Chair and table on a cruise ship deck (photo by Eric Bowman)
There’s a lot of new news surrounding the CDC’s recent ending of its COVID-19-related cruise requirements, and so far, plenty of cruise lines have been making amendments to their vaccination and testing requirements.
Check out the cruise lines below to learn about the current vaccine and testing requirements for each of the most popular cruise lines. Don’t hesitate to check out their individual websites for more detailed information, especially if you’ll be heading on a cruise soon!
The freshly christened AmaLucia.
AmaWaterways often sails with 100 percent fully vaccinated guests, but as of August 12, it’s been allowing a certain number of unvaccinated individuals who provide recent negative COVID-19 tests to embark along selected itineraries, such as Lower Danube itineraries visiting Hungary and Germany, sailings in Egypt and more.
Since the river cruise line visits multiple countries, the individual countries themselves might restrict river cruise travel to those who provide a recent negative COVID-19 test, provide proof of full vaccination or a mixture of testing and vaccination.
American Cruise Lines
Since American Cruise Lines only operates within the United States, it is not required for travelers to be fully vaccinated, though it does caution that full vaccination may be mandated for a specific itinerary with little prior notice. Travelers are required to fill out the line’s health form with their vaccination status, and COVID-19 tests are available during each sailing for those who present symptoms.
American Queen Voyages
American Queen Voyages’ guests and crew are all required to be fully vaccinated.
River cruise itineraries no longer require pre-embarkation COVID-19 tests, as of August 1. All Expedition and Lakes & Oceans cruises require travelers to complete the ArriveCAN app, AQV health questionnaire and will be provided a free test at the pre-cruise hotel check-in one day before embarkation.
Atlas Ocean Voyages
Atlas Ocean Voyages currently requires all guests to be fully vaccinated and to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to embarkation or a negative antigen test taken no more than 24 hours prior to embarkation.
The Avalon Envision in Budapest, Hungary. (photo via Avalon Waterways)
Avalon Waterways recently reiterated its health and safety protocols following the CDC’s dropping of COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers re-entering the United States, a decision made back in June.
Guests will continue to remain fully vaccinated through the end of the year, and it will continue using the same sanitization and mitigation measures throughout the duration of each sailing. Testing might also still be required.
Effective July 25, 2022, Azamara is no longer requiring a pre-embarkation COVID-19 test for guests. There are exclusions to this new ruling, for destinations that still require testing for cruises.
All guests 12 and older must also be fully vaccinated, with a booster shot when applicable and according to individual countries’ entry requirements.
Carnival Corporation & plc
Carnival Corporation’s cruise lines have amended their own vaccine and testing requirements.
Carnival Cruise Line amended its requirements on August 13. Fully vaccinated guests heading on cruises no longer than 16 nights no longer need to test prior to embarkation.
Unvaccinated guests over the age of five can cruise as long as they provide a recent negative medically or lab-administered COVID-19 test result.
There may be restrictions or exceptions to both rules depending on specific destinations.
Princess Cruises will make it easier for travelers to meet its testing and vaccination requirements beginning September 6. Like Carnival, guests taking a Princess Cruise sailing under 16 nights long will only need to provide proof of full vaccination, while unvaccinated guests are required to test and upload proof of their result prior to embarkation.
As always, there are countries where all guests will be required to be vaccinated and even provide COVID-19 tests before entering, like Canada, Greece and Australia. Guests booking these cruises will be notified of the requirements.
Holland America Line’s itineraries in North America currently require travelers aged 12 and up to be fully vaccinated; all guests 2 and up to present a recent negative COVID-19 result upon embarkation. Travelers on cruises heading to Canada at any point in their journey must also complete the ArriveCAN app prior to embarkation.
Beginning September 6, Seabourn will no longer require fully vaccinated travelers to present a negative test result for cruises under 16 nights long. Additionally, unvaccinated travelers can now sail the luxury line with a negative pre-embarkation test. Sailings over 16 nights maintain both vaccination and testing requirements.
Cunard Line requires guests aged 12 and over to be fully vaccinated (with a booster when applicable), but beginning September 6, self-testing will no longer be required prior to embarkation, though the line still highly recommends it. Testing on longer itineraries of 16 nights or more will still require testing.
Children aged four and under do not need to adhere to any of the above rules.
Costa Cruises requires all travelers 2 and older to present a recent COVID-19 test result. They must also complete the self-declaration form in the MyCosta app, which includes sharing their vaccination status.
There are a few ways of satisfying the vaccine requirements: a guest can be fully vaccinated, provide proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 and at least one vaccine after recovery, have had at least one vaccine and then a recent recovery from COVID-19 after the initial vaccination, or have recently recovered from COVID-19.
Celestyal Cruises departs from Greece, so all travelers are first required to follow the entry protocols of that country. For embarkation, Celestyal Cruises requires all travelers 12 years old and up to be fully vaccinated, with a booster shot when applicable. All vaccinated travelers must also provide a negative result from a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours prior to embarkation.
Children between the ages of 6 and 11 must present a negative rapid antigen test result taken within 24 hours of embarkation, unless they are vaccinated.
All travelers must also complete the Passenger Locator Form prior to embarkation as well.
Travelers onboard Celestyal Cruises are required to wear masks in indoor areas unless they are actively eating or drinking.
Disney Wish (Photo via Disney Cruise Line)
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line will be changing its vaccine and testing requirements beginning September 2 for all cruises departing from ports in the United States and Canada. All travelers who are 12 and older must be fully vaccinated. Children 11 and under are no longer required to be vaccinated.
