More good news from the cruise world: MSC Cruises, Celestyal Cruises and Silversea Cruises have all recently announced a further easing of previous COVID-19 policies, joining a growing number of cruise lines across the globe.
MSC Cruises has relaxed COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements for U.S. residents on sailings beginning September 1, in line with public health guidelines in its home ports and destinations. While no longer required, MSC Cruises still recommends all U.S. residents be fully vaccinated and tested prior to sailing. Requirements for non-U.S. residents remain unchanged.
- Vaccination is recommended but no longer required.
- Pre-cruise testing is recommended but not required for travelers who are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated guests are still required to show proof of vaccination at embarkation.
- Unvaccinated guests are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test (NAAT or antigen) taken within 3 days of embarkation.
- Guests under the age of 2 are exempt from testing requirements.
Celestyal Cruises has announced that masks are no longer mandatory (but highly recommended for indoor areas and outdoors when in large crowds) and guests can now test up to 72 hours prior to embarkation, as opposed to the earlier requirement of the test being taken 24 hours prior to embarkation.
There are still restrictions, however, so you might want to keep the following in mind: all guests 12 years of age and above must continue to be fully vaccinated including proof of a booster (if their original vaccine course was completed more than 270 days prior to embarkation). All guests are required to have a certified negative COVID antigen test taken no more than 48 hours or a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to embarkation.
“In accordance with updated guidelines from the European Healthy Gateways, CLIA and Greek health authorities, we are pleased to announce the further relaxation of our health protocols,” said Celestyal Cruises’ chief commercial officer, Leslie Peden, in a press statement. “The more flexible requirements provide our guests with the option of testing prior to departing for Greece as well as more flexibility when it comes to masking onboard. We will continue to liaise with the European Healthy Gateways, CLIA and Greek authorities, as well as all destinations we visit on our cruises, to ensure that we are following the latest protocols with the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve continuing to be our top priority.”
Effective September 5, Silversea Cruises will welcome all travelers on board its ships regardless of vaccination status where local regulations allow.
The cruise line also adjusted its COVID-19 testing requirements. Where local regulations allow, vaccinated travelers will not be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to embarkation. Unvaccinated travelers may sail aboard Silversea ships by providing proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test within 72 hours prior to embarkation.
Testing and vaccination requirements may differ for select destinations based on local regulations. Where tests are required, all travelers must provide proof of a negative test result (printed or digital) at embarkation and should travel with a copy of their test result.
The cruise lines stressed in their press statements they would keep evaluating and adjusting their policies as needed, so stay tuned for updates you can share with your clients!