September 22, 2023


For splendid leisure

These Cruise Lines Are Ending Vaccine Requirements—And Easing Other COVID Protocols

3 min read
Condé Nast Traveler

Its pre-boarding tests requirements have also been scaled back. All departures from the U.S. that are nine nights or less don’t require any testing, unless they stop in Canada or Bermuda. For those departing Europe or for longer U.S. itineraries, self-administered tests will be accepted (with the exception of those that stop in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Greece or New Zealand). Children under 5 leaving the U.S. or under 12 leaving Europe also don’t need to test. Celebrity’s Healthy at Sea page makes it easy to track the specific requirements based on your cruise’s itinerary. 

“Travel is making its grand comeback, and we’re looking forward to the continued momentum from consumers around the world,” Celebrity President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said last month.


The Greece-based company announced this week it will remove all COVID protocols for sailings starting on or after March 2, 2023, with the exception being if the local regulations of a destination deem otherwise. Even so, Celestyal suggests all guests test prior to travel, regardless of vaccination status, but test results will no longer be checked next year. 

For departures through 2022, the current rules are still in place. All guests boarding in Greece who are 12 and older need to show proof of vaccination or certificate of recent recovery, while those 18 and older will also need to show that a booster was administered within the last nine months.

Additionally, all guests over the age of six will need to show a negative rapid antigen test within 48 hours, or a negative PCR test within 72 hours. Celestyal also recommends all passengers over 60—and guests of any age with an underlying condition—to check with their doctors first to ensure they’re fit to travel. Last month, the company relaxed its mask-wearing policies, making them optional, even in indoor and crowded settings.

“The health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve is our top priority and we continue to monitor and adjust to the evolving global situation,” Celestyal’s Chief Commercial Officer Leslie Peden said in a statement. “Our crew will continue to maintain our stringent hygiene protocols based upon the most up-to-date guidelines from the European Healthy Gateways, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and Greek health authorities.”

Costa Cruises

Starting with departures from October 8, 2022, guests who are vaccinated will no longer have to take a pre-boarding antigen test 48 hours before departure, if the itinerary starts in South America, the Caribbean, the United Arab Emirates, and the Mediterranean (with the exception of Greece).

Midway COVID tests and daily temperature checks have also been eliminated—however, there are exceptions for itineraries that include Spain, Barbados, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, and Morocco. Masks and social distancing are now also optional, but surgical masks are still required for the first seven days of trans-oceanic and World Tour itineraries. 

Disney Cruise Line

The family-focused cruise line has been rolling out new regulations this month. While guests over the age of five previously had to be vaccinated, starting in early September, unvaccinated passengers under the age of 12 are now allowed to board.

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