Vaccinated guests departing on cruises from any port in the U.S. or Canada must also provide a recent negative COVID-19 test result. If they don’t provide their own test, they will be tested during embarkation. Travelers who are not vaccinated must submit a pre-departure test and then test again upon embarkation.
Hurtigruten Expeditions requires travelers who are eligible for vaccines to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as defined by the country of embarkation. Some sailings will also require booster shots.
Through September 3, the line also requires travelers to test during embarkation in the majority of ports. However, beginning on September 4, the majority of sailings will require travelers to present medically administered negative tests taken before embarkation.
On August 29, MSC Cruises will ease its testing and vaccination protocols for departures from U.S. ports. Unvaccinated travelers under the age of 12 will be able to cruise with the line provided they show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.
Guests who are fully vaccinated must also adhere to the line’s testing requirements if they sail on an itinerary that is six days or longer. Vaccinated guests sailing on shorter cruises don’t need to present a test result. All guests 12 years and older are required to be fully vaccinated.
MSC Cruises’ testing and vaccination requirements vary according to the countries from which they sail, so make sure to check out the specific requirements of the region in question.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Inc.
The three cruise lines under NCLH have also made amendments to their testing and vaccination policies.
Norwegian Cruise Line announced a large easing of vaccination requirements, effective August 11: all guests 12 and up will be required to either provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test result.
There will be, of course, some itineraries with different rules, due to specific destinations’ requirements, like Greece, Canada and Bermuda, which continue to require fully vaccinated guests.
Beginning September 3, Oceania Cruises will no longer require vaccinated travelers to test prior to embarkation. Unvaccinated travelers will be able to sail with a recently administered negative COVID-19 test result, with some exclusions.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises will also amend its testing and vaccination requirements beginning September 3. Fully vaccinated guests will no longer need to provide negative COVID-19 tests, while unvaccinated guests will be allowed onboard provided they test negative ahead of embarkation (both with some exceptions, such as cruises heading to Canada or Greece).
Travelers will also undergo a pre-embarkation health screening.
The Oceania Riviera ship in Malta. (photo via Oceania Cruises)
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Paul Gauguin Cruises updated its health and safety information on August 9. For embarkation, travelers must be fully vaccinated and present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to embarkation. Antigen tests are also accepted but must be taken no more than 24 hours prior to embarkation.
Travelers must also fill out the required health declaration and health questionnaire forms.
PONANT requires all guests to be fully vaccinated and requires travelers to complete a medical check-in onboard. Prior to embarkation, each guest will receive a PCR test prior to boarding; those who test negative will be able to embark on their cruise.
Additionally, the line offers a COVID-19 policy that covers the cost of a cruise in the event that a traveler tests positive for COVID-19 up to 30 days prior to departure and more.
Riviera River Cruises
All guests must be fully vaccinated to enjoy a Riviera River Cruises sailing. Travelers must also complete a pre-travel health questionnaire prior to leaving for the trip. Testing requirements are also in place, though vary from destination to destination. Guests should be notified of the specific testing requirements they should complete.
Royal Caribbean Group
Royal Caribbean International has changed its testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers. Those who are fully vaccinated don’t need to test if they’re going on a cruise that is five nights or less. Exceptions include cruises with ports of call in Bermuda and Canada, as well as longer cruises.
Children who are unvaccinated no longer need to test again during embarkation; they only need to present the initial negative test taken before embarkation. The cruise line is sailing with 80 percent fully vaccinated guests, and 20 percent unvaccinated.
Celebrity Cruises amended its testing and vaccine requirements as of August 8 as well. They match those of Royal Caribbean but add no extra testing requirements for back-to-back cruises.
Silversea requires all travelers 12 and up to be fully vaccinated, including boosters if applicable. Fully vaccinated guests who have not received a booster dose are required to present a negative antigen or PCR test result taken no more than 2 days prior to boarding.
Vaccinated travelers with their recommended boosters are required to present a negative antigen or PCR test taken no more than 3 days prior to boarding.
All guests will also undergo daily temperature checks and must complete a health questionnaire.
Silversea’s Silver Cloud ice-class expedition ship in Antarctica. (photo via Silversea Cruises)
Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours
Travelers embarking on any Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours itinerary are required to be fully vaccinated. Guests taking river cruises don’t need to adhere to line-specific testing requirements. Guests might be required to take a rapid antigen test upon embarkation for an ocean cruise.
All guests must also complete a pre-travel health questionnaire.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
All guests on all sailings through the end of 2022 with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection are required to be fully vaccinated. Booster shots might also be required for entry into the specific country of embarkation as well as the destinations along the itinerary.
Children who are not old enough to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine must present a negative antigen or PCR test result taken within 72 hours of embarkation.
Viking Cruises became the first cruise line to do away with pre-embarkation testing measures for fully vaccinated travelers in destinations where testing isn’t required for cruise or river ships. Those taking select Viking cruises on the Viking Orion ship from the U.S. or Canada will still be required to test during the embarkation process.
All travelers must also complete a pre-travel health survey and provide proof of full vaccination, but will no longer be required to test during the cruise unless they present symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady at Terminal V at PortMiami. (Photo via Virgin Voyages)
Beginning July 24 for sailings in the European Union and July 27 for sailing from the U.S., Virgin Voyages dropped its pre-embarkation testing requirement. Travelers now only need to provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated in order to sail, but the cruise line doesn’t require it: it’s now allowing ten percent of all guests on each cruise to be unvaccinated.
Unvaccinated travelers are required to test prior to embarkation or during embarkation.
Guests embarking on a Windstar Cruise are required to be fully vaccinated as defined by the country in which they are embarking. They are also required to present a medically administered antigen or PCR test taken within two or three days of the departure date.
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