As cruising continues to welcome returning and new passengers, health and safety protocols are being closely monitored to reflect the current world climate. 

Now, vaccination and testing requirements and regulations are beginning to ease as the world opens up further for people to getaway and enjoy their holidays as before.  

Cruising is now safer than ever with enhanced measures developed to protect guests and crew, while maintaining the same cruising experience for all. Travelling freely is a key part of exploring the world and, in the coming months, many cruise lines are beginning to welcome both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests on-board, alongside relaxing their rules on testing policies during the embarkation process. 

You can see the full list of cruise line requirements on testing and vaccination policies below, though we also advise you to check the cruise line’s own website for the most up-to-date information regarding any updates and the Gov.uk website for any region or country-specific information. 

Cruise Line Testing & Vaccination Requirements

The below tables highlights the testing and vaccination requirements from our cruise lines. We also recommend checking the cruise line's own website for further information upon enquiry or booking.

Correct as of 23.11.2022

Testing Requirements

Cruise Line Requirements Last Updated Helpful Links
Azamara Azamara does not require a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding unless this is required by local country regulations. However, we highly recommend that guests take a COVID-19 test prior to starting their travels. 17.11.22 https://www.azamara.co.uk/discover/what-they-say/azamara-cruise-news/azamara-announces-removal-its-embarkation-covid-19
Carnival Cruise Line Cruises of 15 nights or less: Although not required for either vaccinated or unvaccinated guests, we encourage all guests 5 years and older to take a pre-cruise test within three days of their cruise. Cruises of 16 nights or more: Guests age 5 years and older have to present a PCR or antigen test taken within 3 days before sailing (unsupervised self-tests are not accepted).. 17.11.2022 https://www.carnival.com/legal/covid-19-legal-notices/covid-19-guest-protocols
Celebrity Cruises All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, are welcome to cruise with Celebrity Cruises and will no longer be required to provide proof of pre-departure testing except for specific sailings where vaccination, testing, or additional documentation are required by law. Exceptions currently include: Bermuda Itineraries, Galapagos Itineraries, Australia New Zealand Itineraries, Transatlantic/Transpacific Crossings, Select Caribbean Itineraries (those visiting Turks & Caicos), Select Central and South America Itineraries (those visiting Colombia, Brazil, and Chile). 17.11.2022 https://www.celebritycruises.com/gb/health-and-safety
Cunard

Self-testing prior to travel will change from ‘mandatory’ to ‘highly recommended’ for vaccinated guests on the majority of Cunard voyages. Some voyages will have enhanced testing requirements due to the length of the cruise, ports of call, or the ship’s onward destination. Only guests sailing on these longer or more complex itineraries, will be required to have an observed or in-person lateral flow/antigen test and provide a fit-to-travel certificate before departure. To see which category your voyage falls into please check your cruise number on the link provided.

17.11.2022 https://www.cunard.com/en-gb/the-cunard-experience/sailing-with-confidence
Fred. Olsen Fred. Olsen no longer carries out pre-departure Covid-19 testing as part of the check-in process. 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 proof of a negative test result to show at check-in. f you arrive at the port without confirmation of a negative result, you will be asked to complete a test at the terminal, which will result in a delay at check-in. Testing at the terminal will be charged at £25 per test and will be added to your on board account. 17.11.2022 https://www.fredolsencruises.com/faqs/covid-protocols
Holland America Line Vaccinated guests will no longer have to test before boarding and only need to show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated guests are welcome aboard with a self-administered COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of embarkation. Some voyages require Enhanced Protocols. Before you cruise, check our Enhanced Protocols PDF to find out if your voyage requires additional health regulation requirements. 17.11.2022 https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/worry-free-promise/travel-well/covid-guest-protocols.html
MSC Cruises For vaccinated Guests it’s not required (but strongly recommended) to present a negative test. Unvaccinated guests, guests without a vaccine certificate, or guests who have recovered from COVID-19, ages 5 and older are required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR or Antigen test taken 48 hours prior to embarkation. Tests must be laboratory certified. A rapid antigen self-test is not valid for travel purposes." 17.11.2022 https://www.msccruises.com/en-gl/MSC-Health-And-Safety-measures.aspx
Norwegian Cruise Line As such, effective October 4, 2022, we welcome all guests to sail with us, regardless of vaccination status and age, and with no testing or masking requirements. 17.11.2022 https://www.ncl.com/uk/en/sail-safe
P&O Cruises

