Middle East Cruise News

Cruises out of Malta now open to vaccinated UAE residents, with a catch

Malta is the latest country to join a growing list of Mediterranean cruise destinations open to UAE tourists with a vaccination certificate.

UAE residents who are fully vaccinated can now travel to Malta and sail a range of Mediterranean cruises from the island destination during the 2021 summer season.

Valletta, the capital of Malta.

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There are 48 cruise itineraries due to sail from Malta between now and the end of the year, with the vast majority of them sailing roundtrip from Valetta.

However, as Malta is not on the UAE’s green list, residents will have to quarantine on return to the country.

The cruise itineraries are being operated by five cruise ships (Viking Sea, Viking Venus, MSC Seashore, Mein Schiff 5 and Star Flyer).

Viking Sea and Viking Venus are sailing alternating itineraries visiting the Greek Isles and Adriatic, these 10-night cruises are combinable as 21 day cruises visiting both regions.

Destinations on offer include Kalamata, Piraeus (Athens), Santorini, Rhodes, and Iraklion, in Greece, or Kotor, Montenegro, and Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, and Sibenik, in Croatia.

MSC Seashore is sailing a 7-night itinerary visiting Italy, France and Spain. The ship will call in Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France and Genoa, Naples and Messina in Italy.

Mein Schiff 5 of TUI Cruises will sail 7-night cruises to Chania, Crete; Bodrum, Turkey; and Mykonos, and Piraeus (Athens), Greece.

Star Flyer, a traditional square rigged sailing cruise ship operated by Star Clippers, will sail longer itineraries from Valette to Malaga, Spain and on to Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands.

UAE residents can book cruises from Malta, but will need to quarantine when they return to the UAE

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UAE travellers who present an authorised UAE Vaccine Certificate issued by the Dubai Health Authorities with a readable QR Code will be able to visit Malta and sail on these cruises.

However, the Maltese government currently only recognizes vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, which means the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.

All passengers aged 12 and older must also be fully vaccinated and need to complete the Public Health Passenger Locator Form & the Public Health Travel Declaration Form or the Digital Passenger Locator Form (this form may be accessed by clicking here).

The forms should be completed before departure. Anyone over the age of 12 years holding just a PCR test will not be allowed entry into Malta, and is directed to quarantine.

Children below the age of 5 years are exempt from any travel requirements. They will be permitted to accompany their fully vaccinated parent/s or legal guardians without the need for a negative COVID test.

Children aged between 5 – 11 can travel if they accompany their vaccinated parents or legal guardians, but must undergo COVID testing prior to departure.

To be allowed entry, the second dose of the vaccine must be administered at least 14 days before arrival in Malta. In the case of a single-dose vaccination, the first & only dose must also be taken at least 14 days before the arrival in Malta.

If a passenger travelling from the UAE has the above recognised Certificate of Vaccination, he/she is exempt from pre-travel testing and self-isolation.

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