Preparing to sail - your on board experience.

Learn about our safety and well-being protocols on board, explore activities, dining and shore experiences.

Last updated 11 October 2021.

After final security checks, you’ll take those unforgettable first steps into the Grand Lobby, and your voyage will begin. You’ll find a few reassuring changes on board to protect everyone’s health and well-being as well as the usual flourishes and experiences you can expect from your Cunard holiday. Read on to discover more about the wide variety of dining, entertainment, activities and more that await you on board.

Quick links.

Our new protocols.

All guests and crew will be required to follow enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone on board. We're continuing to operate a 'Hands, Face, Space' system on board, reminding guests of the importance of thorough hand washing, wearing a mask when moving around communal areas and within the theatre and continuing to socially distance. 

Our crew undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. We also have plans in place to manage medical needs, including dedicated staterooms for isolation and quarantine, should this be required. Our protocols have been developed with guidance from global medical and public health experts and scientists, as well as UK government agencies, and are designed to protect everyone on board while we continue to deliver memorable holidays.

All guests on board are fully vaccinated and all guests are tested prior to embarkation. Guests will be required to wear a face mask (with no exemptions) in specific areas including at the terminal, when moving around indoors on board and when seated in the theatre. We’d always recommend guests wash their mask daily and choose a good quality, ideally medical-grade, standard which must safely cover the nose and mouth. Please note that visors and face shields will not be accepted as a substitute for a face mask.

Social distancing should be practiced throughout your holiday. We’ll make this as easy as possible, with signs and crew to guide you. If you’re travelling with friends and family (or make new friends on board), there’s no need to physically distance when dining together or meeting in a bar, watching a show or going on a shore experience. Shared tables are only available on request, otherwise you will have a table to yourself.

For now we ask that you wear a mask and physically distance from anyone outside of your travelling group, including crew. Your butler or steward will maintain the cleanliness of your stateroom, but we ask that you are not inside at the time cleaning is taking place.

Public toilets will be available but we would encourage you to use your own bathroom rather than public toilets where possible.

Keep reading for tips on staying well while on board, or read more on our latest well-being protocols on our Sailing with confidence page.

How to stay healthy on board.

We recommend you take the following precautionary measures:

  • Have close interactions only with your travelling party
  • Keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre from guests outside of your travelling party
  • Wear a face mask that safely covers your nose and mouth when moving around indoors and when seated in the theatre
  • Avoid contact with anyone you know who is unwell and their close contacts
  • Wash your hands often and use hand sanitiser when hand-washing facilities are not available
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or bent elbow, and not into your hands; throw used tissues in the bin and wash your hands afterwards
  • Remain vigilant and report any Covid-19 symptoms to the Medical team straight away
  • (for UK guests) If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace whilst on board please contact the Medical team immediately.


Should you be asked to isolate while on board, you'll receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) to the equivalent of your isolation period to put towards a future holiday. This FCC, which is not ABTA or ATOL protected, can be used on any new booking made and is valid for two years from the date of issue.

Gala Evenings.

In line with our new protocols, we’ve made a few changes to our signature Gala Evenings.

Every voyage will feature a spectacular Gala Evening celebration when we invite you to dress in your finest black-tie for a night of music, entertainment and fine dining. The theme will be either Black and White or Roaring 20s, so remember to pack your tuxedos, ball gowns, tailored suits and cocktail dresses to join in the glitz and glamour.

Eating and drinking.

Dining on board one of our Queens will always be part of what makes a voyage with Cunard so special. All of our restaurants and bars are open for you to enjoy on board. All restaurants, will feature table service, and we may change the dining options available in some venues as part of our enhanced well-being measures. The Lido buffet will still operate, however with an assisted service. Rest assured you'll have the opportunity to dress up and dine in style, or relax in more casual surroundings - the choice continues to be yours.

You can dine with guests travelling in other staterooms if you wish to but please note, shared tables will only be available when requested, otherwise you will have a table to yourself and your travelling group.


One of the greatest things about sailing with Cunard is the opportunity to be entertained around the clock. From theatre shows and engaging guest speakers to live bands and stand-up comedians, you’ll find a wealth of performances to choose from, day and night throughout your ship.

All of our entertainment venues will be open throughout your holiday and we’ll have plenty of show times to ensure you don’t miss out. Where necessary, performances will also be adapted in line with the latest guidance, to protect the well-being of everyone on board.

Activities and leisure.

All of your favourites – our shops, spa, salons, gym, pools, casino and other activities – will be open for your enjoyment. Care for a soothing spa treatment or a yoga class? A wander in the boutiques or a spin in the casino? It’s all waiting for you.

