Aegean Odyssey

Caring for your Health & Safety aboard the Aegean Odyssey

Your well-being is our top priority — now more than ever.

We are taking precautions to help protect the health and well-being of participants while on board the Aegean Odyssey, while still providing an enriching, enjoyable and worry-free program experience. The ship’s health and safety protocols meet or exceed the European Union’s COVID-19 guidelines. Here are just some of the enhanced health and safety measures we are currently planning for our Aegean Odyssey voyages.

Here are some of the enhanced measures we are currently planning for your next Road Scholar learning adventure.


Required vaccination

For the greatest peace of mind and protection, all Road Scholar participants, Group Leaders and ship crew will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and be up to date with all recommended boosters if eligible. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to board the ship.


Staff Training

Road Scholar Group Leaders and ship crew are trained in the latest health and safety protocols and will strive to promote a safe program experience.


Health screening at embarkation

To ensure everyone is healthy for the voyage, mandatory and complimentary COVID-19 rapid tests will be performed on all participants, Group Leaders and crew at embarkation. As an additional precaution, everyone’s temperature will be taken at embarkation as well as through the voyage every time they board the ship.


Face masks

Face masks are a simple and effective way to prevent illness. Participants must bring their own face masks to the program to be worn when in public indoor areas on the ship, and when required by local regulations or by establishments visited during shore excursions. Participants are encouraged to wear a mask when socializing outdoors on the ship’s deck and at all times when off the ship, especially if you have a weakened immune system or an underlying medical condition.


Room to spread out

The Aegean Odyssey holds up to 350 passengers, but we’ll be sailing at a reduced capacity, which means you’ll have plenty of room. The ship has ample outdoor space, perfect for relaxing and making new friends. Whether on the ship or on a shore excursion, we’ll practice social distancing as much as possible, while still maintaining that special Road Scholar camaraderie and group spirit. You’ll be part of a smaller group with no more than 35 participants. Your group may be separated into smaller groups for activities and meals, and on motorcoaches we’ll be sure there are empty seats, so there is room to spread out.


Enhanced ventilation

In addition to offering plenty of outdoor space to take in the fresh sea air, the ship features upgraded HVAC systems with hospital grade HEPA filtration.


Extra cleaning

The ship and motorcoaches will be sanitized regularly, with all high-touch areas disinfected between each use. We’ll work closely with our restaurant and hotel partners to ensure they are following local hygiene and sanitation guidelines.


Hand washing

Washing hands and use of hand sanitizer can’t be stressed enough. We ask that you bring hand sanitizer with you, and there will be hand sanitizer stations you enter and exit the ship, at entrances of public areas and decks, and available on vehicles.


Extra care at meal time

We’ve put extra thought into improving your dining experience aboard the ship. In additional to adhering to strict sanitary and cleanliness guidelines, you’ll enjoy private dining and small groups as much as possible. Indoor dining in the Marco Polo lounge will be limited to 50% capacity, and outdoor dining in the Terrace Café will be available whenever possible.


Listening devices

You’ll have your own personal listening device, which will enable you to listen to your instructor, while maintaining a safe social distance.


Readily available testing

While positive cases are unlikely given the robust safety protocols we and the ship will follow, the ship will provide complimentary rapid antigen tests to any participant exhibiting symptoms of illness. In addition, to facilitate your departure home at the end of your voyage, in accordance with testing requirements for passengers boarding flights to the United States, the ship will arrange for all participants to be tested at their expense and given a certified test result prior to disembarkation.


Medical care and 24/7 emergency assistance

There is nothing more important than your health and safety, and both Road Scholar and the Aegean Odyssey are prepared in case you have a medical emergency during your voyage. The ship has an upgraded medical center staffed by trained doctors and nurses who are available 24 hours a day to care for a broad range of medical conditions, including COVID-19. The medical center is equipped with COVID-19 testing and treatment capabilities, and two dedicated nurses to administer fast, easy and complimentary COVID-19 tests as needed. In addition, Road Scholar includes the Road Scholar Assurance Plan in the cost of your program, so you will have 24-hour assistance in the event of a serious medical emergency during your program, and insurance for emergency medical evacuation.


What We’ll Expect From You

We will do everything we can to care for you, but it is also up to you and your fellow participants to do your part in following all the necessary precautions. Our Group Leaders and ship crew will strive to make the program experience as safe and rewarding as possible, and will make decisions with the best interests of the group in mind. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in following our Group Leaders’ guidance and instruction to make your program as enjoyable — and safe— as possible.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does Road Scholar require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to participate in its Aegean Odyssey programs?

