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Do You Need to Be Vaccinated to Cruise? It Depends on the Ship and Destination

While most cruise lines have scrapped covid vaccine and testing requirements, some companies and international cruise ports still have vaccination and testing rules in place..

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Viking Star vessel with New York City skyline in the background

If you’re planning on sailing with Viking anytime soon, you’d better track down that COVID-19 vaccine certificate.

Courtesy of Viking

When cruising restarted in spring 2021, after a nearly 15-month pandemic-spurred shutdown imposed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cruisers faced a barrage of rules, including strict requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations and precruise COVID-19 testing. Later, the rules started to go by the wayside, and it was hard to keep track of who was requiring what. Not anymore.

Most cruise lines have now dropped or are soon dropping rules for both vaccinations and precruise testing, with at least one notable exception. Viking —on its river, ocean, and expedition ships—still requires everyone on board be fully vaccinated .

Another line that was still requiring COVID vaccinations, small-ship line Windstar Cruises, will be scrapping its vaccine mandate as of June 1, 2023. “We’ve invested in and improved our health and safety processes, including upgrading the HVAC systems on all of our ships, which has led to a cleaner and safer environment on board,” says Windstar president Christopher Prelog. “When combined with the widespread availability of vaccines and medical treatments, the risk factors are considerably lower now, giving us the confidence to lift the requirement.”

Are COVID vaccinations and testing still required for cruises?

Most cruise lines have dropped both their vaccine and testing requirements. Those that have lingered into 2023—mostly lines operating smaller ships—have been quietly scaling back their requirements.

The result: While there was a time after cruising restarted that you could be assured that your fellow passengers, at least those age 12 and up, were both fully vaccinated and tested for COVID-19 before getting on the ship, that is not the case anymore.

That said, specific countries have their own requirements, and several countries still require that cruise ship passengers are vaccinated and/or tested before arrival. If you are doing an itinerary outside of the Caribbean or Europe (where most vaccine and testing requirements have been dropped)—including to select countries in Central and South America or to Australia—you still have to read your cruise line’s precruise health and safety information carefully to make sure you comply with the latest requirements.

Contact your cruise line or check the U.S. State Department’s travel advisories for the latest.

What to know before you cruise

Vaccine and pretrip testing requirements can be confusing, especially if you are cruising internationally. Cruise lines have their own rules; countries have their own rules.

Before your trip, you will need to review your cruise line’s health and safety protocols. If a precruise test is required by a certain country, you will find that noted. In this case, you may be required to arrive at your ship with a negative COVID-19 test result in hand or not. (If testing is required, it can typically be either a PCR test or tele-health-monitored antigen test , paid for by the passenger. The cruise line may also require a test at the pier, paid for by the cruise line.)

If being fully vaccinated is required, that means having received the original series of vaccines at least 14 days prior to your cruise, or the original series plus a booster shot or shots.

As was the case even before the pandemic, you will be asked at embarkation to fill out a questionnaire inquiring about your current health status and whether you currently have any symptoms of illness.

You are free to pack and wear masks on your cruise. Most cruise lines suggest you do wear masks in crowded indoor situations—but it’s not enforced.

A quick cruise line guide to COVID requirements

Here’s a rundown of the basic rules for some leading cruise lines. Note: There may be additional requirements if you are traveling internationally. Be sure to review the latest requirements prior to boarding.

American Queen Voyages

On American Queen Voyages’ river, ocean, Great Lakes, and expedition ships, there are no longer any precruise testing or vaccinations required. Face coverings are optional, though masks may be required of any passengers showing symptoms.

Precruise testing is no longer required for vaccinated guests sailing with Azamara , except in ports where testing is required. No vaccination is necessary for cruises departing from or returning to the United States or Europe. In Australia, all guests 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before sailing with all required COVID-19 vaccine doses (including a booster shot). Children under 12 years old are not required to be vaccinated.

Celebrity Cruises

No vaccination or testing is required on the majority of Celebrity Cruises sailings. Destinations with stricter requirements include: the Galápagos, Australia and New Zealand, transatlantic crossings, and select Central and South America itineraries. Unvaccinated guests need to be tested in Brazil, Chile, and Colombia.

As of April 23, 2023, on the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria , and as of June 8, 2023, on the Queen Elizabeth , vaccinations and testing will no longer be required by Cunard (until then, testing and vaccination requirements apply).

Disney Cruise Line

For sailings embarking from the United States, which are the bulk of Disney Cruise Line’s sailings, no vaccination or testing is required. Disney recommends all guests be vaccinated before sailing and take a test for COVID-19 two days prior to their cruise. There are additional requirements on repositioning cruises and in Australia, so it is important to check the line’s website before your cruise.

Holland America Line

There are no precruise testing or vaccination requirements on most Holland America Line itineraries. There are requirements on select voyages (you can look up a specific voyage’s requirements on the line’s website).