From 6 September 2022, self-testing prior to travel will change from “mandatory” to “highly recommended” for vaccinated guests on the vast majority of holidays. . On these ‘standard’ voyages, all guests aged 18 years and over will need to be fully vaccinated* and any guests aged five – 17 years who are not fully vaccinated will require a negative lateral flow/antigen test to be taken in the three days before, or on the day of the ship’s departure. Some holidays will have enhanced testing requirements due to the length of cruise, ports of call, or the ship’s onward destination. All guests aged five years and over sailing on these more complex itineraries will be required to have an observed or in-person lateral flow/antigen test in the two days before, or on the day of the ship’s departure and provide a fit to travel certificate prior to departure. All guests aged 12 years and over must also be fully vaccinated on these holidays. Guests under five years of age remain exempt from pre-travel vaccination and testing on all sailings. These new guidelines apply to all P&O Cruises itineraries sailing from Southampton and all other departure points with the exception of countries where government regulations and protocols may vary including Canada and Australia. These new guidelines apply to all P&O Cruises and Cunard itineraries sailing from Southampton and all other departure points with the exception of countries where government regulations and protocols may vary including Canada and Australia.

17.11.2022 https://www.pocruises.com/cruise-with-confidence/preparing-to-sail#before-you-board
Princess Cruises Princess Cruises has adjusted our pre-travel testing requirements to make it less complicated to sail with us. There are also Enhanced Guidelines voyages that have their own Vaccination and Testing requirements. Unvaccinated guests, or anyone who does not provide proof of vaccination, simply must upload a negative self-test within three days of sailing our MedallionClass® app before boarding. 17.11.2022 https://www.princess.com/plan/cruise-with-confidence/cruise-health/vaccine-testing-requirements/
Royal Caribbean

Pre-cruise testing is no longer required to sail, with a few exceptions. At this time, only the following sailings have pre-cruise testing requirements: For Cruises from the U.S. and Caribbean with stops in Colombia, Haiti, or Honduras, From Transatlantic Cruises, For Cruises from Australia.

17.11.2022 https://www.royalcaribbean.com/the-healthy-sail-center/getting-ready-to-cruise
Virgin Voyages Passengers who are not vaccinated will be required to present a negative test result taken within 72 hours of departure. 17.11.2022 https://help.virginvoyages.com/helpportal/s/helpcategory

 

Vaccination Requirements

Cruise Line Requirements Last Updated Helpful Links
Azamara Beginning December 1, 2022, we will no longer require proof of vaccination for sailings starting and ending in the U.S. or sailings starting and ending in Europe. All other sailings require proof of vaccination and booster until further notice. 17.11.2022 https://www.azamara.co.uk/booked-guests/before-you-board/explore-well-at-sea
Carnival Cruise Line Vaccines and testing no longer required for most cruises. Cruises of 15 nights or less: 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.* Guests are considered fully vaccinated if they have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the sailing day (not counting embarkation day). Cruises of 16 nights or more: All guests, age 18 and older, must be vaccinated, and boosted if they are more than 6 months past the last dose of their initial vaccine series. Unvaccinated guests will need to apply for a vaccine exemption when we are ready to start accepting requests for 2023. 17.11.2022 https://www.carnival.com/legal/covid-19-legal-notices/covid-19-guest-protocols
Celebrity Cruises All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, are welcome to cruise with us and will no longer be required to provide proof of pre-departure testing, except for specific sailings where vaccination, testing, or additional documentation are required by law. Exceptions currently include: Bermuda Itineraries, Galapagos Itineraries, Australia New Zealand Itineraries, Transatlantic/Transpacific Crossings, Select Caribbean Itineraries (those visiting Turks & Caicos), Select Central and South America Itineraries (those visiting Colombia, Brazil, and Chile). 17.11.2022 https://www.celebritycruises.com/gb/health-and-safety
Cunard

