Regulatory policy

Norwegian Cruise Lines updates vaccination policy and removes mask requirements

Starting March 1, all passengers 5 years of age or older will need to be fully immunized at least two weeks prior to sailing to sail on any Norwegian Cruise Line ship. And, for the first time since the cruise line returned to sailing, it will allow unvaccinated children (4 years or younger) on board.

Additionally, the line will drop its masking requirement starting March 1. And all guests will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 or PCR antigen test to sail, but the line will no longer provide free antigen tests at the port. .

“Maintaining the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit remains our first priority,” an NCL spokesperson said. “As such, given the progress being made in the current public health environment, we have updated a few of our health and safety protocols and requirements.”

Vaccination requirements
“All guests five years and older and crew must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure and must present proof of vaccination at the terminal in order to board the vessel,” the spokesperson told Travel Market Report.

While unvaccinated children 4 and under are welcome on board, the company is committed to adhering to all CDC requirements and limiting numbers to “well below” five percent of total occupancy. passengers on each cruise.

On-board mask requirements
From March 1, mask wearing will be “at the discretion of customers”, although the line continues to recommend them.

“We recognize the additional protections provided when wearing a face mask and recommend that all passengers do so on board when indoors, except when actively eating or drinking, or seated at a table. in a dining room, or when they are in the cabin.”

For Europe cruises in particular, masks will continue to be required as local government regulations still require masks to be worn on board cruise ships indoors, except when actively eating or drinking or when are in their cabin.

NCL also reminds passengers that wearing a mask may be required in the destinations visited by its ships.

Testing requirements
Also effective March 1, NCL will no longer require COVID-19 testing at the dock prior to boarding. However, passengers will be required to take a home test before departure and present proof of their negative antigen or PCR test at check-in.

Tests must be administered by a certified third party within two days of embarkation for cruises originating in a US port or within three days of embarkation for voyages departing from a non-US port. Passengers can also use a medically supervised home test from or BioReference’s Scarlet service conducted within the same time frame.

Passengers who are unable to provide proof of a negative result on boarding can pay to be tested at the terminal.

According to the spokesperson, having people test themselves before sailing “will allow for a more streamlined check-in process with minimal person-to-person contact and limited waiting time.”