Lindblad Expeditions

For voyages embarking on or after May 11, 2023, Lindblad Expeditions will no longer require guests to be fully vaccinated, although the line recommends guests be fully vaccinated (for cruises prior to that time, all passengers age five and up must be vaccinated). Lindblad recommends, but does not require, passengers take a predeparture COVID-19 test within five days of the start of their expedition.

Oceania Cruises

Vaccine requirements are purely dependent on the destinations being visited on each Oceania cruise. Passengers are advised to be up to date on the latest regulations for all destinations on their cruise itinerary.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Effective April 2023, Paul Gauguin Cruises no longer requires that passengers are vaccinated or tested for COVID prior to embarkation, but it continues to encourage vaccination. “Paul Gauguin Cruises’ officers, staff and crew will remain fully vaccinated,” the line states. Travelers will need to present a health declaration form at embarkation.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Vaccines and precruise testing are generally not required to sail with Regent Seven Seas Cruises . There are some requirements in place based on local health regulations in a specific country a ship is visiting. Regent notifies guests approximately 30 days prior to sailing of any country-specific protocols.

Royal Caribbean

No vaccine or precruise testing is required on the majority of Royal Caribbean itineraries, with a few exceptions: Cruises from Australia, transpacific and transatlantic sailings, and cruises from Hawai‘i to Vancouver.

No vaccine or testing required except on certain Seabourn itineraries where a country may have specific requirements.

No vaccination is required for Silversea passengers except as designated by the destination. Precruise testing is not required except when specified by a destination.

Viking Cruises

All passengers and crew are required to be vaccinated on Viking’s river, ocean, and expedition ships—without exception. Viking strongly recommends passengers receive a booster dose before departing. Viking recommends but does not require a predeparture COVID-19 test (except if required by a destination).

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages has no precruise testing or vaccination requirements. Masks may be required at select times.

Windstar Cruises

Beginning June 1, 2023, Windstar will no longer require guests to be vaccinated. Crew will continue to be vaccinated. Masks are optional, with the line highly recommending guests wear masks in indoor public spaces. All guests fill out a health questionnaire on embarkation. A precruise COVID-19 test is not required unless you show symptoms.

This article was originally published in May 2022; it was most recently updated on April 19, 2023, with current information.

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Carnival cruise line removes pre-cruise testing for vaccinated guests and welcomes all unvaccinated to sail.

MIAMI , Aug. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnival Cruise Line today announced protocol updates that meet public health goals but recognize the evolving nature of COVID-19. With these changes, America's Cruise Line is making it easier for more guests to sail with simplified vaccination and testing guidelines, including no testing for vaccinated guests on sailings less than 16 nights, and eliminating the exemption request process for unvaccinated guests, who will only need to show a negative test result at embarkation. All new guidelines are effective for cruises departing on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 or later, and include:

  • Vaccinated guests must continue to provide evidence of their vaccination status prior to embarkation. Pre-cruise testing is no longer required, except for cruises to Canada , Bermuda , Greece and Australia (per local guidelines), and on voyages 16 nights or longer.
  • Unvaccinated guests are welcome to sail and are no longer required to apply for a vaccine exemption, except for cruises in Australia or on voyages 16 nights and longer.
  • Unvaccinated guests or those who do not provide proof of vaccination must present the results of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within three days of embarkation.
  • All policies are subject to local destination regulations.

Note: Guests under the age of five years are exempt from vaccination and testing requirements from the United States and under the age of 12 from Australia .

Voyages 16 nights and longer will continue to have vaccination and testing requirements that are specific to the itinerary. Requirements for long voyages and destination-specific protocols are available on Carnival's Have Fun. Be Safe. page on Carnival.com .

For guests who have a pending vaccine exemption application and are awaiting confirmation for cruises departing Sept. 6 or later, the booking is confirmed unless booked on a sailing that calls on Canada , Bermuda , Australia or if the voyage is 16 nights or longer. 

Christine Duffy , president of Carnival Cruise Line . "We've got lots happening, with Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Celebration joining our fleet this November and more to come in 2023. Whatever the ship, homeport or itinerary that works for you, our great onboard team is ready to deliver a fun vacation – something we all look forward to even more nowadays!"

Duffy added that Carnival is in the process of updating its website, communications, and processes, and sharing more details with guests and travel advisor partners to reflect these new, simplified policies. "We appreciate the patience of our guests and travel advisor partners as we update all materials, but the end result is a very positive one for all who are looking forward to cruising with us," she said.

For additional information on Carnival Cruise Line and to book a cruise vacation, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, visit www.carnival.com , or contact your favorite travel advisor or online travel site.

ABOUT CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE Carnival Cruise Line , part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is proud to be known as America's Cruise Line .  Since its founding in 1972, Carnival has continually revolutionized the cruise sector, making a cruise vacation an affordable and popular option for millions of guests. Carnival operates from 14 U.S. homeports and employs more than 40,000 team members representing 120 nationalities. Carnival's newest ship, Mardi Gras , featuring the first roller coaster at sea, is the first cruise ship in the Americas powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).  Carnival returns to Australia in October 2022 and will welcome four additional ships over the next two years, including Carnival Celebration, which arrives to Miami in November to close out Carnival's 50th birthday festivities.