Yes. We require proof of COVID-19 vaccination on all of our learning adventures, including those aboard the Aegean Odyssey. Participants must therefore be able to show evidence of their full vaccination against COVID-19 including all recommended boosters at all times when traveling. Acceptable documentation must be a physical copy of a CDC vaccination card. Participants who are unable to demonstrate proof of vaccination will not be permitted to board the ship. To expedite the boarding process we highly recommend participant use a COVID-19 vaccine verification app which produces a digital certificate with a QR code that can be scanned.

Does Road Scholar require COVID-19 boosters for its Aegean Odyssey programs?

Yes. Following current CDC guidelines for booster shots, and in an effort to keep our community of participants and group leaders safe, Road Scholar requires all recommended COVID-19 booster shots for all those eligible to receive them. Those who are vaccinated but not yet eligible for a booster will be able to attend. Please refer to the CDC page to see which defines who is currently eligible to receive a booster shot.

All air passengers coming into the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result upon returning to the US. Will Road Scholar help facilitate this?

Yes. In accordance with testing requirements for passengers boarding flights to the United States, the ship will arrange for all participants to be tested at their expense and given a certified COVID-19 test result prior to disembarkation. The cost of this test is not included in the cost of the program and will be placed on your shipboard accounts. You can find more information about this testing requirement and by clicking this link.

Will Road Scholar provide hand sanitizer and face masks aboard the Aegean Odyssey?

You will need to bring several of your own face masks. Hand sanitizer will be available for you to use when boarding and disembarking the ship and motorcoaches, but we recommend you also bring your own supply.

Will all public areas of the ship be accessible?

Some of the public areas like the library, gym and pool may be subject to closure or limited capacity, but we’ll monitor and adjust as needed.

Are there any additional health requirements I should be aware of?

Because local and maritime rules and guidance can change at any time, we ask participants to be flexible and abide by all applicable guidelines and rules of the destinations they are travelling to. In addition, please keep in mind that the health and safety protocols Road Scholar, the ship, and our program partners have put in place may change as the situation evolves, but we will be sure to keep you updated if they do. As always, Road Scholar expects participants only to attend programs if they are healthy and feeling well.

What happens if I get sick on my program?

Should a participant become ill during a program, they should notify the Group Leader or a crew member, who will assist in obtaining medical attention. If a participant develops symptoms of illness such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or experience any other signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or other communicable illnesses, they will be required to isolate immediately, both for their health and the health, safety and welfare of their fellow passengers. The sick participant will be evaluated by the ship’s doctor and tested at no cost for COVID-19, and be required to follow established protocols regarding treatment and care depending on the nature of the illness.

Participants who are ill and having symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will not be permitted to rejoin the program and must remain in their cabin until either they test negative for COVID-19, or are evaluated by a medical professional who determines their condition is not contagious and clears them to resume group activities, at which time they may return to the group. If a participant has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or other communicable and contagious disease, they will be required to remain in isolation, and we will follow the guidance and requirements of the local medical and health authorities.

What happens if I am required to isolate or quarantine?

Because participants, Group Leaders and crew will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have all recommended boosters if eligible, it is highly unlikely you will be have to isolate or quarantine during your voyage. However, should that occur, be assured that Road Scholar will be in frequent contact with you, and do our best to ensure you receive the attention and help you may need. However, you should be aware that additional expenses incurred due to isolation or quarantine are your responsibility, and you will not be reimbursed for missed program days.

We therefore strongly recommend Road Scholar’s optional Trip Protection Plan, which provides financial protection in case of program cancellation, interruption or travel delay, as well limited quarantine coverage. Specifically, should COVID-19 cause you to isolate or quarantine, the plan helps reimburse you for additional accommodation, meal and transportation expenses you may incur, as well as reimbursement for missed program days. Please click here to learn more about this and all the other benefits included in Road Scholar’s optional Trip Protection Plan.

What’s the best way to stay healthy while travelling?

Your health and safety are of the utmost importance to us. Click here to learn more about Road Scholar’s commitment to our participants’ well-being and the steps you can take to keep yourself healthy when traveling.

Please note that these measures are subject to change as and when conditions change or new information becomes available.

Last updated Feb 24, 2022.