Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) on Monday announced some significant changes to its pre-cruise COVID-19 protocols, including testing and vacation requirements.
Starting on Sept. 3, vaccinated guests age 12 years and older will no longer have any pre-cruise protocols prior to sailing onboard any of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ (NCLH) three brands (NCL, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas).
Unvaccinated guests 12 and older, or those who cannot provide proof of vaccination, will be required to take a PCR or Antigen test taken no more than 72 hours prior to boarding.
Guests 11 and under will now not be forced to either show proof of vaccination or test prior to their sailing.
The changes are for all sailings and all lengths of cruises except for Canada, Bermuda, and Greece itineraries, along with others that have local regulations guests must abide by.
“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,” said Frank Del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
“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.”
NCLH was one the first cruise companies to drop COVID-19 requirements where it could—in early July it announced it would stop requiring pre-cruise COVID-19 testing unless required by local regulations. However, that change didn’t affect U.S.-based cruise itineraries or cruises in Canada, Greece, and Bermuda.
The new rules include Oceania sailings from most regions. Photo: Oceania.