Travel requirements for South Africa cruises


It’s every guest’s responsibility to verify travel requirements before their 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 exceeds the required health and safety measures.

(Please note the below details are subject to change).



Please note that MSC Cruises accepts all guests regardless of vaccination status

Requirements to travel and Documentation needed for embarkation and port access


  • Unvaccinated COVID-19 guests aged 12 years and over will have to provide a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test laboratory certificate result taken within 48 hours of the day of embarkation at the guests' own cost. Do not travel to the Embarkation Port if you are not in possession of your negative test results. Negative laboratory COVID-19 Test results remain a requirement for unvaccinated guests when visiting Pomene & Portuguese Islands (Mozambique) and Namibia in line with local Government Regulations

  • COVID-19 Vaccinated guests aged 12 years and over will have to show proof of vaccination AND provide a negative Antigen test laboratory certificate result obtained within 48 hours of the day of embarkation, at the guests' own cost
  • All children aged 6 to 11 years will require a negative Antigen laboratory result certificate taken no more than 48 hours before departure
  • You will be considered fully vaccinated after receiving one dose of an accepted single-dose or your second dose of an accepted 2-dose vaccine series
  • Original Passport (SA ID Document is accepted for cruises not visiting foreign ports)
  • A printed copy of your cruise ticket(s), one per person travelling
  • A printed copy of your Health Questionnaire completed a minimum of 6 hours before embarkation
  • Mandatory travel insurance is required that specifically covers against COVID-19 related risks, such as cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization. This insurance should be in place to cover you from the confirmation of your booking until the end of the cruise or your cruise and flight or your Stay & Cruise package.The Hollard Insurance policy covers the above risks and is available to guests at the time of booking. If you have your own travel insurance it is required that the policy specifically covers these same risks.Not having travel insurance in place might expose you to additional costs that could not be covered by the Cruise Company.  Should you need COVID-19 insurance cover, our travel insurance partner may be able to help you. You can see the policy benefits available here to see if they are of interest and benefit for you.
  • Children under 18 years old travelling without their parent(s) need additional documentation.For more information please click here

OTHER TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS (For Reservations not made through MSC Cruises South Africa)

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 authorities official channels.

Starting from October 1st 2021, MSC Cruises will only welcome Guests who are residents in the 26 European ‘Schengen’ countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) and Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Croatia , USA, UK, Ireland and Israel. Certain restrictions will apply depending on the destinations. For more information, it is recommended to check your country’s competent authorities official channels. 

To ensure peace of mind, MSC Cruises requires all guests to have a specific and mandatory Covid-19 insurance policy to embark, covering against COVID-19 related risks, i.e cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization. Before finalizing a reservation, it is possible to add to the cruise the MSC COVID-19 Protection plan for Winter 21/22 cruises on this website. A proof of the specific COVID-19 coverage insurance policy - which must be in one of the following languages English, Italian, German, French or Spanish - must be presented at embarkation or boarding will be denied.




Health Screening and Protocols

Health screening of all guests in the cruise terminals will include a temperature check and a health questionnaire.To minimise congestion during embarkation, guests will be assigned a specific arrival time, which will be indicated on their cruise tickets. Guests are asked to respect the timing and will not be allowed to enter the terminal until their time slot.MSC Orchestra and MSC Sinfonia are equipped with a 24/7 Medical Centre staffed by professional doctors and nurses and have a contingency response plan agreed upon in collaboration with the relevant authorities ashore.Additional health and safety measures include increased sanitation protocols on board and other crew health requirements and checks.

We will deny boarding in case of:


 - Symptoms i.e fever (higher than 37,5 C C / 99.5 F), cough, shortness of breath,chills, muscle/body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat and loss of taste/smell in the 14 days prior to embarkation

- Potential exposure to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID 19 in the 14 days prior to embarkation

- Temporary travel restrictions based on local circumstances. For example, certain countries may deny visas or prohibit entry based on travel history or nationality.

- Failure to provide the proof of the mandatory COVID-19 insurance policy (which must be in one of the following languages: English, Italian, German, French or Spanish) 



Local regulations and guidelines require that MSC Cruises has a comprehensive isolation procedure and response plan, involving all the relevant local authorities that will be activated in case of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 situations


Once on board passengers are tested for COVID-19, if they present any symptoms or if they are determined to have been in close contact with anyone else on board who might have been exposed to COVID-19; or might in fact be COVID-19 positive


In compliance with the Guidelines and Regulations for isolation in relation to COVID-19 exposure and infection issued by the South African Department of Health and Transport, any guest with confirmed positive COVID-19 test results will be placed in special allocated cabins for isolation purposes


While in isolation, guests will have access to beverages and meals through a dedicated room service team. In addition, the on-board guest services team will be available to provide assistance throughout the time spent in isolation


In accordance with regulations from the Department of Health, guests released from isolation on the morning of disembarkation, will only be permitted to disembark from the ship after all other passengers have done so. Guests will only be allowed to travel home in private vehicles and may not use public transportation as per government guidelines. Failing which, they will be placed in a quarantine facility ashore identified by the Centre of Disease Control (CDC)


Please review all the details of our comprehensive insurance policy, which include cover for specific COVID-19 cancellation charges as well as medical and related transport expenses. Click Here for our insurance policy





If you wish to go ashore during your cruise, South African departures, you can do so in all ports in Namibia and South Africa or the Mozambique MSC Cruises exclusive destinations (Pomene and Portuguese Islands).

To support Guests in complying with international mobility requirements, MSC Cruises has organized the possibility for its guests to purchase and perform a molecular test (i.e RT-PCR) or an antigen test during their cruise. More information in the FAQ section