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SOURCE Carnival Cruise Line

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AIDA Cruises is the market leader in the German-speaking cruise market. Home of the smile, AIDA Cruises is the epitome of a premium-quality, relaxing cruise and operates one of the world’s most state-of-the-art fleets. Visit: www.aida.de

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Carnival Cruise Line, also known as America’s Cruise Line, is a leader in contemporary cruising and operates a fleet of ships designed to provide fun and memorable vacation experiences at a great value. Visit: www.carnival.com

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Costa Cruises delivers Italy’s finest at sea, bringing modern Italian lifestyle to its ships to provide guests with a true European experience that embodies a unique passion for life through warm hospitality, entertainment and gastronomy. Visit: www.costacruise.com

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Cunard is the epitome of British refinement for travelers who relish the line’s impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining, world-class entertainment, and the legacy of historic voyages and transatlantic travel. Visit: www.cunard.com

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Holland America Line's premium fleet of spacious, elegant mid-sized ships feature sophisticated five-star dining, extensive entertainment and activities, innovative culinary enrichment programs and compelling worldwide itineraries. Visit: www.hollandamerica.com

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P&O Cruises (UK) is Britain’s favorite cruise line with a fleet of ships combining genuine service and a sense of occasion and attention to detail, ensuring passengers have the holiday of a lifetime, every time. Visit: www.pocruises.co.uk

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P&O Cruises (Australia) provides a quintessential holiday experience for Australians and New Zealanders, taking them to some of the world's most idyllic and hard-to-reach places across Asia and the South Pacific. Visit: www.pocruises.co.au

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Princess is the world’s leading international cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of modern cruise ships, renowned for the innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities. Visit: www.princess.com

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Seabourn provides ultraluxury cruising vacations in a unique, small-ship style that focuses on genuine, intuitive service, all-suite accommodations, superb cuisine and unique experiences in destinations worldwide. Visit: www.seabourn.com

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These Major Cruise Lines Just Dropped COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Shorter Sailings — What to Know

Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Royal Caribbean have become the latest cruise companies to roll back pre-embarkation testing for vaccinated passengers, implementing the rule change for shorter journeys.

Starting Aug. 4, Carnival will no longer require vaccinated guests to get tested for cruises that are five days or less, according to the cruise line . Vaccinated guests on longer cruises must be tested within three days of their departure.

Carnival will still require unvaccinated passengers, which remain capacity-controlled, to get tested with either a lab-administered or supervised self-administered rapid antigen test taken within three days of embarkation, but will no longer perform in-terminal testing on the day of departure.

Carnival, which lifted mask requirements in March, will continue to require travelers heading to Bermuda or Canada to take either a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of their sailing or a rapid antigen test within two days of their sailing.

MSC will also eliminate pre-cruise testing on Aug. 8 for vaccinated travelers on sailings five nights and under out of U.S. ports, the company shared with Travel + Leisure. The company now recommends testing, but does not require it.

Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Vaccinated passengers on longer cruises will have to show proof of COVID-19 test taken within three days of embarkation. Unvaccinated passengers will also be required to show proof of a lab-administered negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test taken within three days of embarkation for all cruises from U.S. ports.

For its part, Royal Caribbean will eliminate testing for vaccinated passengers on sailings departing the United States that are 5 nights or shorter starting on Aug. 8, according to the cruise line . On longer cruises, Royal Caribbean will still require vaccinated passengers to get tested, which currently must be with a PCR or rapid antigen test taken within two days of boarding.

The cruise company continues to require vaccinations for all guests 12 and older, but going forward, Royal Caribbean's President and CEO Michael Bayley wrote on Facebook the cruise line will also welcome unvaccinated guests over 12 and guests with a certificate of recovery within 90 days. Royal Caribbean said its current protocols will "remain in place for any cruises departing before August 8," and further details on the new rules would be provided this week.

"Today ! Finally ! we announced a change to the testing requirement," Bayley said. "Over the coming weeks as we evaluate these changes and discuss further changes with the destinations we visit, our intention is to further relax testing requirements."

Typically, Royal Caribbean requires unvaccinated travelers to get tested with a PCR test taken within three days of boarding as well as undergo a complimentary test when checking in at the terminal, no matter the cruise length, and then again before disembarking on longer cruises.

The rule changes come after both Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Sea cruise line dropped its pre-boarding testing requirement for vaccinated passengers and Virgin Voyages eliminated pre-boarding testing for all its guests.

Norwegian Cruise Line has also eliminated testing for vaccinated travelers, but the policy does not apply to cruises departing ports in the U.S., Canada, or Piraeus, Greece.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially ended its pandemic-era program for cruise ships (months after the agency allowed its Conditional Sail Order to expire ), choosing to no longer display the number of COVID-19 cases online. The agency currently recommends all travelers are "up to date" with their COVID-19 vaccines before boarding a cruise, "highly" recommends cruise ships require testing within one day of embarkation, and asks cruise lines to "consider" operating with at least 90% of passengers and 95% of crew up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram .

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Here Are the Updated COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Each Major Cruise Line

For many, testing and vaccination requirements have made cruising more confusing than ever, by sophia pargas • published august 8, 2022 • updated on august 15, 2022 at 10:07 am.

Ever since the start of the pandemic, new COVID-19 protocols have complicated many travelers' ideal summer getaway: cruising.

To many, the newfound hassle of determining cruise line regulations , gathering documents and finding a testing center has turned many away from sailing. In recent months, however, many cruise lines have altered requirements to become more lenient on pre-boarding testing regulations.

Philadelphia news 24/7: Watch NBC10 free wherever you are

Before taking to the seas on your next adventure, read this guide to review the updated testing mandates on all of your favorite cruise lines.

(All information is based on sailings out of the United States.)

Get Philly local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Philadelphia newsletters.

Carnival Cruise Lines

cruise lines no longer requiring covid testing

Testing Requirements for Vaccinated Passengers:

  • Vaccinated guests must continue to provide evidence of their vaccination status, either through VeriFLY or at embarkation.
  • Canada: a PCR test can be taken 3 days before sailing or an antigen test can be taken 2 days before sailing
  • Bermuda: a PCR test can be taken 4 days before sailing or an antigen test can be taken 2 days before sailing
  • Greece: a PCR or antigen test can be taken 2 days before sailing
  • Australia: a PCR test 3 days before sailing or a self-administered antigen test 1 day before sailing

Testing Requirements for Unvaccinated Passengers:

  • Unvaccinated guests are welcome to sail and are no longer required to apply for a vaccine exemption, except for cruises in Australia or on voyages 16 nights and longer. 
  • Bermuda: a PCR test can be taken 4 days before sailing (antigen tests are not accepted)

For more information, please see here .

Celebrity Cruise Line

cruise lines no longer requiring covid testing

  • Cruises 5 days or less: With the exception of sailings to Bermuda and Canada, no fully vaccinated passengers will be required to test before sailing.
  • Cruises 6 days or more: All guests are required to take an official COVID-19 test before boarding. They can take a PCR test 72 hours prior to sailing, or an antigen test two days prior to sailing.

All unvaccinated guests ages 2 and older are required to receive a lab-administered PCR or antigen test up to 3 days before sailing.

Cunard Luxury Cruise Line

cruise lines no longer requiring covid testing

Testing Requirements:

All guests 5 and older are required to take an official negative COVID-19 test before embarking.

Disney Cruise Line

cruise lines no longer requiring covid testing

All vaccinated guests are required to show proof of a negative antigen, NAAT or PCR test within two days of sailing.

Unvaccinated guests (those 4 and under) must provide proof of a negative NAAT or PCR test within three days of sailing. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted.

Holland America Cruise Line

Holland America cruise ship, Koningsdam , docks in San Diego on Dec. 26, 2021.

Regardless of vaccination status, all guests ages 2 and up are required to show proof of a negative antigen or NAAT COVID test.

MSC Cruises

The the 92,409-ton, 16-deck MSC Orchestra cruise ship exits the lagoon as it leaves Venice, Italy

  • Cruises 5 days or less: Beginning August 29, no fully vaccinated passengers will be required to test before sailing.
  • Cruises 6 days or more: All guests are required to take an official COVID-19 test before boarding.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

Beginning September 4, no fully vaccinated passengers will be required to test before sailing.

Beginning September 4, all children under 11 years old will not be required to test before sailing. Children 12 and older who are unvaccinated must receive a PCR or antigen test up to 72 hours before sailing.

Princess Cruise Line

cruise lines no longer requiring covid testing

Testing Requirements: All guests 2 and older are required to submit a negative test regardless of vaccination status.

Royal Caribbean Cruises

cruise lines no longer requiring covid testing

Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Sky arrives Molde

Viking does not require a pre-departure COVID-19 test unless it is required by a sailing's destination.

cruise lines no longer requiring covid testing

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More Cruise Lines to Start Allowing Unvaccinated Passengers on Board

Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruises are easing their vaccination policies.

cruise lines no longer requiring covid testing

Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruises have changed their COVID-19-related protocols, becoming the latest cruise lines to simplify vaccine requirements or streamline testing rules.

Starting Sept. 6, Carnival Cruise Line unvaccinated travelers will no longer need to obtain a vaccine exemption to board cruises that last less than 16 nights, according to the company . These travelers will still need to apply for an exemption on cruises to Australia and longer voyages.

Unvaccinated travelers will have to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within three days of embarkation.

Additionally, Carnival will no longer require pre-embarkation testing on cruises that are less than 16 nights for vaccinated passengers who provide proof of their vaccination status. Travelers who sail to Canada, Bermuda, Greece, Australia, or on longer cruises will still have to get tested to board.

The rule change comes just days after Carnival dropped pre-embarkation testing for vaccinated passengers on cruises that are five days or less and months after the company lifted mask requirements in March.

