News and Latest Updates

Last Updated: 12th of March, 2020

Current Position: The Polyglot Cruise is still going ahead at this time.

With the exception of Italy, the following is currently true: There are no travel restrictions in Europe, nor advice against travel, nor prohibition of gatherings.  The itinerary will be modified to avoid Italy.


The Polyglot Cruise organisers and volunteers are not medical professionals, and cannot advise on anything related to the Coronavirus outbreak. The information provided on this page is strictly presented as is, and relevant sources have been included when needed.

Update: March 12th – new options for participants who wish to cancel their Polyglot Cruise due to the Corona Virus developments

For those who are on the fence, for whatever reason. Whether it’s concerns of your own or family members’ health, we’re now offering the following solutions to help alleviate this fear and uncertainty.

At no point would we question a desire to cancel based on these factors. So, to offer greater flexibility here are the options:

Option 1 – Come on the cruise! Goes without saying, but the cruise line is fully committed to keeping you and the crew safe, so if you are able to make it, we look forward to seeing you there!

Option 2 – Transfer your ticket to Polyglot Cruise #2 – 2021 This option lets you transfer 100% of your tickets to the next Polyglot Cruise (2021) We have decided to do another Polyglot Cruise in 2021, or whenever the coronavirus outbreak is considered “over”

Option 3 – Cancel your ticket(s) and receive a 50% refund. If you are unsure about whether you’d be able to make it for the 2021 edition, or you just prefer a straight up refund we’re offering an extraordinary 50% refund up through March 22nd.

After this date, we regret that we are no longer able to provide any refunds.

Terms and conditions for these offers.


Use the contact form on the polyglot cruise website: This is also where you’ll be able to ask any other questions or inquiries.


By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the spreading of a very contagious virus named the Coronavirus, or COVID19 for short.

Initially we were not going to put out an official statement, seeing as most of the activity was taking place in China and surrounding countries, with no indication that it would come anywhere close to where our Cruise is taking place in April.

However, as of today, February 26th there have been numerous reports of the virus in mainland Europe, and so we felt it was necessary to update you with all the information available.

We’ll keep you posted about all developments, and should anything change for the worse we’ll be sharing contingency plans if needed.

Some things to keep in mind…

  1. Every passenger boarding the ship will be tested for fevers
  2. People recently travelled to and from confirmed virus breakout areas will not be able to book or board the cruise.
  3. Cruise lines are already very used to dealing with norovirus, colds, and flu on board, as always happens when you have a large crowd of people from around the world. This means they have strict anti-bacterial routines and limitations, even staff members handing out wipes manually to ensure the highest level of hygiene and the lowest risk of infection (of any kind)
  4. The itinerary can be changed by the Cruse line, so the ship may opt to not call at ports which are near virus breakouts, and may instead choose other destinations along the way, or adding additional sea days with extra activities on board to compensate.

How dangerous is the Corona Virus (COVID19?)

It’s very important to understand, that while this virus is very contagious, and potentially deadly, the mortality rate for healthy adults and children is extremely low, and most likely linked to pre-existing conditions or weakened immune systems.

Children and Coronavirus

Q: Are children more susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19 compared with the general population and how can infection be prevented?

A: No, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. 

Center for Disease Control, (emphasis mine)

Q: Does the clinical presentation of COVID-19 differ in children compared with adults?

A: Limited reports of children with COVID-19 in China have described cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) have been reported in at least one child with COVID-19. These limited reports suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms

Center for Disease Control, (emphasis mine)

Official Cruise Line Statement and Information

You can find the latest statement from Costa Cruises, our operator, here:

Cruise Line Association Statement

The CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION (the organisation that contains 90% of Cruise Lines) issued the following statement, about their commitment to keeping people safe and healthy.

WASHINGTON, DC (13 FEB 2020)—Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, issued today the following statement in response to recent developments concerning COVID-19 and its impact on the global cruise industry.

“The health and safety of cruise passengers and crew is and remains the number one priority of CLIA and its member lines, which make up over 90% of ocean-going cruise capacity worldwide.

Given the evolving nature of the ongoing COVID-19—and based upon prevailing guidance from global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO)—CLIA Members have adopted the following enhanced protocols for ocean-going guests and crew who have recently traveled from or through China, including Hong Kong and Macau. These enhanced policies, which are in effect as of 7 February 2020, build upon those which were implemented on 31 January 2020 and continue to allow for informed decisions on a case-by-case basis whether a guest or crewmember will be permitted to board.

  • CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all persons who have traveled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 14 days before embarkation. 
  • CLIA Members are to deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days before embarkation, have had close contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19
  • CLIA Members are to conduct preboarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persons exhibiting symptoms of suspected COVID-19.

In coordination with cruise lines, medical experts and regulators around the world, CLIA and its member lines will continue to closely monitor for new developments related to the coronavirus and will modify these policies as necessary with the utmost consideration for the health and safety of passengers and crew. With strict measures in place, as guided by national and international health authorities, CLIA and its member lines do not believe restrictions on the movement of ships are justified.

Importantly, the cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions of those onboard, with outbreak prevention and response measures in place year-round. Furthermore, ships must be fitted with onboard medical facilities, with shipboard medical professionals available around the clock, 24/7, to provide initial medical care in the event of illness and help prevent disease transmission.”


Video: How to Stay Well on a Cruise

By Gary Bembridge (Tips for Travellers)