We will have new measures in place to minimise contact, reduce the number of guests in each area and maintain the highest levels of cleanliness. Only activities or areas of the ship that would make social distancing difficult will not be in operation. For example, you can dance with someone you’re travelling with as part of a hosted dance class, or dance along to a live musician; however, the dance floors in our lounge bars and night clubs will not be open.

Solo travellers.

Solo travellers will be able to enjoy delicious dining, world-class entertainment and adventures ashore.

We know solo travellers love to make friends on board and we’re pleased to say guests travelling alone are welcome to join others for dining and all hosted activities such as workshops, dance classes and shore experiences. If you wish to dine with others, you can request a shared table once on board.

Notable changes to facilities and venues.

Please note that, unfortunately, the following will not be available. Rest assured, we are providing alternatives where possible.

To protect the health and well-being of all on board, we will not be opening the dance floor in our nightclub. However, you can still dance via hosted classes (these will be bookable on board) and independently in certain areas of the ship, including the Queens Room on Gala Evenings.

The nursery, night nursery and children’s clubs will not be in operation for these voyages.

The spa will be open to soothe your stresses away with an ocean-inspired massage or relaxing facial. Please note, some spa facilities such as the Hydrotherapy pools and sauna may not be available. Please visit the spa reception for the latest updates.

We are pleased to say that the Royal Court Theatre will be open as usual, showcasing a sparkling range of entertainment, including the award-winning musical Top Hat.

Any activities that require booking will be clearly identified in your Daily Programme.

Shore experiences.

We know how much our guests enjoy the opportunity to get under the skin of a destination, so for holidays with ports of call we’ve introduced a wealth of new shore experiences to ensure you experience the best of each exciting stop.

You can book from a wide range of shore experiences up to a year before you set sail.


For your peace of mind, we will not visit any country on the UK government’s red list at the point of travel.

We always do our very best to visit all of the destinations on our itineraries. If this isn’t possible we will look to either spend an additional day in one of the ports included in the itinerary, or try to add in a new port. If neither option is available to us, we will spend an extra day at sea for you to savour all the dining, activities, and entertainment on board your ship.

Safety on board.

When you arrive on board, you’ll find your Voyage card waiting for you in a security sealed envelope outside your suite or stateroom. Once inside, we ask that you watch our new safety video, which will be playing on your TV. It’s vital you give this short film your attention as it explains important health, well-being and safety information, as well as the actions you need to take in the unlikely event of an emergency, including how to secure your life jacket.

Your stateroom steward, or butler if you’re staying in our Grill Suites, will show you where your life jacket is stowed and draw your attention to the emergency notification affixed to your door. Once you’ve completed these steps, and before the ship sets sail, you’ll also need to swipe in using your Voyage card once at your designated assembly station on board.

Returning home.

All guests must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) within 21 days before disembarkation back into the UK. We recommend creating an account and completing your details before you sail.  Please note, you must book your ‘day two’ Covid-19 test in advance as you will need to provide the booking reference on the PLF. If you reside outside of the UK, you will need to be aware of, and have registered where needed, for all documentation required when returning home to your country of residence.

Whilst the government website for most forms of travel states that the PLF must be completed within 48hrs of your return to the UK, if you input that you are arriving into Southampton Docks and then Cunard, it can be completed up to 21 days in advance. So that you don't need to worry about doing this during your holiday, we strongly recommend that where possible you complete this form prior to your departure.

The online form can take some time to complete. You’ll need:

  • Your passport details or the travel document you’ll use when you arrive at the UK border
  • Your travel details, including times and dates
  • The address where you will stay on arrival into the UK (if applicable)
  • Booking reference number and the name of the test provider for any Covid-19 tests you must take after arriving in the UK


More details on how to fill out the PLF are available at

All guests aged five and above who are staying in the UK are required to take a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of returning home.

Entry requirements into the UK and other countries of residence or disembarkation may have different requirements and are subject to change. Please ensure you are compliant with the latest guidance. For UK residents, please visit

It is your responsibility to organise and complete all documentation and testing requirements relating to your travel home.

We’re looking forward to helping you to enjoy a well-deserved holiday.

The changes we’ve implemented ensure we can deliver you a true Cunard holiday experience while protecting everyone’s well-being, so you can relax and enjoy the long-awaited escape you’ve been dreaming of. We appreciate there’s a lot of new information to absorb, so please do ask if there’s anything you’re unsure of or if you need any assistance once on board.

Rest assured, we constantly review the official government guidance and regularly update our website if and when changes do occur. We recommend you revisit this page before you set sail to ensure you’re up to date with the very latest information in relation to your Cunard voyage.