"Our ships have been sailing very full all summer, but there is still room for more of our loyal guests, and these guidelines will make it a simpler process, and make cruising accessible for those who were not able to meet the protocols we were required to follow for much of the past 14 months," Christine Duffy, the president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement. "Whatever the ship, homeport or itinerary that works for you, our great onboard team is ready to deliver a fun vacation – something we all look forward to even more nowadays!"

Royal Caribbean will also ease vaccine requirements starting Sept. 5 for cruises departing from Los Angeles, Galveston, New Orleans, and any European homeport, according to the company . Testing rules vary by destination , but Royal Caribbean has eliminated testing for vaccinated passengers on sailings that depart from the U.S. that are 5 nights or shorter.

The company said it was "working with local governments in the Eastern Caribbean to align on vaccination requirements for more itineraries."

For its part, Princess Cruises will also drop testing rules for vaccinated passengers on Sept. 6 on sailings that are less than 16 days departing from the United States, United Kingdom, or Europe, the company shared with Travel + Leisure .

"These updated guidelines help ensure a Princess vacation is available to everyone," John Padgett, the president of Princess Cruises, said in a statement provided to T L. "The Princess experience is truly one-of-a-kind and we encourage everyone to take a Princess vacation that offers amazing service at unmatched value."

The company will also simplify its rules for unvaccinated passengers.

Next month, unvaccinated travelers 5 years old and older on voyages less than 16 days will have to get a PCR test or perform a home rapid antigen test within three days of sailing and upload proof of that negative test before boarding. Unvaccinated travelers on longer sailings will have to get a PCR or medically-assisted rapid antigen test taken within three days of embarkation.

Currently, Princess allows unvaccinated travelers to sail, but requires them to get a PCR test taken within three days of their departure as well as undergo a rapid antigen test at the terminal.

The streamlined rules come days after Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Oceania Cruises all said they would drop pandemic-era vaccination requirements in September.

Several other cruise lines have relaxed testing rules for vaccinated guests, including Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Sea cruise line and Virgin Voyages .

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram .

Related Articles

Have Fun. Be Safe.

carnival mardi gras visiting the port of st thomas

Cruising with Carnival is easy! Vaccines and testing are not required for most U.S. and European departures.*

Guests sailing to and from Australia must visit the Australia Have Fun. Be Safe. page for protocols specific to those cruises.

VACCINATION & TESTING

Although vaccines are not required, we encourage all guests, 5 years of age and older, to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, when eligible, and carry proof of vaccination. Testing is not required for either vaccinated or unvaccinated guests. However, we encourage all guests, 5 years and older, to take a pre-cruise COVID-19 test within three days of their cruise.

*Carnival Luminosa - 9/14/2023: This Carnival Journeys Transpacific voyage will be calling on certain destinations (including Australia) which are still observing COVID-19 protocols. Below are more details regarding vaccination and testing requirements for this voyage:

  • Guests, aged 12 years and older, must be fully vaccinated to sail. Additionally, we strongly recommend that guests get a booster, if eligible.
  • All guests, aged two years and above, regardless of vaccination status, are required to take a self-administered Rapid-Antigen Test (RAT) within 24 hours of boarding or a PCR test within 48 hours prior to boarding. Evidence of a negative result is required to cruise.
  • Vaccine exemptions are required for guests, aged 12 years and older, with medical conditions preventing vaccination. If you, or a member of your party, meet the criteria for a vaccine exemption, you may apply here .
  • Full details regarding vaccination and testing requirements and FAQs are available on the Australia Have Fun. Be Safe. page .

DESTINATION REQUIREMENTS

We will continue to monitor the protocols and requirements of the destinations we visit and will update our guests directly and this page of any changes.

Have questions? Check out our Have Fun. Be Safe. FAQs for all sailings, except Carnival Luminosa’s 09/14/2023 voyage.

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These 3 Cruise Lines Are No Longer Requiring COVID Tests For Some Passengers

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped its voluntary COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships , three cruise lines have also ended their pre-cruise requirements for COVID testing prior to boarding for some passengers.

On July 18, the CDC ended its COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, which provided recommendations to the cruise industry, including vaccination and COVID testing requirements, saying at the time that cruise lines have the ability to “manage their own COVID-19 mitigation programs.”

The agency continued by saying that “cruise travelers have access to recommendations that allow them to make informed decisions about cruise ship travel” but maintained that “cruising poses some risk of COVID-19 transmission .”

On the heels of the announcement from the CDC, Virgin Voyages, Azamara, and Margaritaville at Sea eliminated the requirements for guests to provide negative COVID tests prior to boarding their cruise ships .

Virgin Voyages no longer requires any passenger boarding its ships to have a negative COVID test, implementing the change for its Valiant Lady ship on Sunday, and for its Scarlet Lady ship on Wednesday.

Virgin said on its website that it will still require 90% of passengers to be vaccinated but it is opening up its sailings for 10% of unvaccinated guests. Boosters are not required by the cruise line, which also said that its crew will still be fully vaccinated.

