Preparing to sail - at the terminal.

Find below a list of required documents, as well as information about terminal arrival, security checks and pre-voyage testing, so that your voyage gets off to the smoothest start possible.

Last updated 11 October 2021.

Please note the below information relates to sailings from Southampton. If you are starting your Cunard holiday outside the UK, joining details will be confirmed in your pre-cruise communications before you sail.

Quick links.

Terminal checklist.

Please ensure you have the following items with you when you arrive at the terminal:

  • Mobile phone, so as we can deliver your Covid-19 test result by text message at the terminal (please ensure that your mobile number is correct in My Cunard before sailing)
  • Health Declaration confirmation email (a printed or digital copy is fine)
  • Approved evidence of vaccination status (please refer to our Covid-19 vaccination requirements)
  • Evidence of travel insurance that meets the mandatory criteria
  • Passport
  • Printed E-ticket or boarding pass (if you’ve checked in online at home) or travel documents.

If arriving by car with parking booked.

(Southampton terminal)

If you are arriving by car with parking booked with Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS), you will need to arrive via dock gate 20 and head directly to our drive-through complimentary Covid-19 testing centre at Mayflower Cruise Terminal, Herbert Walker Avenue, Southampton SO15 1HJ. This centre is accessed via West Bay Road: please check directions before you begin your journey.

Your e-ticket/boarding pass will state your ship’s terminal. Please do not make your way there until you have completed the drive-through testing at Mayflower Cruise Terminal. A Cunard team will be on site to guide you through.

Please arrive at the drive-through testing centre at the ‘arrival time’ stated on your e-ticket and boarding pass. We’ll ask you to wait in the car while we review your e-tickets/boarding passes, Health Declaration confirmation emails, and vaccination statuses of all guests. To help make this process as efficient as possible, please ensure you have each guest’s documents ready to hand over on arrival.

Once these checks have been satisfied and testing is complete, you’ll drive to your ship’s terminal (as shown on your e-ticket/boarding pass) where you’ll drop off your luggage and hand your car to CPS.

If arriving by other means.

(Southampton terminal)

If arriving by coach, on foot, by taxi or being dropped off by friends or family, please proceed directly to your ship’s departure terminal (as shown on your e-ticket/boarding pass). Please arrive at the 'arrival time' stated on your e-ticket and boarding pass. Your e-tickets/boarding passes, Health Declaration confirmation emails and vaccination statuses will be checked for all guests – please help us to make the process as speedy as possible by having all your paperwork ready.

Once these checks have been satisfied, you’ll enter the walk-through terminal testing centre where you’ll be given a complimentary Covid-19 test. Don’t worry, we’ll have a Cunard team on hand to guide you through.

At your ship’s terminal.

(Southampton terminal)

Once you’ve completed your Covid-19 test (either at the Mayflower Cruise Terminal drive-through or our walk-through testing centre), you’ll head into your ship’s terminal to reconfirm your Health Declaration and await your test results. You’ll need to have your mobile phone on you to receive your test result, as this will be sent via text message. Please ensure that your mobile phone number is up to date in the personal details section on My Cunard. You also may be asked to provide evidence of your travel insurance at this point.

Following a negative test result, your passport will be validated and you’ll be guided through the embarkation process. Please ensure you have your boarding pass ready to scan when boarding the ship.

After final security checks, you’ll board your ship and your holiday can begin.

If you test positive for Covid-19, you’ll undergo secondary screening and will be guided through the next steps. If you’re denied boarding, you and any guests travelling from your household will be given a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) to the value of your holiday which is not ABTA or ATOL protected. This can be used on any new booking made, valid for two years from the date of issue for any holiday on sale during that period. Any pre-voyage purchases made through My Cunard will be refunded. The same would be offered to any guests you had linked bookings with. Please note, if you’d booked on board experiences on behalf of your travelling group and they chose to continue with their holiday, they would need to rebook the experiences for themselves.

We are aware of NHS guidance in the UK for close contacts, which states that there is no longer a need to self-isolate if you have completed your vaccination course. However, the framework of approved protocols for cruise ships differs slightly to that on land, and the protection of the health and well-being of all guests and crew is our priority. Therefore, if you are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for Covid-19 prior to boarding, you unfortunately will not be able to travel. If this happens, so you have the opportunity to travel at a later date, you will receive a non-refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) to the value of the voyage. Please note, the FCC would not be protected by ABTA or ATOL and we will automatically refund any pre-cruise purchases made through My Cunard.