The largest cruise line company in the world will start allowing unvaccinated guests to sail on one of their cruise ships and has updated its COVID-19 testing protocols for vaccinated passengers
- 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 sailings 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 that was taken within three days of embarkation.
- 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.
- All policies are subject to local destination regulations.
- Voyages 16 nights and longer will continue to have vaccination and testing requirements that are specific to the itinerary.
“We’ve got lots happening, with Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Celebration joining our fleet this November and more to come in 2023,” she continued. “Whatever the ship, homeport, or itinerary that works for you, our great onboard team is ready to deliver a fun vacation.”
The cruise ship operator’s move—which affects Carnival Cruise, Princess Cruises, and Cunard—came in the same week rival Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced similar revisions to its COVID-19 vaccination and testing protocols.
“All travelers regardless of vaccination status can cruise on the following itineraries, as long as they meet any testing requirements to board,” said Royal Caribbean, noting itineraries include cruises from Los Angeles, Galveston, New Orleans, and European homeports.
Smaller cruise operators such as Azamara Cruises, MSC Cruises, and several others have recently scrapped vaccination and testing requirements altogether.
The moves came after a decision handed down by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on July 18 that ended its reporting system for cruise ships, which was hailed by cruise industry groups. Cruise operators have said COVID-19 restrictions have crushed the industry over the past two years—amid high-profile incidents involving viral outbreaks on ships.