Cruise line Azamara also ended pre-cruise COVID testing on Monday for travelers , except at ports where the requirement is in place per the regulations of the country. Azamara does require proof of COVID vaccination for sailing with the cruise line.

In a statement on its website , Azamara said, “we are continually evaluating these protocols and updating them as public health standards evolve.”

Also making changes to its COVID testing requirements is Margaritaville at Sea, which launched its first ship, the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, in May. The cruise line no longer requires its vaccinated passengers to have a negative COVID test as it continues to offer vaccinated cruises, with some exceptions.

The company said on its website, “Not only are we following the latest CDC guidelines but have taken additional safety and protective measures to provide you with a safe, healthy, and fun microvacation. As the state of COVID-19 evolves, we will continue adapt our protocols based on public health advisories.”

Unvaccinated passengers looking to board with Margaritaville at Sea will need to provide a negative Antigen COVID test by a verified agency within one day of sailing, the cruise line said.

Also, starting Aug. 1, Norwegian Cruise Line will no longer require COVID testing for vaccinated passengers, but the new policy does not apply to any of its cruises that are departing from a port that is located in the U.S., Canada, or Piraeus, Greece.

The requirements for a "phased resumption" of cruise ship passenger operations were released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

© Copyright IBTimes 2024. All rights reserved.

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cruise lines no longer requiring covid testing

Do I need to wear a mask on my cruise? A line-by-line guide

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

Since cruising resumed post-pandemic, I’ve been on more than 30 sailings, and I have several more planned. At this point, cruise lines have eased restrictions such that wearing a mask is largely optional.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed its voluntary Conditional Sailing Order to expire in January 2022. It replaced the order with a now-defunct, color-coded, opt-in system that rated cruise lines based on the percentage of passengers for whom COVID-19 vaccinations were required. Now, however, the guidelines are merely recommendations, and all lines have rolled back their masking policies .

The first to do so was Norwegian Cruise Line, which shocked the industry, given the line’s notoriously strict stance on pandemic protocols.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s  new cruise newsletter .

So, which cruise lines require masks? Here, you’ll find a line-by-line breakdown of whether masks are required on board and, if so, where and when.

Azamara Cruises

Azamara no longer requires passengers to wear masks on its ships, although it still recommends them. The line also warns that masks could be required by some ports of call its ships visit.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival no longer requires masks on its ships. Passengers are encouraged to wear them during embarkation and disembarkation, as well as in areas with large crowds. Masks may also be required when ashore, per local guidelines. Cruisers must wear masks in the onboard medical center.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity has made masks optional for all passengers, regardless of vaccination status. This policy may vary based on local port requirements.

Cunard Line

Cunard only requires cruisers to wear face masks that cover their noses and mouths when in the medical center, as well as when required by local regulations.

Disney Cruise Line

Face coverings on Disney Cruise Line are optional throughout the line’s ships. Unvaccinated guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks while on board. Masks are mandatory in select ports if required by local protocols.

Holland America Line

Masks are optional but recommended in most areas on Holland America Line ‘s ships. Certain ports of call might require passengers to wear face coverings while ashore.

MSC Cruises

Masks are optional on MSC cruises, but the line recommends them for unvaccinated passengers. Face coverings might also be required in certain ports per local regulations.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian no longer requires passengers to wear masks on any of its voyages.

Oceania Cruises

Passengers on Oceania sailings are not required to wear masks, but they are strongly encouraged to do so. These regulations may change based on local port requirements.

Princess Cruises

Princess no longer requires masks on board.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Passengers on Regent voyages no longer need to wear masks, but they will be strongly encouraged to do so. The policy is subject to change based on local port requirements.

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean has dropped its mask mandate for vaccinated passengers. The line also recommends that unvaccinated children wear masks in all indoor areas, including the youth center.

Seabourn Cruises

Seabourn cruisers are not required to wear masks, but they are encouraged to do so in areas where crowds congregate.

Silversea Cruises

It’s no longer mandatory for Silversea passengers to wear masks. However, they are encouraged to do so on shore excursion buses and must do so in destinations where there are mask requirements.

Viking Cruises

For its ocean, river and expedition sailings, Viking has made face masks optional, but its ships’ onboard medical teams can require passengers to put them on at any time if conditions warrant it. Face coverings could also be required in select destinations, based on local regulations.

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages passengers are no longer required to wear masks on board the line’s ships. However, face coverings might be compulsory during embarkation, disembarkation and during port visits, per local rules.

Windstar Cruises

When sailing with Windstar , cruisers are no longer required to wear masks, but the line does encourage the practice. Face coverings might be required in some destinations.

Have more cruise questions? TPG has answers:

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  • What are the largest cruise ships in the world?
  • What is a gentleman host on a cruise?
  • What is the Jones Act, and how does it affect cruise ships?
  • What is a lido deck on a cruise ship?
  • What’s a cruise cabin guarantee, and will it save you money?
  • What’s the difference between a cruise concierge and a butler?

