Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises have loosened their vaccine requirement even further, announcing Monday (Aug. 22) that unvaccinated guests will be allowed to sail on most cruises.
Beginning Sept. 5, 2022, all guests, regardless of vaccination status, departing on most sailings from the United States and Europe can now cruise as long as they meet local testing requirements to board.
Cruises to or from Australia, New Zealand, Bermuda, Canada or Singapore will still require guests to be vaccinated, but most sailings embarking from the U.S. will be open to everyone.
Galapagos cruises require guests ages three and older to be vaccinated.
Testing rules are also being relaxed. Unvaccinated guests can cruise as long as they show negative COVID results from any commercially available test – including self-tests. The test must be taken within three days of boarding for most sailings.
No testing is required for vaccinated guests sailing on cruises that are nine nights or less.
For all sailings, guests five years old and younger have no vaccine or testing requirements.
On sailings that are 10-plus nights, all guests – vaccinated or unvaccinated – must provide a negative test within three days of their sailing date.
“A new world is waiting and I’m thrilled to now more closely align our operations with the rest of the travel industry and open up opportunities for everyone to explore, once again,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, which is part of the Royal Caribbean Group. “Travel is making its grand comeback and we’re looking forward to the continued momentum from consumers around the world.”
The eased rules comes less than two weeks after Royal and Celebrity loosened vaccination and testing policies for customers departing from California, Louisiana, Texas and Europe, but not Florida.
The update also comes as most major cruise brands update their COVID-19 protocols to allow unvaccinated guests to sail so long as they test negative prior to sailing.
Carnival Corporation brands have adopted similar measures along with brands with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
The changes come following the U.S. CDC ending its Cruise Ship COVID-19 program.