Put down the swabs: 2 major lines drop some pre-cruise testing requirements
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Two of the cruise industry’s biggest brands, Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Line, have dropped pre-cruise testing requirements in select ports, eliminating one of the biggest concerns for passengers embarking abroad.
Effective July 10, Holland America has waived pre-cruise testing requirements for its newest ship, Rotterdam, on select Amsterdam-to-Norway itineraries.
“As health protocols around the world continue to evolve, we are adjusting our policies to align with those of the countries we visit,” the line said in a statement. “As a result, for the July 10, 17 and 24 voyages departing from Amsterdam and traveling to Norway, guests will not be required to undergo pre-cruise COVID-19 testing or provide a negative test result at embarkation.”
For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter.
Similarly, Norwegian Cruise Line will drop its pre-cruise testing requirements on nearly all sailings from Europe and other locations outside of North America, effective Aug. 1, 2022.
“Effective for sailings 8/1/22 and beyond for cruises originating in any port except a U.S. port, Canadian port or Piraeus, Greece: All guests are exempt from all pre-cruise COVID-19 testing requirements,” reads a portion of the Sail Safe section on NCL’s website.
“The pre-embarkation testing requirement will remain in place for guests currently traveling on voyages departing from destinations with local testing regulations,” the line said in a statement. “The relaxation of the testing policy is in line with the rest of the travel, leisure and hospitality industry worldwide as society continues to adapt and return to a state of normalcy. We continue to strongly recommend all guests be up to date on vaccination protocols and test at their convenience prior to travel.”
As lines that have opted into the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s voluntary COVID-19 safety protocols, both Holland America and Norwegian will continue to require passengers departing on cruises from the U.S. to test prior to sailing, regardless of vaccination status.
Throughout the cruise industry’s restart, both pre- and post-cruise testing have been pain points for passengers — particularly those sailing on voyages that begin or end in foreign ports. Eliminating pre- and post-cruise testing abroad also eliminates the risk of someone testing positive before their cruise and being denied boarding or testing positive after a sailing and subsequently being forced to isolate for several days before returning home.
In June 2022, the U.S. dropped its test-for-entry requirements for travelers arriving by air, alleviating stress for U.S. cruise passengers whose itineraries end in foreign ports. (Before the requirement was waived, anyone arriving in the U.S. by cruise ship was not required to test, but those whose voyages ended in foreign ports were forced to test in order to fly home.)
These rollbacks join other relaxed protocols, such as mask-wearing and social distancing, which have been optional on most cruise lines for months.
Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:
- The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
- A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
- The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
- A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
- 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
- 15 ways cruisers waste money
- 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
- The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise
Featured photo by Grace Cary/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
This card offers a 80,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Plus, earn 3 ThankYou points per $1 at gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets and on air travel and hotels. 1 ThankYou point per $1 on all other purchases.
- For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
- 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
- No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases