CDC Recommendations: Cruise Ship Travel in Asia

Key Points

  • CDC recommends that all travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages to or within Asia.
  • Several destinations in Asia are experiencing outbreaks of novel coronavirus infection.
  • Cruise ship passengers are at increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, such as the disease caused by novel coronavirus.

What is the current situation?

Travelers should reconsider cruise ship voyages to or within Asia. Those planning travel by cruise ship elsewhere should be aware that, because of the current public health situation, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This is a dynamic situation and those traveling by ship may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities. While the US government has successfully evacuated hundreds of our citizens in the previous weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for US citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities. US citizens should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to remain in an area that may be subject to quarantine and take the appropriate proactive measures. Passengers who plan to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information on the current rules and restrictions and continue to monitor the website for updated information.

What can travelers do to protect themselves and others?

CDC recommends that travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages to or within Asia. For most travelers, cruise ship travel is voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date. If you do travel on a cruise, take the following precautions:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Discuss cruise ship travel with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.

If you take a cruise and become sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days of your travel:

  • Seek medical advice. Before you go to a doctor’s office, urgent care center or hospital emergency department, call ahead. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others. 
  • Do not travel while sick.

For additional information