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Do I need to wear a mask on my cruise? A line-by-line guide

Do I need a Covid test for cruises? Latest updates including Royal Caribbean, P&O and Saga

Saga, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises, Princess and Fred Olsen all have different rules around coronavirus vaccination and testing requirements

The Majestic Princess cruise ship is seen docked in Sydney

  • 16:44, 23 Nov 2022
  • Updated 09:53, 24 Nov 2022

The Covid testing and vaccination requirements are different for different cruise lines, so it's crucial you follow the right ones.

The cruise industry was battered more than most during the coronavirus pandemic, with the majority of the world's fleet unable to take passengers for over a year.

Understandably, those operating ships are keen to avoid coronavirus outbreaks while out at sea and the minimise the prospect of quarantining guests.

While coronavirus infection rates and deaths are much lower in the UK and other Western countries now, restrictions designed to stop its spread remain in place in many nations - so it's important to check local rules ahead of travel.

Here are six of the biggest cruise companies and their current rules for UK travellers:

Royal Caribbean

On boarding day in Southampton, vaccinated guests living in the UK no longer need to take a test on arrival at the terminal, but will be asked to present their negative PCR test and Covid vaccine certificate.

Unvaccinated guests from two to 17-years-old living in the UK will be required to take a complimentary rapid antigen test on arrival at the cruise terminal and receive a negative result in order to sail, and will be asked to present their negative PCR test result.

Protocols to cruising have been lifted on Princess, meaning "for most voyages there are no longer vaccination or testing requirements", the company states on its website.

To make sure of the rules on your specific cruise, you can use Princess's CruiseHealth tool .

P&O cruises

Testing is not mandatory but it is "highly recommended" that all customers take one three days before departure.

All adults must be fully vaccinated.

Guests aged five to 17 years who are not fully vaccinated will need to take a lateral flow/antigen test in the three days before, or on the day of departure.

You’ll no longer need to provide a test certificate, but you must be able to provide photo evidence of your negative test if asked - simply write your name and the date of testing on a piece of paper and include in the photo.

Guests aged four years and under remain exempt from all pre-travel vaccination and testing requirements.

Disney Cruise Line

Fully vaccinated guests will no longer be required to provide a negative Covid test upon embarkation.

Guests who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will still be required to provide proof of a negative Covid test taken one to three days prior to sailing.

All guests aged 12 and above must be fully vaccinated, and those who have been in contact with anyone with Covid within seven days of the cruise leaving should not travel.

All guests will be required to take their own lateral flow test at home within 24 hours of the departure date of the cruise and bring the proof of a negative test result to show at check-in.

If you arrive at the port without confirmation of a negative result, you will be asked to complete a £25 test at the terminal, which will result in a delay at check-in.

All customers travelling with Saga Holidays until 31 December 2022 must be fully vaccinated against Covid.

All UK Government testing requirements have been removed. However, a pre-departure test by the destination to be visited may still be required, so you should check local rules.

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COMMENTS

  1. Which Cruise Lines Still Require COVID Vaccines? A Full List

    Paul Gauguin Cruises. Effective April 2023, Paul Gauguin Cruises no longer requires that passengers are vaccinated or tested for COVID prior to embarkation, but it continues to encourage vaccination. "Paul Gauguin Cruises' officers, staff and crew will remain fully vaccinated," the line states.

  2. Vaccines, Masks and Testing: What Cruise Lines Require Now (2022)

    Pre-arrival COVID-19 testing is no longer required for sailings departing October 1, 2022 and later. Is A Pierside, Pre-Embarkation COVID-19 Test Required? Yes, at Lindblad's expense.

  3. Cruise Lines Eliminate COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements & Pre-Cruise Testing

    Windstar guests will no longer require a pre-cruise COVID-19 test for embarking guests (unless required by a country visited). Viking Cruises - Ocean and River . Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises guests on sailings embarking on or after November 1, 2023, will no longer be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The vaccination ...

  4. Cruise Lines That Don't Require Vaccine and Pre-Cruise Testing

    Since the CDC Voluntary Program for U.S. Based Cruise Ships ended in July, Carnival Cruise Line joined the list of cruise lines that have removed some testing requirements. On shorter cruises that ...

  5. Cruise lines that don't require pre-cruise Covid test

    Short cruises that visit other countries without a stop in the ports above, do not require a covid test, such as Western Caribbean cruises to Mexico or Honduras. After September 6, 2022. Carnival is expanding acceptable pre-cruise testing for unvaccinated guests for voyages departing September 6, 2022, and later.

  6. Every Cruise Line's Requirements for COVID Vaccines, Testing

    What other safety measures are in place: Guests will no longer be required to present proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test prior to, or during any point of sailing and the cruise line will no ...

  7. Will You Need a Pre-Cruise COVID-19 Test? Maybe Not

    On July 28, Royal Caribbean announced it would no longer require a pre-departure COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated passengers on sailings of five days or less. However, pre-cruise testing is ...

