COSTA RICA — Cruising is coming back to Costa Rica for the 2021-2022 season as part of the destination’s continued efforts to ease restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers.
Beginning in September 2021, cruise vessels that guarantee 100% vaccination coverage of their crew and 95% of passengers who are of age to be vaccinated will be authorized to enter the Central American country.
Permitted vaccines include those authorized by the National Commission of Vaccination and Epidemiology, with the last dose being administered at least 14 days prior to departure. Given the nature of the cruise activity, both crew members and cruise passengers are covered by travel insurance.
“The resumption of this tourist activity will benefit the ports of Limón, Puntarenas, Caldera, Quepos and Golfito,” said Gustavo J. Segura, Minister of Tourism. “Each passenger spends an average of US$137 per day, which has an important impact on the reactivation of local economies in coastal communities.”
Minister Segura added that at this time, nine cruise lines have already included Costa Rica in their itineraries, with the first one being Windstar on Sept. 2 in Golfito carrying approximately 150 passengers onboard. This will be followed by Lindblad, Sea Cloud, Seabourn Quest, Celebrity Millennium, Carnival Pride, Crown Princess, Diamond Princess and Seven Seas Mariner. Five of these cruise lines will arrive in Limón and the remaining ones will arrive in Pacific ports. Four of the cruise lines have an average capacity of 2,500 passengers, while five carry less than 500.
“During the first phase of this reopening, most cruise ships will be luxury and accommodate smaller capacities of passengers such as Lindblad,” added Minister Segura.
In addition to being fully vaccinated, cruise passengers must also complete the epidemiological form called ‘Health Pass’ 72 hours prior to their arrival in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has not seen any cruise activity since March 16, 2020 due to the global pandemic. During the 2019-2020 season, a total of 239,566 cruise passengers arrived in the country, with 113 ships arriving in the Pacific and another 84 in the Caribbean.
More eased measures for fully vaccinated tourists
Starting Aug. 1, 2021, fully vaccinated tourists will no longer be required to show proof of travel medical insurance to enter Costa Rica.
Previously, tourists were required to purchase and show proof of travel medical insurance covering COVID-19-related costs as well as costs for extended accommodation linked to quarantine in destination.
Unvaccinated tourists will still need to show proof of travel medical insurance.
All travellers will still be required to complete a Health Pass prior to arrival. Costa Rica does not require proof of negative PCR testing upon entry for tourists.
Visitors under the age of 18 as well as those who are fully vaccinated can enter Costa Rica as tourists, providing they have received their second dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival in the country. Approved vaccines are Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson. Travellers will need to show proof of vaccination that includes their full name, the date of each dose, the formula and the lot number.
For the most up-to-date information on entry requirements click here.
Earlier this year major tour ops including G Adventures and Collete told Travelweek they’re jumping at the chance to return to Costa Rica.