Do you have to get the Covid 19 Vaccination to be able to sail? The answer to this question is continuously changing as cruise lines adjust their requirement.
Vaccine or testing requirements vary between different cruise lines, cruise ships, and the destinations of departure and porting. Although many major cruise lines were only welcoming fully vaccinated guests aboard, they are slowly starting to re-evaluate such mandates for a number of reasons, one being the decline in the severity of the disease.
Most cruise lines that are based in the U.S. only allowed vaccinated guests to board their cruise ships, and these mandates have persevered. Some cruise lines, such as Disney Cruise Line, have even required children to be fully vaccinated, while others, including Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, have permitted unvaccinated children to come onboard.
Cruise Lines that welcome unvaccinated guests on their ships have had to impose stricter disease control requirements in order to stay in line with governmental policies.
Cruise Lines’ Vaccine or Testing Requirements
Margaritaville at Sea Cruises
Margaritaville at Sea Paradise is open to all passengers, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated guests are also not required to get any pre-cruise testing done. Instead, vaccinated guests must present proof of vaccination, which can be the original vaccination card or a paper or electronic copy. Those that don’t have proof of vaccination are deemed unvaccinated guests and will be required to adhere to the unvaccinated guests’ guidelines, as highlighted below.
All unvaccinated guests will have to do a Covid 19 test prior to boarding the ships. All passengers over five years of age have to take a PCR test, antigen test, or NAAT test at least three days before the sailing date and provide proof of their negative Covid 19 test at the port.
Passengers under the age of five do not have to adhere to any testing requirements.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line simplified their testing requirements and vaccination guidelines. The cruise line does not require guests sailing for less than 16 days to complete pre-cruise tests. Unvaccinated guests need only provide a negative Covid 19 test prior to embarkation and are still welcome to board.
Vaccinated guests need only provide proof of their vaccination status prior to boarding, but no pre-cruise testing requirements are imposed. The exception to this rule involves cruises of 16 days or longer to Bermuda, Canada, Australia, and Greece due to local regulations.
All passengers younger than five years old are not subject to vaccination or testing requirements on ships porting from the U.S. The same goes for guests under twelve sailing from Australia.
Unvaccinated guests are permitted onboard without the need for a vaccine exemption, excluding Australian cruises or cruises of longer than 15 nights. If guests do not have proof of vaccination, they are considered unvaccinated and need to provide proof of a negative PCR test or a negative antigen test taken at most three days prior to embarkation.
All policies of Carnival Cruise Line are subject to local guidelines.
As of the 5th of September 2022:
- Everyone is allowed to sail from Europe and the U.S. regardless of vaccination status, except voyages that visit Canada.
- Celebrity Cruises accept any form of commercially available test, such as unsupervised self-tests, for cruises to many countries, except voyages that visit Canada, Greece, and Bermuda.
- If unvaccinated guests adhere to the testing requirements, they can go on any sailings departing from ports in Europe.
- Any commercially available test is accepted, which includes unsupervised self-tests, except for sailings to Greece, which does not accept self-tests.
- Cruisers younger than twelve years are not required to do pre-cruise testing.
- European testing requirements still differentiate between the vaccination status of unvaccinated guests and fully vaccinated passengers.
- Cruises extending for longer than nine nights require guests to present a negative Covid 19 test as indicated by any commercially available test, such as self-tests, completed no more than three days before embarkation.
- No pre-cruise testing requirements apply to vaccinated guests for cruises extending fewer than ten nights, except voyages that visit Canada as well as Bermuda.
- Unvaccinated guests are welcome to sail to Bermuda.
- Cruisers younger than five years are not required to do pre-cruise testing.
Disney Cruise Line
All vaccinated passengers that are older than eleven years must be fully vaccinated prior to embarkation on any Disney Cruise Line voyage out of a Canadian or U.S. port as of the 2nd of September 2022.
Unvaccinated children between the ages of five and eleven are not required to be vaccinated to board the ship.
Regardless of vaccination status, all passengers sailing on a Disney cruise ship are required to wear their masks inside the ship but are allowed to take them off outside.
Holland America Line
All vaccinated passengers don’t have to provide proof of a negative Covid 19 test to board the ship as of the 6th of September 2022.
However, any cruise sailing to Canada, Greece, and Australia still requires passengers to do pre-cruise testing.
Passengers who cannot get vaccinated because of religious, medical, or personal reasons are welcome to cruise with Holland America Line if the voyage doesn’t exceed 16 nights.
However, unvaccinated travelers are still required to provide proof of a negative test (PCR test or antigen test) prior to embarkation. The test must be completed within three days pre-embarkation.
Holland America Line requires passengers to pre-cruise test for cruises that extend for longer than 15 nights, along with cruises that follow particular route, including transatlantic crossings and full Panama Canal transits.
Guests that are twelve years of age or older must be fully vaccinated to be able to sail with MSC Cruises pre-embarkation.
Unvaccinated passengers under the age of twelve are able to sail with MSC cruises but must provide proof of a negative Covid 19 test in the form of an RT-PCR test done within three days pre-embarkation.
Unvaccinated children will be required to do a further Covid 19 test given by MSC Cruises for free at the port pre-embarkation. Children under the age of two are not required to do pre-cruise tests.
Norwegian Cruise Line
As of the 4th of October 2022, the Norwegian Cruise Line is suspending all requirements relating to pre-cruise testing, mask-wearing, and vaccine requirements.
Norwegian Cruise Line is the first major cruise line to discontinue all vaccine and testing requirements for all passengers sailing on its ships.
Norwegian Cruise Line is still required to adhere to any local regulations of its sailing destinations, including Greece, which still imposes negative test results or, alternatively, a certificate of recovery from both fully vaccinated guests and unvaccinated guests that are twelve years of age and older.
Princess Cruises discontinued all vaccine and testing requirements of cruises extended less than 17 days.
Pre-cruise testing requirements for fully vaccinated guests five years of age and older are no longer required on cruises extending shorter than 16 nights as of the 6th of September 2022. Trans-ocean cruises, full Panama Canal transits, and other unique itineraries are the exceptions.
Unvaccinated passengers are still required to provide proof of a negative Covid 19 test done no longer than three days pre-embarkation. Unvaccinated children younger than five years of age don’t have to do pre-cruise testing.
Guests sailing on full Panama Canal transits, cruises of longer than 15 nights, trans-ocean cruises, or other unique itinerary cruises still need to do a supervised test no longer than three days prior to embarkation. This applies to all passengers that are five years of age and older.
These guidelines by Princess Cruises are still subject to local regulations of particular destinations and homeports.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
As of the 5th of September 2022, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line welcomes all passengers to sail on its ships regardless of vaccination status.
The Royal Caribbean Line’s guidelines include the following:
- No pre-departure test is required for any vaccinated passengers on voyages of under nine nights.
- Unvaccinated passengers are welcome to sail if they can provide a negative test result obtained from a commercially available test, such as self-tests.
- For voyages of over nine nights, all guests, regardless of vaccination status, must provide proof of a negative Covid 19 test taken no more than three days before the sailing date.
- Guests under the age of six do not have to adhere to any vaccine or testing requirements.
Cruises that visit Canada, Australia, Singapore, or Bermuda require all passengers to be fully vaccinated due to their local regulations.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line still practices general health and safety measures, including the vaccination of crew members and routine monitoring, as well as ensuring all crew members receive their booster shots when applicable. The line is also continuously improving care and testing measures of the medical centers onboard its ships.
Royal Caribbean Testing Requirements:
Pre-cruise testing – all unvaccinated guests of five years and older are required to provide proof of a negative test obtained no longer than three days before the sailing date. No tests are required of vaccinated guests on cruises lasting nine nights or less.
Accepted Testing – Any commercially available test is now accepted, including unsupervised self-tests, antigen, or PCR tests. Proof of a negative test result in the form of a digital or printed result, the actual self-test, or a photo of the negative self-test result is now accepted.
Do I need to be vaccinated to go on Pearl Seas Cruises?
Pearl Seas Cruises require passengers to provide proof of vaccination and undergo a health declaration indicating their vaccination status pre-embarkation.
The Pearl Mist is currently the only cruise ship deemed as a “Vaccination standard of Excellence” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Do Oceania Cruises only allow vaccinated guests to sail?
Passengers are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination as of the 3rd of September 2022. However, fully vaccinated guests don’t need to do a pre-cruise test to be able to sail.
Pre-cruise testing is only required for unvaccinated passengers that are older than eleven years. Children under the age of twelve, along with fully vaccinated guests, do not need to do a pre-cruise test to be able to sail.
Is Covid 19 vaccination required to sail on Regent Seven Seas Cruises?
Unvaccinated passengers are welcome to sail on Regent Seven Seas if they are able to show negative Covid-19 test results.
Regent Seven Seas deems a mixed vaccination series from various manufacturers acceptable, provided it is approved by the World Health Organization or the U.S. FDA for emergency use. The series must consist of two doses that are completed two weeks before the sailing date.
Are Covid Vaccinations required for Victory cruise Lines?
Both Victory Cruise Lines and American Queen Voyages require guests and crew members to be fully vaccinated.
Are Covid vaccines required for Viking cruises?
Viking cruises require guests of both an ocean and a river cruise to be fully vaccinated, with the last dose received at least two weeks before the sailing date. Particular cruises require a negative PCR test to be provided pre-embarkation. Guests may be required to take temperature checks and PCR tests throughout the cruise.
Do I have to be vaccinated to go on Virgin Voyages?
Virgin Voyages requires guests to be vaccinated, and the last dose must be given at least two weeks before departure. Boosters are encouraged but not required, although some cruises may mandate booster shots.
90% of all guests need to be vaccinated for all sailings in the U.S. Unvaccinated passengers need to contact the Sailor Services of Virgin Voyages to find out if that threshold is met and if they can book a cruise.
Pre-cruise tests for European sailing are no longer required as of the 24th of July. Masks are optional on the ships, but face covering may be required during the processes of boarding and disembarkation.