As health protocols for COVID-19 continue to evolve around the world, we need to inform you of an important update to our vaccination and testing requirements, that will take effect from 6 September 2022. As of this date, we will be dividing our voyages into two categories which will determine the vaccination and testing requirements. The two categories are ‘Standard voyages’ and ‘Voyages with enhanced testing requirements’. You can view the changes that are coming into effect using the two buttons below. Guests under five years of age remain exempt from pre-travel vaccination and testing. We currently have the classifications for voyages sailing in September 2022. You’ll be required to show proof of your vaccination status at the terminal prior to boarding, which will also be checked against your photo ID. This can be either in printed or digital format (a screenshot is fine) and must be an official certificate of vaccine status issued by your local health authority (e.g. NHS England). Please visit your relevant NHS or local health authority website for full details of how to obtain an official record of your vaccine status in advance of your holiday (please note that some authorities require up to 10 days to process applications to receive postal certificates). If more than 270 days (calculated from the day of disembarkation from the voyage) will have passed since the full completion of a vaccination course, then a booster vaccine will also be required and must be administered a minimum of seven days prior to embarkation. Regardless of the date, if you have already had a booster vaccination then you are eligible to travel.

17.11.2022 https://www.cunard.com/en-gb/the-cunard-experience/sailing-with-confidence/preparing-to-sail/before-you-board#vaccines
Fred. Olsen All guests aged 12 and above must be fully vaccinated to join us on board. For adults, this includes two original doses, and a third booster dose. You must have had your booster at least seven days before your cruise sets sail.You will be required to prove that you have had both of your vaccines, plus your third booster, at check-in. All children aged over 12 will need to have had both of their vaccinations within 9 months of their cruise, with at least 14 days since the date of their second dose. 17.11.2022 https://www.fredolsencruises.com/faqs/covid-protocols
Holland America Line All travelers are invited to cruise with us, regardless of vaccination status. Some voyages require Enhanced Protocols. Before you cruise, check our Enhanced Protocols PDF to find out if your voyage requires additional health regulation requirements. 17.11.2022 https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/worry-free-promise/travel-well/covid-guest-protocols.html
MSC Cruises For certain areas (please read full details online) Ex UK and Med- All Guests are strongly encouraged, but not required, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 17.11.2022 https://www.msccruises.com/en-gl/MSC-Health-And-Safety-measures.aspx
Norwegian Cruise Line As such, effective October 4, 2022, we welcome all guests to sail with us, regardless of vaccination status and age, and with no testing or masking requirements. Please see the link provided for further information on different ports/countries. 17.11.2022 https://www.ncl.com/uk/en/sail-safe
P&O Cruises From 6 September 2022, self-testing prior to travel will change from “mandatory” to “highly recommended” for vaccinated guests on the majority of holidays. On these ‘standard’ voyages, all guests aged 18 years and over will need to be fully vaccinated* and any guests aged five – 17 years who are not fully vaccinated will require a negative lateral flow/antigen test to be taken in the three days before, or on the day of the ship’s departure. Some holidays will have enhanced testing requirements due to the length of cruise, ports of call, or the ship’s onward destination. All guests aged five years and over sailing on these more complex itineraries will be required to have an observed or in-person lateral flow/antigen test in the two days before, or on the day of the ship’s departure and provide a fit to travel certificate prior to departure. All guests aged 12 years and over must also be fully vaccinated on these holidays. Guests under five years of age remain exempt from pre-travel vaccination and testing on all sailings.