  8. Updated Vaccine and Testing Requirements for All Major Cruise Lines

    Celestyal Cruises just updated its COVID-19 protocols as of August 26. It no longer requires guests to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor areas onboard. While the line requires travelers to be both fully vaccinated or to have recently recovered from COVID-19 and to take an antigen or PCR test prior to embarkation, the line has extended both tests' eligibility windows, no longer ...

  9. When are cruise lines still requiring COVID testing? Here's what

    All guests 5 and up must provide "a medically supervised COVID-19 test with written negative result" on cruises 16 nights or more. Travelers need to test within three days of embarkation, and ...

  10. Carnival Cruise Line Removes Pre-cruise Testing for Vaccinated Guests

    Pre-cruise testing is no longer required, except for cruises to Canada, Bermuda, Greece and Australia (per local guidelines), and on voyages 16 nights or longer.

  11. Carnival Cruise Line Removes Pre-cruise Testing for Vaccinated Guests

    MIAMI, Aug. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnival Cruise Line today announced protocol updates that meet public health goals but recognize the evolving nature of COVID-19. With these changes, America's Cruise Line is making it easier for more guests to sail with simplified vaccination and testing guidelines, including no testing for vaccinated guests on sailings less than 16 nights, and ...

  12. These Major Cruise Lines Just Dropped COVID-19 Testing ...

    Starting Aug. 4, Carnival will no longer require vaccinated guests to get tested for cruises that are five days or less, according to the cruise line. Vaccinated guests on longer cruises must be ...

  13. Cruise COVID Testing Rules For Vaccinated, Unvaccinated Travelers

    Cruises 6 days or more: All guests are required to take an official COVID-19 test before boarding. Testing Requirements for Unvaccinated Passengers: All unvaccinated guests ages 2 and older are ...

  14. Celebrity Cruises Drops Vaccination Requirement, Eases Testing

    by Lacey Pfalz. Last updated: 12:19 PM ET, Mon August 22, 2022. Celebrity Cruises has amended its vaccination and testing requirements, no longer requiring cruisers to be fully vaccinated beginning September 5, 2022 on sailings in the United States and Europe. Additionally, the cruise line now only requires cruisers to meet local testing ...

  15. Royal Caribbean No Longer Requiring COVID Testing on Short Cruises

    Last updated: 9:41 AM ET, Fri July 29, 2022. Royal Caribbean Group announced it would no longer require vaccinated passengers to take a coronavirus test before boarding voyages of six nights or less. According to ClickOrlando.com, Royal Caribbean officials said the decision would go into effect on August 8 and all voyages before that date must ...

  16. These cruise lines are easing pre-travel COVID testing requirements

    Carnival, Royal Caribbean and MSC cruise lines will no longer require vaccinated travelers to get tested on cruises five days long or less. Unvaccinated travelers and vaccinated travelers on ...

  17. Cruise Line Ends Pre-Cruise Testing Requirement

    Viking Cruises is the first cruise line to discontinue pre-cruise COVID-19 testing, but only under certain conditions. ... but no longer requires, a pre-departure COVID-19 test—unless one is ...

  18. More Cruise Lines to Start Allowing Unvaccinated Passengers ...

    Additionally, Carnival will no longer require pre-embarkation testing on cruises that are less than 16 nights for vaccinated passengers who provide proof of their vaccination status.

  19. After CDC drops its Covid cruise policy, will testing and vax rules

    The CDC retired its Covid-19 Program for Cruise Ships last week, scrapping requirements for pre-cruise testing and reporting vaccination rates for cruise sailings in and out of the U.S. Up until ...

  20. Have Fun. Be Safe

    Have Fun. Be Safe. Have Fun. Be Safe. Cruising with Carnival is easy! Vaccines and testing are not required for most U.S. and European departures.*. Guests sailing to and from Australia must visit the Australia Have Fun. Be Safe. page for protocols specific to those cruises.

  21. These 3 Cruise Lines Are No Longer Requiring COVID Tests For Some

    Also, starting Aug. 1, Norwegian Cruise Line will no longer require COVID testing for vaccinated passengers, but the new policy does not apply to any of its cruises that are departing from a port ...

  22. Do I need to wear a mask on my cruise? A line-by-line guide

    It replaced the order with a now-defunct, color-coded, opt-in system that rated cruise lines based on the percentage of passengers for whom COVID-19 vaccinations were required.

  23. Do I need a Covid test for cruises? Latest updates including Royal

    Disney Cruise Line. Fully vaccinated guests will no longer be required to provide a negative Covid test upon embarkation. Guests who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will still be required to ...

  24. Cruise Lines Applaud End of COVID Test Requirement

    Last updated: 6:20 PM ET, Fri June 10, 2022. As you would expect, the cruise industry applauded the end of the COVID test requirement to enter the U.S. from abroad. The move will minimize fears of being stuck in quarantine overseas and could help boost cruise bookings. "This is a tremendous development that allows our guests to travel more ...