travel requirements for dubai, abu dhabi & qatar cruises

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. 


Last updated: 22nd September 2022


The below requirements are valid for cruises starting from 1st October 2022.

Vaccination requirements

All Guests ages 16 or older embarking are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

What do you mean by “fully vaccinated”?

- Guests who have received at least two doses of vaccine - except in the case of a single dose Johnson & Johnson – with a World Health Organization (WHO) or UAE approved vaccine and includes a QR code.
- COVID‑19 vaccination certificates without a QR code will be accepted as long as the vaccination certificate is issued by test centres/organisations recognized or approved by the national health authorities of the country.

Testing requirements
  • For vaccinated Guests it’s not required (but strongly recommended) to present a negative test
  • All unvaccinated Guests, from 5 to 15 years old are required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR or Antigen test taken 48 hours prior to embarkation. Guest must bring the valid negative test certificate with them to the terminal. This also applies to Guest staying in United Arab Emirates prior to the cruise and local residents.
  • IMPORTANT: Guests embarking in Doha, Qatar, independently from their vaccination status, must provide a negative negative COVID-19 RT-PCR taken 48 hours or Antigen test taken 24 hours prior to the scheduled flight to the State of Qatar.

Tests must be laboratory certified. A rapid antigen self-test is not valid for travel purposes.

All guests are recommended to travel with their COVID-19 vaccination status and test results. which could be requested in various ports of call and at local attractions.

The original test results certificate and vaccination certificate must be presented at the terminal (paper or electronic format) and must be in one of the following languages: English, Italian, German, French or Spanish.  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.

All Crew members are required to be fully vaccinated and regularly weekly tested according to MSC Cruises Health & Safety protocol.

For more information visit our FAQ section.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there might be international travel restrictions depending on your cruise destination and your country of residence. Currently the passengers residents in Iran and China (except Hong Kong and Taiwan) are not allowed to cruise. From 1st November 2022 residents in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore are allowed to cruise. 

The wearing of face masks is highly recommended. In certain circumstances this recommendation might be due to a mandatory requirement in accordance with applicable health authorities regulations of a country or port of call visited. When ashore, guests must also follow any local regulations regarding face mask usage. These protocols are subject to change.

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

Other requirements such as a COVID-19 test  a 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.

As during a cruise, you may be exposed to specific COVID-19 risks that may not be usually covered by existing insurance policies, to ensure your peace of mind is strongly recommended – for all new reservations from 1 July 2022 onwards - for all guests to have in place an insurance policy that specifically covers them against COVID-19 related risks, such as cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization. If you have no insurance in place, please note that you might be exposed to additional costs that could not be covered by the Company.

The insurance should be in place to cover you and your family, from the confirmation of your booking until the end of the cruise or your cruise and flight.

To fully protect you from the above risks, MSC offers a COVID Protection Plan - an insurance policy specifically designed for these COVID-19 risks - that can be added to the cruise whilst making the booking. The Covid Protection Plan is applicable to all departures on sales. Before finalizing the reservation, it will be possible to add to the cruise the MSC COVID-19 Protection plan at the price of 29€ per person.

Alternatively, you may travel with another insurance policy covering the above risks.


Guests are able to go ashore independently according to local requirements which are continually monitored and subject to change. Guests who are travelling with unvaccinated children are also able to go ashore independently. For the best ashore experience, we recommend all guests explore destinations with the comfort, convenience, and safety of an MSC Cruises Shore Excursion, bookable pre-cruise and on board.

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. It is the responsibility of each Guest to ensure they are in compliance with any local regulations related to COVID-19 testing when returning to their final post cruise destination.