These new guidelines apply to all P&O Cruises itineraries sailing from Southampton and all other departure points with the exception of countries where government regulations and protocols may vary including Canada and Australia. All guests aged 16 years and over need to be fully vaccinated* with an approved COVID-19 vaccine a minimum of 14 days prior to travel. If more than 270 days (calculated from the last day of the cruise) have passed since the full completion of a vaccination course, a booster vaccine will also be needed and must be administered a minimum of seven days prior to travel. Guests who have had one booster vaccine, regardless of the date, are considered fully vaccinated. At this time, a second booster vaccination is not required, however, we strongly recommend all guests to have booster vaccinations at the earliest opportunity, should they be available to them, in order to comply with evolving vaccine policies from the countries we visit. All guests aged 12 to 15 years need to be fully vaccinated* with an approved COVID-19 vaccine a minimum of 14 days prior to travel. A booster vaccine is not required. Guests under 12 years of age are not required to be vaccinated.

You’ll need to show proof of your vaccination status which will also be checked against your photo ID at the terminal/airport prior to boarding. This can be either in digital or printed format (a screenshot is fine) and must be an official certificate of vaccine status issued by your local health authority e.g. NHS England. Please visit your relevant NHS or local health authority website for full details of how to get an official record of your vaccine status in advance of your holiday (some authorities require up to 10 days to process applications to receive postal certificates). The record card that is given out at the time of vaccination will not be accepted as proof of your vaccination status. Unfortunately, failure to provide proof of vaccination at the terminal/airport will result in denial of boarding at your own expense.

17.11.2022 https://www.pocruises.com/cruise-with-confidence/preparing-to-sail#before-you-board
Princess Cruises With updated guidelines, Princess Cruises are now able to accept more guests regardless of their vaccination status. 17.11.2022 https://www.princess.com/plan/cruise-with-confidence/cruise-health/vaccine-testing-requirements/
Royal Caribbean

COVID-19 Vaccination is no longer required to sail, with a few exceptions. At this time, only the following sailings have COVID-19 vaccination requirements: Guests age 12 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to sail: Cruises from Australia, Cruises from Singapore. Guests age 5 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to sail: Transatlantic Sailings from Europe

17.11.2022 https://www.royalcaribbean.com/the-healthy-sail-center/getting-ready-to-cruise
Virgin Voyages Non-vaccinated passengers can sail on Virgin Voyages vessel Valiant Lady from September 18 and Scarlet Lady from September 21. 17.11.2022 https://help.virginvoyages.com/helpportal/s/helpcategory

As for general guidance and protocols, please continue reading to learn about how cruise lines have been working to make the return to cruising safe for everyone. 

General Guidance

Each cruise line, part of the world, or country may have slightly different procedures depending on the current local situation with COVID-19 – and these are always subject to change. We encourage you to check the cruise line’s own website for the most up-to-date information regarding any updates and the Gov.uk website for any region or country-specific information.

Please respect any rules put in place by the cruise line, they are all in place for your health and safety.

We hope that these changes make you feel at ease about returning to cruise. All the new protocols have been meticulously put together and sanctioned by multiple organisations (including the US CDC and CLIA) to ensure maximum safety for guests and crew.

Recommendations include:

At time of booking
Check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice; confirm your travel insurance cover; check your cruise lines exclusion policy to see where you fall
 
At the cruise terminal
Follow the procedures given by your cruise line in terms of testing and vaccination policies. You may be required to take a COVID-19 test or share proof of your vaccination status in order to board.
 
On-board your cruise
Follow the cruise line protocols in place to ensure a safe journey, such as:
In port
Follow the cruise line protocols in place to ensure safe port visits. Be aware of the local or national COVID-19 requirements. You may also have your temperature checked when disembarking or re-embarking the ship or be required to take a COVID-19 test
 
Return to UK
You may be required to take a COVID-19 test, and you may need to self-isolate in the UK, depending on your previous destinations. Leave the port terminal as soon as possible

Cruise Line Protocols

Each cruise line has been developing their own health and safety measures, ready for resuming sailing. These measures will apply to all guests and crew on-board and be mandatory to follow in order to reduce the risk of infection and maintain safety for all.

