(8 a.m. EDT) -- Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line are among the cruise lines to this week react to the surging Delta variant by mandating pre-cruise testing for all passengers, including those fully vaccinated.
This follows Carnival Cruise Line’s announcement on its change of policy on August 4, with both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers required to wear face coverings in certain areas indoors and mandatory pre-cruise COVID-19 testing for all.
In a notice posted on its website, Princess Cruises revealed vaccinated passengers must also present a negative COVID-19 test ahead of sailing, effective from August 15.
“Fully vaccinated guests will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test along with proof of full vaccination upon arrival in the terminal and can then proceed onboard. Please note that testing in the terminal will not be available for vaccinated guests, so it’s critical that you have your negative test results with you upon your arrival. We will not be able to accommodate guests without proof of a negative test,” the notice says.
Effective Aug. 8, all passengers will also be required to wear a face mask indoors, in elevators, shops, in the casino, when waiting to be seat at bars and restaurants, and other designated areas (except when eating and drinking.).
Princess Cruises expects these new requirements to be temporary, though it does not say when they will end.
Another Carnival Corporation line, Holland America wrote to passengers booked on forthcoming cruises from the U.S. earlier this week to reveal it has also updated its health protocols to mandate pre-cruise COVID-19 testing for all passengers, effective with cruises departing from August 14.
Holland America Line will also mandate masks indoors in elevators, entertainment, venues, retail shops, the casino, and other designated areas except while eating and drinking.
Celebrity Cruises also updated its COVID-19 screening process on August 5, advising all passengers departing on U.S. sailings between Aug. 6 and Sept. 6 that all passengers aged two or over, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result at the time of embarkation. Celebrity says tests can either be a PCR test or an Antigen test, conducted within 72 hours of embarkation.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which operates two-night cruises from Florida to The Bahamas, has also updated its guidance. The line’s health policy now states that, from Aug. 6, fully-vaccinated passengers will be required to upload negative test results (either a Rapid Antigen Test or PCR), in addition to valid proof of vaccination (such as CDC or government issued vaccine record card) in order to generate their Bahamas Travel Health Visa.
Royal Caribbean has also updated its guidance to stipulate all passengers aged two and over must wear masks indoors unless eating or drinking on Adventure of the Seas sailing out of The Bahamas. However, masks are not required indoors in areas or at events that are considered just for vaccinated passengers.
In Europe, passengers sailing on Norwegian Jade in Greece were notified earlier this week that masks are required indoors in line with local health protocols.
These changes come in what has been a busy week for Florida’s cruise industry, with the debut of Carnival Mardi Gras and Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas, while MSC Cruises resumed sailings onboard MSC Meraviglia.