrived at the decision in the best health and wellness interests of its guests, crew and the destinations it visits.

“Looking at the science behind the virus, we see consistent recommendations for wearing masks, social distancing, testing, and enhanced cleaning,” said Andrew Todd, CEO, Windstar Cruises and parent company Xanterra Travel Collection, in a press release statement. “In response, Windstar developed a new Beyond Ordinary Care program, which is a multi-layered strategy with key hospital-grade elements: HEPA filters and UV-C germicidal irradiation to filter and disinfect the air, plus backpack sprayers to sanitize all surfaces throughout our yachts.”

Following government and news reports on the increased availability of vaccines in the U.S. and globally, the cruise line is confident that guests intending to sail will have time to meet the vaccine requirement before travel. Crew members will be required to receive the vaccination as soon as it is available to them. Guests will be required to provide proof of a completed course of vaccination taken at least 14 days prior to embarkation, and required to present negative test results prior to embarkation.

“Vaccination is another layer of safety for all of us, and it’s the responsible course of action as our yachts resume cruising and our guests travel the world,” said Christopher Prelog, president, Windstar Cruises, in a press release statement.

Windstar will resume its operations on Jun. 19, 2021, with a Caribbean sailing on Star Breeze. Its initial sailings will take place with reduced guest occupancy, modified itineraries, and enhanced health and safety protocols. The cruise line has also moved its final payment date from 120 days before sailing to 60 days prior to departure to offer guests increased flexibility.

The cruise line will periodically review its COVID-19 policies in accordance with CDC guidelines as the pandemic evolves.

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