These protocols are subject to change in line with the evolving response measures as conditions warrant. They will be continually evaluated and adjusted against the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Where applicable, you can find these listed below. It is important to know that this information was correct at the time of publishing and we recommend checking the cruise line's website directly to confirm their policies should you wish to amend or cancel your booking.

Health & Safety Protocol Links

Carnival Cruise Line

Health and Safety Protocols - View here

Celebrity Cruises

Health and Safety Protocols - View here
Health and Safety Protocols (Amsterdam embarkation)- View here
Health and Safety Protocols (Barcelona embarkation)- View here
Health and Safety Protocols (Italy embarkation)- View here
Health and Safety Protocols (Southampton embarkation)- View here
Cruise With Confidence - View here
Cancel your cruise up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive the value back in Future Cruise Credits, applicable to bookings made by 31st March 2022 on sailings departing on or before 31st December 2022, or sailings which depart within one year of the original sail date, whichever is later.

Cunard
Health and Safety Protocols - View here
Cruise With Confidence - View here
For all departures on sale, prior to the balance due date you can now transfer your booking to any Cunard voyage currently on sale, of higher or lower value, an unlimited number of times and completely free of charge for each transfer made.

Disney Cruise Line
Health and Safety Protocols - View here

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line
Health and Safety Protocols - View here
Cruise With Confidence - View here
Change your mind on your cruise before your final balance is due and you can move your deposit to any other sailing within 12 months of your original travel dates with no transfer fees.

Holland America Line
Health and Safety Protocols - View here
Cruise With Confidence - View here
Cancel your Holland America Line cruise up to 30 days before you sail and receive a Future Cruise Credit with Flexible Cancellation, applicable to all cruises booked by 31st December 2021 which depart through to 30th April 2022. You can also cancel your sailing up to the date of embarkation if you test positive for Covid-19 and also receive a Future Cruise Credit.

MSC Cruises
Health and Safety Protocols - View here
Health and Safety Protocols (Mediterranean specific) - View here
Cruise With Confidence - View here
Reschedule your cruise for free up to 15 days before departure (for cruise only) or up to 21 days before departure (for fly-cruise), applicable to all bookings made through to 31st March 2022 and valid on all sailings through to 31st March 2023. Cancellations will refer to the standard policy. New cruise can be to the value of current cruise, any higher differences will be chargeable.

Norwegian Cruise Line
Health and Safety Protocols - View here
Cruise With Confidence - View here
For all cruises booked by 28th February 2022, with an embarkation date through and including 31st March 2022, guests are free to cancel anytime up to 24 hours prior to embarkation for selected reasons. Guests will receive a full refund in the form of a Future Cruise Credit to use by 31st December 2022. /li>

P&O Cruises
Health and Safety Protocols - View here
Cruise With Confidence - View here
For all departures scheduled for 2021 and 2022, prior to the balance due date you can now transfer your booking to any P&O Cruises holiday currently on sale, of higher or lower value, an unlimited number of times and completely free of charge for each transfer made. Applicable for Select Price or Early Saver bookings.

Princess Cruises
Health and Safety Protocols (General) - View here
Health and Safety Protocols (Sailings from the UK) - View here
Cruise With Confidence - View here
Cancel your cruise up to 30 days before sailing and receive your cancellation fees as a Future Cruise Credit, applicable on bookings made through to 31st May 2022 on sailings through to 30th September 2022. Future Cruise Credits available to spend on sailings valid one year since Future Cruise Credit issued..

Royal Caribbean
Health and Safety Protocols - View here
Cruise With Confidence - View here
Cancel your cruise up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive the value back in Future Cruise Credits, applicable to bookings made by 31st March 2022 on sailings departing on or before 30th September 2022. Future Cruise Credit available to redeem on sailings which depart within one year of the original sail date.

Saga Oce

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