NCLH drops vaccination requirements effective Sept. 3, 2022, for fully vaccinated guests

NCLH drops vaccination requirements effective Sept. 3, 2022, for fully vaccinated guests

MIAMI —Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has dropped its vaccination requirement as part of a protocol update NCLH says will “further align the Company to the broader travel, leisure and hospitality industry worldwide.”

NCLH’S new policy, posed yesterday and effective for sailings starting on or after Sept. 3, 2022, means that vaccinated guests aged 12 and over will no longer have any pre-cruise COVID-19 related protocols. And unvaccinated guests may embark with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to departure, subject to local regulations.

The new policy applies to NCL, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The CDC announced in July 2022 that it was ending its COVID-19 program for cruise lines. Many cruise companies have eased testing requirements in the past several weeks.

NCLH notes that “requirements may differ for guests traveling on voyages departing from or visiting destinations with specific local regulations, including but not limited to Canada, Greece and Bermuda.”

The Canadian government paused the vaccination mandate for air and rail travel in June 2022, but Canada’s rule on mandatory vaccination for cruise ship passengers in Canadian ports and Canadian waters was never suspended and remains in place.

NCLS says it continues to strongly recommend all guests be up to date on vaccination protocols and test at their convenience prior to travel.

Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of NCLH, has been a fierce advocate for the cruise industry throughout the pandemic.

“The relaxation of protocols coupled with continued easing of travel restrictions and the reopening to cruise in more ports around the globe are meaningfully positive for our business as it reduces friction, expands the addressable cruise market, brings variety to itineraries and provides additional catalysts on the road to recovery,” said Del Rio yesterday.

“Our long-awaited revisions to our testing and vaccination requirements bring us closer in line with the rest of society, which has learned to adapt and live with COVID-19, and makes it simpler and easier for our loyal guests to cruise on our three best-in-class brands. Health and safety is our top priority and we will continue to modify our robust SailSAFE program as the public health environment evolves,” he said.

Here’s a look at the protocol changes from NCLH, subject to local regulations, effective September 3, 2022 and applicable fleetwide …

  • Vaccinated guests aged 12 and older will no longer have any pre-cruise COVID-19 related protocols
  • Unvaccinated guests, aged 12 and older, or those who cannot or decline to provide proof of vaccination, will need to present a negative medically administered PCR or Antigen COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to boarding
  • Passengers aged 11 and under will not be subject to vaccination requirements or testing protocols of any kind
  • Vaccinated guests must meet the generally-accepted definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ based on the destination they are embarking and/or traveling to and must provide proof of vaccination

Get travel news right to your inbox!